My Week with Marilyn

Friday, October 14, 2011
By Julie Wiegan
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In the early summer of 1956, 23 year-old Colin Clark, who is determined to make his way in the film business, worked as a lowly assistant on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl. This film starred Sir Laurence Olivier with Marilyn Monroe, who was also on her honeymoon with her new husband, playwright Arthur Miller.

Nearly 40 years on, Clark’s diary account “The Prince, The Showgirl and Me” was published, but one week was missing, and this is the story of that week– an idyll in which he escorted Monroe, who is desperate to get away from her retinue of Hollywood hangers-on and the pressures of working. When Arthur Miller takes a brief trip to Paris, the coast is clear for Clark to introduce her to some of the pleasures of British life.

The collision of the two worlds – old England and new Hollywood – is as incongruous as it is delightful. Slowly Monroe begins to shake off the dark fog of insecurity and fear that always hovered over her. She reacts with lovely naturalness to this alien world and as she relaxes, she offers Clark fleeting insights into her own background – one of family madness, single-minded ambition and uninhibited sexuality. Simply and without self-pity, she relates the tale of her rise to the top in Hollywood; a story involving abuse of one form or another at the hands of almost every man she has ever known, abuse that has left her with only the thinnest of protective layers.

She is not without her contradictions – everyone wants something from her, but she too is fixated on the life she has chosen and is quite unable to leave it, even though the pressure is crushing her… and yet, for a moment, lost in the English countryside, it seems she might finally escape.

My Week with Marilyn stars Michelle Williams, Kenneth Brannagh, Eddie Redmayne, Dominic Cooper, and Judi Dench and will be out in theaters on November 23, 2011.


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