Sir Laurence Olivier is making a movie in London. Young Colin Clark, an eager film student, wants to be involved and he navigates himself a job on the set. When movie star Marilyn Monroe arrives for the start of shooting, all of London is excited to see the blonde bombshell, while Olivier is struggling to meet her many demands and acting ineptness, and Colin is intrigued by her. Colin's intrigue is met when Marilyn invites him into her inner world where she struggles with her fame, her beauty, and her desire to be a great actress.Written by
On the label of one of the medicine bottles next to Marilyn's bed, the branded barbiturate Tuinal is misspelled as "Tunial". See more »
In 1956, at the height of her career, Marilyn Monroe went to England to make a film with Sir Laurence Olivier. While there she met a young man named Colin Clark, who wrote a diary about the making of the film. This is their true story.
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I was really looking forward to this double Oscar-nominated (Kenneth Branagh as Laurence Olivier and Michelle Williams as the titular Marilyn Monroe) movie to come up on Sky Movies premier.
Great expectations can hurt a film and I was underwhelmed by the overall softness and lightness of it all, undoubtedly making it more a film for the masses than getting to grips with its subject.
A re-watch shortly after allowed one to soak up the good points it does have - mainly the cast. Branagh is surprisingly effective as Olivier and actually looks somewhat like him, too. He also gets to carry the some of the smartest and funniest dialogue, as he knows he can get away with anything. He shares that mantle with Brit Toby Jones, here a typical Yank, full of every delightful stereotype that one might conjure of a well- fed, rude Hollywood producer finding England everything he ever dreaded.
Indeed, there's a plethora of British acting faces, plus a welcome role for ex Harry Potter star Emma Watson - good to see her on the path to adult roles and that transition from Potter, plus everyone's favourite Judi Dench.
What struck me initially was the meek blandness of the young man who befriends Marilyn and thus the narrator, of sorts - Colin Clark, played by Eddie Redmayne, but of course, this is all part of the story and no doubt exactly how he ever did find himself in the position he did. Monroe felt safe with him and in his company.
Michelle Williams, whilst ticking most of the boxes, failed to reach me however, which might have been improved had I seen the film at the cinema and I'm never left in any doubt that this is not Monroe, just someone doing quite well at playing her. I might have been asking too much, but this lack of intensity and connectivity helped lose a couple of points, for me.
There's lots of nostalgic peeks behind the shooting of the film that Marilyn has come over to make and star in, The Prince and the Showgirl at Pinewood studios, where this film was actually made, too! Plus, many sightseeing excursions around some of this country's finer big houses, including Windsor Castle.
So, it's a good film, well done and one that can be seen again, with enough familiar stars and locations to keep it fizzing away nicely. But, sadly, at least for me, no classic.
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