I will be the first to admit that I know little about Marilyn Monroe...even though she remains arguably the most iconic blonde figure in all of American pop culture. So I will not critique Michelle Williams' performance as Marilyn in Simon Curtis' newest film My Week with Marilyn for historical accuracy.
Instead, I will say Williams played the Hollywood starlet almost exactly as I would expect her to act. I was impressed by Williams' range of erratic emotions from timid, self-conscious actress to doe-eyed man eater to stoned, emotional temptress. And her ability to hold within her eyes an incredible gaze that simultaneously captured me as a viewer, searching for what she was thinking about, but also seemed to show that she (as Marilyn) didn't give one care to what was going on around her and that all that was up there in her head were clouds and butterflies.
The film is without a doubt schmaltzy. A young man new to movie making's charms is wholly seduced by both the business and the star of the set he's found himself on. And as any man coaxed right into the arms of America's biggest, boldest, and sexiest actress, he falls in love. Of course the boy's up against the impossible, including Hollywood and Arthur Miller. But the story is real, which may make it better than any ol' narrative forbidden love story.
See this for the performances, take the rest for what it is. *
*Kenneth Branagh plays Sir Laurence Olivier, Eddie Redmayne plays Colin Clark (the sorry bloke who choses Marilyn), and Judi Dench plays Dame Sybil Thorndike