At the Q&A following the press screening of My Week with Marilyn, director Simon Curtis said he fell in love with the two Colin Clark memoirs the script is based on because of the insights they provided into Marilyn Monroe. A funny thing must have happened on the way to Film Forum though. Either those insights just didn’t make it into the screenplay or else Curtis knows a lot less about Hollywood’s Lady of Perpetual Sorrow than I had thought was possible for any reasonably well-educated citizen of the developed world.
Michelle Williams’s Marilyn is a thinking, feeling human being, but My Week with Marilyn’s script is so banal (“I’m not a goddess. I just want to be loved like a regular girl,” the poor girl has to say) that she relies almost entirely on body language and facial expressions to convey Monroe’s essence. Viewed from a distance or with dark glasses on, she looks remarkable like her, especially when she recreates the funny little dance Monroe’s character performs to amuse herself when she’s left alone for a bit in The Prince and the Showgirl, the god-awful romantic comedy Monroe was filming under the direction of her co-star, Laurence Olivier (brayed by Kenneth Branagh), during the week of the movie’s title.