Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Week with Marilyn

It's Oscar season! So begins my five month journey into watching lots of artsy films and trying to predict who will win different film awards. I won (tied) AMC Theatre's Oscar Prediction Contest in 2011, so we're looking for a two-peat! And away we go...

I watched the first Oscar-y contender of the year, Midnight in Paris, earlier in the year, but I neglected to write a blog post on it. I guess I'll need to catch it again on DVD in order to properly summarize it for you, my seven loyal readers. Well technically, I guess I've seen two Oscar-y films so far. Bridesmaids is starting to get buzz for Melissa McCarthy as Best Supporting Actress and for Best Original Screenplay, two things that are completely shocking to me. I would love it if Melissa McCarthy got a Best Supporting Actress nomination, but no way was I going to stick my head out and predict that before she started having the best year of her life, career wise.

On to the task at hand - My Week with Marilyn. I received free passes for this film, so I decided to check it out. It's getting Oscar buzz for Michelle Williams as Best Actress and Kenneth Branagh as Best Supporting Actor. The story revolves around a young man getting a job with Laurence Olivier's film studio, meeting Marilyn on set, and developing a kinship with her during the filming of The Prince and the Showgirl.

I was entertained throughout the film. It was a story that kept me interested and intrigued. However, it didn't leave me passionate about either Michelle Williams or Kenneth Branagh and their chances for Oscars. I never got past the fact that it was Michelle Williams playing Marilyn Monroe. I was never absorbed enough to forget that it was Michelle Williams I was watching. Michelle had Marilyn's mannerisms down, and had more than a passing resemblance, but I never got sucked in. Kenneth Branagh's portrayal of Laurence Olivier did nothing for me, really. Honestly, my two favorite parts of the film were Judi Dench in her miniscule role as Dame Sybil Thorndike, a senior actress who ends up supporting Marilyn when the rest of the film crew dismisses her talents and her antics, and Eddie Redmayne, who played the eager third assistant director who got to spend the titular "week with Marilyn." Both Dench and Redmayne provided humor to the film, and provided great support to Michelle Williams in critical scenes.

Most Oscarologists won't share my opinion of Michelle Williams's portrayal, and she'll coast to a nomination. Kenneth Branagh will likely receive one as well. But don't expect either to win. But even with these minor criticisms, this still is a very good film.

I'm seeing The Descendants tonight, again thanks to a free screening of the film before it hits theaters. For now, let me begin my yearly ranking of Oscar-y films:

1. Midnight in Paris
2. My Week with Marilyn
3. Bridesmaids
4. Super 8

5. The Hangover 2

And the blog is being funky, so if you want to see older blog posts, please click "Older Posts."

Image courtesy of The Weinstein Company, 2011. All rights reserved.

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