What movie was that...?

21 November 2011

My Week with Marilyn

directed by Simon Curtis

The name Simon Curtis may not ring any bells on this side of the Atlantic, and I’m guessing that his most recent feature won’t do much to change that fact with folks under the age of 70. Curtis comes from television, and it shows. I don’t mean that in any derogatory way, for television can be much more tremendous than many films out there (see Breaking Bad for a current example. That show rocks!), but My Week with Marilyn brims with lovely yet very traditional flair throughout when it should have been trying to give us all the razzle dazzle. At least The King’s Speech (last year’s most elderly beloved film) attempted to be visually interesting. I feel as if I am slamming My Week with Marilyn, which is not the case, for Michelle Williams (as much as I couldn’t picture her as THE Marilyn, though she has delivered two of the finest performances of the year in Blue Valentine and Meek's Cutoff) was wonderful, as was Kenneth Branagh as the late Sir Laurence Olivier and Judi Dench as Dame Sybil Thorndike. But, for me, the film lacked anything inspired, the spark that keeps my eyes on the screen. Everything about the film was very “nice”, a reliable amount of cottony zingers batted betwixt thespians committing to roles more out of principle than genuine conviction, well crafted recreations of cinema’s glory of yore, and all this is well and good, but where’s the fire, the intensity, the raw appeal of Marilyn Monroe that has captivated nearly every film lover alive, to this day? I am fine with safe filmmaking, but don’t expect me gush over a reasonable meal when what I really craved was a feast. 

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