My 99 minutes with Marilyn*

30 Jan

Avidly eating popcorn, I was ready to hear the story of one of the many over-mediatized and over-hyped Hollywood stars:

Marilyn Monroe (in a breathy voice).

The story recaps the shooting of “The Prince and the Showgirl” and the romance with a young crew member (Colin Clark) it enticed. The film shows a 30 year Monroe plagued with insecurities about her looks and age, a need to be loved, and the fatigue of “playing” herself all the time.

There’s quite a difference between the sad, depressed, codependent Marilyn and the sexy pinup fantasy:  Michelle Williams captures that and masters the on and off button, suddenly lighting up or turning off her characters’ persona. Probably Williams’ best role to date; she managed to express the vulnerability of a fragile Norma Jean in an incredible performance for an otherwise bland movie.Monroe could easily have been perceived as a vapid, frustrating pill-popping blonde bombshell, if it weren’t for Williams’ subtle distinctions of Monroe’s mood swings and capricious behavior.

Based on the memoirs, the film retraces the facts quite accurately, catching the highlights of the story which glamorizes Monroe even in her lowest moments but doesn’t reveal anything we didn’t know. It all comes out as thin on content but high on charm, entertaining and rather enjoyable, albeit a bit depressing – to me personally.

Did you notice that Emma Watson’s scenes could have been taken from any Harry Potter movie? Her role couldn’t be more bland; She’s put on hold during most of the film, and her deceptive fling with Clark is drowned in the main plot without any serious consideration. Here’s to Hermione Granger being her one and only role

It’s worth mentioning that Williams won a Golden Globe for playing the part. Adorable acceptance speech.

*Based on guest blogger Lil’ Kim’s text.


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