The camera loves Michelle Williams, in My Week with Marilyn (2011), and the film loves Marilyn Monroe.

Miss Williams enacts Monroe in all her fragility and irresponsibility.  At first I thought she lacked vocal appeal, but as the film went on, she improved in that area and provided authenticity and sophistication to boot.

Simon Curtis’s movie is a gentle humanistic piece (with humor) about Monroe’s acting stint for Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh) in England in the mid-1950s.  MM turns adulterous (as she did with Yves Montand) by starting a brief kissing affair with Olivier’s assistant, Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne), who has stars in his eyes.  A true story, this.  Like Billy Wilder, et al., Olivier discovers it’s Time To Endure The Goddess as he proceeds to make his picture, for Monroe is pronouncedly unreliable.  And of course she is a damaged goddess.

The film runs out of steam in its last few moments, but not so much that I began to dislike it.  Adrian Hodges’s script is quite intelligent.  There is a well-known cast, though not everyone in it shines.  The best performances come not only from Williams but also from Judi Dench, Michael Kitchen and Derek Jacobi.

My Week With Marilyn

My Week With Marilyn (Image via