Marilyn Monroe. My obsession with 1950s cinema means that her face is everywhere that I look, I have two framed pictures of her (another one is in need of reframing, due to my tendency of standing on pictures and breaking glass, and yet another one is housed in a separate room in our house due to wall space in my room being limited), I have MM mug, a cosmetic bag, a pocket mirror etc.
Although I have to confess that Monroe annoys me a bit, the dumb blonde act has become rather stale and her voice that sounds like a five-year-old on helium doesn’t make her more enduring. I do admit that she’s beautiful and talented, the camera sure loved her and photography that feature her are instantly glamorous. I was very excited to see My Week With Marilyn, any film about what’s really going on behind-the-scenes is a Caryn-pleaser, and the fact that it’s set in the 1950s and stars Kenneth Branagh, Michelle Williams, Emma Watson and Dominic Cooper meant that I was super excited when I got an invite from Ster Kinekor to go to the preview.
Michelle Williams encapsulated every characteristic of Marilyn Monroe which I listed above, she was annoying yet painfully beautiful and talented. I could see why she was the biggest movie star of her generation. But her neediness and insecurity was nauseating! There is a scene where Laurence Olivier is conversing with her then-husband, the playwright Arthur Miller and Miller says that Marilyn is sucking every bit of creativity out of him, she expects him to constantly be there for her, to reassure her, to make her feel good about herself. At that moment I sympathized with Miller, he was always portrayed as this serious intellectual type that made Marilyn constantly feel like she wasn’t good enough, and was jealous of her fame but I could only imagine how he must have felt as she demanded so much from him. I must also admit that I am a smidge bias because I love Arthur Miller’s writing (The Crucible and Death of a Salesman anyone?), I also think Dougray Scott, the actor that played Miller is really hot. Insecurity is a terrible thing, it eats at you until you become totally co-dependent on others to make you feel worthwhile which probably contributed significantly to Marilyn Monroe’s demise. Kenneth Branagh was sensational as Lawrence Olivier, he totally pulled off the egotistical, deeply professional yet jealous star that Olivier was said to be, as I watched Branagh screaming on the screen I was just thinking this guy would totally put nugget on his face and act as Othello, something I thought extremely strange when I first saw Olivier’s Othello (why did he have to play the title character, why couldn’t he play Iago like Branagh did?). The rest of actors (Judi Dench, Emma Watson etc.) played their parts excellently and the film was good, just paled in comparison to Williams and Branagh’s brilliant acting, and the hotness that is Dominic Cooper, totally worth your money just to see this man in a suit and sunglasses.