Marilyn, the original title My Week With Marilyn, directed by Simon Curtis and with the same production team as the The King’s Speech, features the beautiful Michelle Williams playing the part of the most famous diva of all time.
The film is inspired by the diary of Colin Clark, who in 1956 met Marilyn Monroe on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl, the first and only film produced by Marilyn Monroe Productions, a production company founded in 1955 by the actress herself, and the photographer Milton H. Greene and was directed by Laurence Oliver, a legend of English cinema and theater, who also co-starred in the film alongside Monroe. According to Simon Curtis, Monroe saw in that collaboration an opportunity to try her hand at a new role, while Oliver saw a chance to have a taste of the glamour of Hollywood. “For many people, Marilyn is more of an icon than an actress – says the director -, people are more familiar with pictures of her on posters than with her films. I got on board with this project after falling in love with Clark’s book. He gives an intimate confession of the days he spent as her guide, showing an uneasy Monroe around the English countryside.

The set is troubled by the disastrous relationship between the overly theatrical and despotic Oliver and the tormented Marilyn, as witnessed by Colin Clark, who at that time had just left university and was working his first job as an assistant director. Played by Eddie Redmayne, Clark is a charming young man who is very sure of himself, even though he may not be as mature as he thinks he is. When his experience on set begins, the future documentarian flirts with an assistant costume designer played by Emma Watson in what seems to be a love story just about to blossom. The courtship is interrupted, however, by the young man’s fascination for Marilyn, of whom he will become a friend and confidant. Meanwhile the two begin to establish a strange relationship, one that Redmayne himself describes as “a mixture between a mother-son relationship and its opposite, with him taking care of her. It’s delicate and quite profound, and I like that it has an ephemeral nature, something that remains between Colin and Marilyn,” the film then unravels itself on different levels. On one hand there’s the sex symbol; the infantile and exhibitionist actress who, with her sensuality, embodied the American dream during the Sixties; The president’s lady, the pop icon made eternal by Andy Warhol’s work of art. On the other hand, there’s the director’s awkward attempt to depict the unknown side of a fragile woman, frightened of life and incapable of being happy.
All in all, Curtis chooses not to make the usual biopic, as if the life of Hollywood’s blond bombshell couldn’t be limited to just 90 minutes, but as a good veteran of BBC television serials, he adopts a style that is far too dull and conventional to succeed in bringing on-screen the conflicting relationship Marilyn had with her success. Although he does reveal the star’s inner demons, which would eventually lead to her premature death. But the trump card of the film is indeed her, the petite and minute Michelle Williams, winner of a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for best actress, who plays a superb Marilyn, who captivates and makes us smile, but who nevertheless leaves intact the mystery of Norma Jeane Mortenson Bakerun.

Monica Straniero

MARILYN (My week with Marilyn)
A film by Simon Curtis
Lucky Red Distribution, 2011