Thursday, January 19, 2012

Michelle & Marilyn


Have you seen My Week With Marilyn?  Whether or not you admire Ms. Monroe, one can't deny that Michelle Williams played a very stunning Marilyn all the way down to the flashy eyes, breathy voice, and body wiggle.  For this reason, I think you should see it.  She won the 2012 Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for her portrayal -- the same award that Marilyn Monroe won 52 years ago.

The movie is about Colin Clark, a 23-year-old who lands his first job on the production of The Prince and the Showgirl (1957) starring Sir Laurence Olivier and Ms. Monroe, as everyone refers to her.  In one week's time, he observes her, befriends her, naively falls for her, and has his heart broken.  She is attracted to his kindness and innocence, and clings to the possibility that someone loves her.  At this point in her life, she is 30 years old and in her third marriage (to playwright Arthur Miller).  As many past biographies recount, Marilyn was an insecure woman despite her international fame.

Initially, I thought:
  1. How did Michelle do that?
  2. The script wasn't great, but she was.
  3. They just had to give it a Hollywood ending, didn't they?
  4. Without any mention of her orphanhood, her behavior might be interpreted as high maintenance and selfish.

Now that I've had more time to think about the film, I think:
  1. In interviews and her Golden Globe acceptance speech, she says that she spent six months preparing and even read bedtime stories to her daughter in her Marilyn voice.
  2. Same opinion.
  3. It wouldn't be a Hollywood film otherwise, now would it?
  4. I've accepted that there her past was never highlighted, because I realized that this movie wasn't meant to be about her.  It's about Colin Clark.  However he viewed her and experienced her is the movie's truth, so I concede.  And in all honesty, she was high maintenance.  Her drug and alcohol abuse made her unreliable.  And addictions inevitably include selfishness.  I'm not sure why I was subconsciously trying to defend her earlier.

I watched Marilyn Monroe movies growing up, and a poster of her neighbored another of James Dean in my bedroom.  When I was 16, my parents got me a collection of her films.  Some Like It Hot and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes were my favorite.  They were two of my favorite rainy day movies.  And I may have watched them on repeat for a brief period of time.  I loved the era, costume design, and setting -- granted the sexism is to be expected.  I liked that she was considered sexy without being a skinny, aggressive man-eater.  She was too much of an unstable emotional wreck to idolize, but I was fascinated by her, and I watched closely.  Needless to say, her mannerisms, laugh, and sing-song tone are etched in my mind.  Michelle nailed all of them.  Michelle is Marilyn.

If you are considering this movie, go to the movie theater, hunker down with some popcorn, and watch it.  Also, if you're a Michelle fan, read her interview in the February 2012 GQ issue HERE.  It's so good and heart-wrenching.

Source: Just Jared

And lastly...

Confession: I was obsessed with the WB show "Dawson's Creek".  My favorite character was Pacey (Joshua Jackson... who is still hot and on the path to marry Diane Kruger *girl crush*), but I cried when Jen (Michelle) died in the series finale.

Oh, Dawson's Creek.  Such teen drama with an uncharacteristically stellar vocabulary.

1 comment:

Erin Mottet said...

How did Jen die on Dawson's? I don't even remember that. Oh, and add me to the new address list, obviously!