San Francisco Bay Area fans of the most famous blonde — and possibly actor? — of all time we’re given a real treat last night when Simon Curtis’ My Week With Marilyn played the Sequoia in Mill Valley. It was the only second screening of the film that, by the director’s account, just finished post-production a matter of weeks ago.
Michelle Williams stars in the coveted role of a lifetime. At the talkback, Curtis referred to the performance as “her Hamlet.”
It’s mesmerizing, deep. There is nary a happy birthday Mr. President to be heard.
Those expecting a lot of superficial cliched images of Marilyn Monroe might be surprised by this decidedly non-biopic; instead, it’s a revealing look at a slice of her life. Colin Clark, who worked as a third assistant director (“go-fer”) for a production company run by Sir Laurence Olivier (“Larry”) in the 50s, kept a journal of his brief encounter with the American superstar while she was in England for the tumultous filming of The Prince and the Showgirl.
And why the public’s enduring fascination?
“She’s a once-in-a-lifetime movie star,” director Simon Curtis tells Loni before the screening. “Above all, she was a sensational beauty.”
The film marks Curtis’ move to the big screen. His long, storied record with BBC television most certainly helped him draw some heavyweight talent which, in addition to Williams, includes Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, Julia Ormond and Dougray Scott.
We’ll have the full review of the film shortly — it seems Loni Stark is too busy seeking affection, affirmation to find a moment to commit to the task at hand. Hmmm…
If you missed the premiere, you have one more chance come Friday. My advice: arrive early. It was packed to the rafters at the Sequoia, and with the buzz over Michelle Williams’ performance building, it’s likely to draw crowds. Marilyn, it seems, still has us right where she wants us.