Posted on Wednesday, October 5th, 2011 by Russ Fischer
One of the great pleasures of cinema is watching people live out the lives of others, and therefore the biopic thrives. It isn’t enough that movies have enshrined many personalities in perpetuity; we still love seeing their lives lived again, through others.
And so we have My Week With Marilyn, a film in which Michelle Williams has the unenviable task of conjuring the presence of one of cinema’s most famous icons. She plays Marilyn in a film based on a true story about the experience one young man (played by Eddie Redmayne) had with the star. See the just-released trailer below, and you’ll begin to get a sense of whether Williams’ version of Marilyn can be reconciled with the real thing.
Michelle Williams is a great actress, but almost too disctinctive in features to truly become an iconic character such as Marilyn. But she may have an advantage: almost 50 years after Marilyn’s death, I think a great many people have a conception of Monroe rather than a great familiarity with her. Almost any adult would be able to identify Marilyn Monroe’s image, but play a clip of her speaking — even with her breathy delivery — and I think far fewer would make the correct call. See what you think:
There’s the other defense, too: that ‘Marilyn Monroe’ was a character played by Norma Jean, as that “should I be her?” line makes explicit. So can Michelle Williams play both Norma Jean and Marilyn?
I’m also curious to see how the tone really plays. Framing this as a sort of romance thriller (“she’ll break yours!”) rather than a tale of the moment when one young man learned the true intersection of reality and fantasy seems like it might be a conceit of the trailer rather than the film.
Finally, look for Harry Potter‘s Emma Watson, who appears for a brief moment in the middle of the trailer before being given her own credit card in the roundup at the end.
Yahoo has the trailer in HD.
Colin Clark met Marilyn Monroe while working as a young assistant on Laurence Olivier’s “The Prince and the Showgirl.” When Marilyn experienced emotional difficulties during shooting, the 23-year-old third assistant director came to her aid and romance developed. But one week of honesty and fun was not enough to save the doomed star from self-destruction.