Thursday, May 9, 2013

My Week with Marilyn - 2011

Rachael - 5/9/13

With movies like War Horse, The Descendants, and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy rounding out the extensive list of nominees for best picture in the 84th Academy Awards, I’m surprised My Week with Marilyn did not make the list. Michelle Williams did rightfully win the Golden Globe for best actress and probably would have won the Oscar if not for Meryl Streep being her competition.

The success of this movie, as Marilyn Monroe’s actual movies did, hinged simply on Marilyn’s existence. There was no real storyline, there was no plot. You’re watching purely to be enraptured by Williams, who nails Monroe so perfectly you forget they’re not one in the same. Because of that, it’s hard to treat this as a movie review and not a character analysis on Marilyn. I’m not even going to try to fight it.

There were so many reasons to hate Marilyn. She was always late, rubbing it in everyone’s face she was worthy of them waiting on her. She was an attention whore, always pulling some stunt to get everyone to come running to fawn on her. She was fake: she developed a character to get attention and then forgot how to turn it off. She was not a good actress. She was a constant insecurity that needed to be told 100x a day how wonderful she was in all the ways. She was abused and abandoned as a child, leaving her with severe abandonment issues as an adult. She fell in love with men constantly purely because they were there, giving her attention. She constantly played dumb. She was addicted to pills and alcohol. She was an actual whore, sleeping with the President for God’s sake, and used miscarriages and abortions as a form of birth control. She used people to make her feel better and then moved on like they never existed. The world revolved around her and she blatantly abused it.

And yet beyond all that she had this ability, not lost in this movie, to make you want to give her attention. To make you want to play along in her act. To make you want to be used by her. Anything to just be in her presence. She had a way about her I don’t think will ever be duplicated by another celebrity. Without it I imagine she’d be the Lindsay Lohan of her time. Her assets were magnetic and her flaws only amplified that magnetism. At the end of the movie, you don’t care that there wasn’t much to it, you just don’t want Marilyn to leave you either. You begin to think a plot would have been a distraction from your time with Marilyn.

That being said, with more substance this movie would have been a 3, on par with a movie like The King’s Speech. But because it hinges on the ploy that is Monroe’s charm, as-is it’s a strong 2.

Rating - 2


Geoff said...

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