Dumb blonde plays it smart

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Movies - LEIGH PAATSCH

ALL that mat­ters about this light­weight look at a thin sliver of the life of Marilyn Mon­roe is Michelle Wil­liams’ per­for­mance as the late, great screen siren.

Does she cut it as one of the most fa­mous fe­male fig­ures in mod­ern his­tory? Yes, she does.

Wil­liams’ work here is a skil­fully se­lected col­lec­tion of con­tra­dic­tions. Her act­ing is com­pact, yet dense. Her con­nec­tion to the char­ac­ter of Mon­roe is em­phatic, yet ques­tion­ing. And ev­ery lit­tle thing she does on- screen is easy to watch, yet hard to for­get.

Mon­roe’s bear­ing of her beauty ( and bar­ing of her body) left lit­tle to the imag­i­na­tion. But there was more to the woman than curves, swerves and pouts.

So it is with great imag­i­na­tion that Wil­liams ( pic­tured) re­veals the rest of what Mon­roe was re­ally all about.

Imag­i­na­tion, it must be said, is not the strong suit of My Week with Marilyn. It’s a fan­ci­ful ball of fluff about a fleet­ing friend­ship ( and maybe more) that Mon­roe shared with a lowly, young crew mem­ber ( Eddie Red­mayne) on the Bri­tish set of her 1957 dud The Prince and the Show­girl.

Mon­roe had been hauled across the At­lantic by the fa­mous ac­tor Lau­rence Olivier ( played to preen­ing per­fec­tion by Ken­neth Branagh) to lend the drab pro­duc­tion a lit­tle Hol­ly­wood raz­zle- daz­zle.

In­stead, Mon­roe brought along her rinky­dink en­tourage of act­ing coaches, agents and as­sorted hang­ers- on, and was soon putting the en­tire shoot in jeop­ardy.

Sim­ply by be­ing her­self: a blaz­ing star with too much self- aware­ness, and too lit­tle self- con­fi­dence.

Not a lot here we didn’t al­ready know but, thanks to Michelle Wil­liams, a lot to like.

Now show­ing Vil­lage and State Cine­mas

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