Published on CBC National Radio:
“My Week with Marilyn,” directed by Simon Curtis, opens with a single spotlight on Marilyn Monroe, played by Michelle Williams, in a long, sheer, shimmering gold dress. She is onstage singing ‘I wanna be loved by you”,
Williams’ portrayal of one of Hollywood’s most sought after and iconic figures was flawless. My Week with Marilyn gave viewers an intimate and authentic snapshot of Marilyn Monroe’s professional and personal life. In a press conference, Williams said portraying Monroe could have easily been overdone or been unrealistic. To prepare, Williams researched Monroe by watching her movies, interviews and performances. The movie balanced Monroe’s constant need for gratification, approval and love seamlessly with her fragility, innocence and unpredictable personality. Williams’ ability to balance the wide spectrum of Monroe’s emotions is astonishing and is bound to produce an Oscar nomination.
Monroe was a world renounced sex symbol and legend in the film and modeling industries, whose life was known around the globe. Unfortunately, the film took a familiar angle on Monroe’s character and personality. Although Williams did an outstanding job playing the role, the audience was given no new information on Monroe’s character, career, or life in general. It was somewhat predictable and at times the film dragged on. Many of the scenes and themes were repetitive. Clark loves Monroe, but Monroe is a star who loves attention. Then, the two disobey orders and sneak off together followed by insignificant repercussions.
The movie had a star-studded cast, from Emma Watson to Judi Dench to Philip Jackson, but many of the secondary characters were underused. Both Watson and Dench had small parts that seemed to be included simply to add a famous Hollywood name to the cast. Yes, their roles were required to keep the movie in synchrony with the novel it was based on, but the use of famous actors for these roles was unnecessary.
My Week with Marilyn is based on Colin Clark’s novel “The Prince and the Showgirl”, an account of his time on the set of Monroe film “The Prince, The Showgirl and Me.” Colin Clark, played by Eddie Redmayne, was the third assistant to the Director, Sir Laurence Olivier, played by Kenneth Branagh. Clark’s subsequent book, which details his intimate relationship with Monroe during the one-week period her husband, Arthur Miller, returned home to Paris, forms the movie’s central plot.
The movie begins at Colin Clark’s childhood home in rural England. He is a young 23 year old desperate to enter the film industry and more importantly, the character through which the audience learns about Monroe. Without the approval of his parents, Clark sits at Sir Laurence Olivier’s prominent London production company until a position in the film industry becomes available.
Clark eventually gets a job as the third assistant to the director and lead, Olivier, on a film entitled “The Prince, The Showgirl and Me,” staring Monroe. Clark becomes Monroe’s confidante and lover when her husband, playwright Arthur Miller returns home to Paris. Meanwhile, Monroe’s agent, Milton Green, played by Dominic Cooper and her acting coach, Vivien Leigh, portrayed by Julia Ormond, oversee her every move. Together, they dictate not only Monroe’s schedule, but also her life.
As Monroe and Clark’s relationship grows, Monroe’s façade breaks down. In contrast to her Hollywood persona, Miller’s adoration allows her to relax and become more carefree. They take unwarranted days off from the set to for long walks in the forest and skinny-dipping in a pond. Monroe, for the first time, is playful and childlike. Williams, in a press conference described Monroe Hollywood persona saying she learned how to play Monroe after this discovery.
“It was carefully honed, but it was artifice, but it was honed so you couldn’t tell it was artifice. It felt so real. It was something that she’d studied and perfected and crafted.”
Although it will not officially be released until November 4th, My Week with Marilyn premiered on October 9th at Alice Tully Theatre during the 2011 New York Film Festival.
Photo credit of: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1655420/
It’s 10:00 pm and Occupy Wall Street’s iconic 99% percent chant echoes through the cobblestone streets of Soho. Almost 800 protestors left Zuccotti Park angered over the police brutality in California at Tuesday night’s Occupy Oakland . And close behind, were more than a dozen armed New York Police Department officers.
Danny Shaw, a professor of race and ethnicity at City University of New York, has been involved with Occupy Wall Street since the beginning. He’s marching for his son, who he says learned too young what budget cuts can do. “I’m protesting there is no money for after school programs for my 9 year old and they removed my health insurance.”
Shaw says the NYPD doesn’t understand the motivation behind the most recent protest. “Oakland is New York and New York is Oakland,” he says. His attendance had nothing to do with the police, but to support his fellow protestors in Oakland. Roughly 100 protestors were arrested Tuesday night in Oakland, California.
Christopher Tucker, a local resident, was out for dinner when the mob ran through the streets. He is against the Occupy Wall Street Protests and the Soho march. “ When things get tough, that’s when you are tested,” he says. He believes in the act of protesting, but he “wishes they would articulate their platform and message better. ” He adds that supporters are merely “rebel rousing.”
The streets of Soho were occupied for a short time, but protestors seen no end in sight.
Only hours ago the streets of the Upper West Side were desolate.No cars, taxis or people. Since Hurricane Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm, the situation and atmosphere on the UWS have taken a 180. Annie Claire Bergeron-Oliver reports from Broadway Avenue in New York City.
While sitting in my apartment on the UWS, listening to the wailing winds, I decided to create a radio piece on Hurricane Irene. The storm is suppose to hit NYC later tonight. I am really enjoying radio and want all the practice I can get. Enjoy!
Many residents in the Tri-State area are in disbelief this evening as President Obama announced a state of emergency for New York. Annie Claire Bergeron-Oliver reports from local supermarkets on the Upper West Side.