Last week we saw Harry Potter all grown up as Daniel Radcliffe played the part of the grieving haunted widower in The Woman in Black. Now it is Hermione's turn as Emma Watson plays Lucy, a wardrobe assistant on the fraught sets of “The Prince and the Showgirl” in My Week with Marilyn.
The film based on Colin Clark's two books, “The Prince, The Showgirl and Me” and “My Week with Marilyn,” tells the story of the making of the movie through the naïve and love-struck eyes of Clark, who was third AD on the film.
My Week With Marilyn offers no new insights into the character of Marilyn Monroe and is a rather insubstantial behind-the-scenes reading of movie making in the 1950s. What salvages this film is the high calibre of acting headlined by Michelle Williams as Monroe. She has nailed the part, bringing alive Monroe's innocent sexiness, the luminescent superstardom as well as the insecurities and the heart-breaking vulnerability.
Kenneth Branagh is equally good as Sir Laurence Olivier, while Judi Dench is regal as Dame Sybil Thorndike. Eddie Redmayne is passable as Colin Clarke, while Dominic Cooper (who was so hot as Uday in The Devil's Double) plays Milton H. Greene, Monroe's agent and photographer. Julia Ormond is quite a pale shadow of Vivien Leigh. Philip Jackson, who we know as Inspector Japp in “Agatha Christie's Poirot,” continues to be in the security business as Roger Smith, Monroe's bodyguard.
The look and feel of the Fifties has been lovingly recreated and like Dame Sybil tells Colin “First love is such sweet despair,” the film works spectacularly well as a nostalgia piece for a time of song and silences in which you could hear your heart break and tears fall.
My Week with Marilyn
Director: Simon Curtis
Cast: Michelle Williams, Kenneth Branagh, Eddie Redmayne, Emma Watson, Judi Dench
Storyline: A third AD discovers love and loss during the shooting of Prince and the Showgirl
Bottomline: Michelle Williams shines in this sweet and insubstantial coming-of-age story