During the Troubled Production
of Marilyn Monroe
and Laurence Olivier
's The Prince And The Showgirl
, assistant director Colin Clark became sort-of involved with Miss Monroe and wrote some memoirs about it years later. They are the basis for the 2011 film My Week With Marilyn
, starring Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe, Kenneth Branagh
as Laurence Olivier, and Eddie Redmayne as Colin Clark. Much of the attention the film has gotten from the media comes from the presence of Harry Potter
's Emma Watson
in a minor role.
This film provides examples of:
- Ability Over Appearance: Presumably what they were going for in casting Michelle Williams, who doesn't look all that much like Marilyn.
- Adorkable: Colin Clark is this at times.
- All-Star Cast: A cornucopia of stars playing the stars of yesteryear. We have Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe, Kenneth Branagh as Laurence Olivier, Julia Ormond as Vivien Leigh, and Dame Judi Dench as Dame Sybil Thorndike.
- Based on a Great Big Lie: Majority opinion holds that Clark made up the story of his quasi-affair with Monroe. Most tellingly, Clark made no mention of it in a 1995 book about the filming of The Prince and the Showgirl, not telling the story until he wrote another book five years later.
- Beneath the Mask: Marilyn, "most people want Marilyn Monroe and when they see I'm not her they go away".
- Betty and Veronica: Lucy is the Betty and Marilyn herself is the Veronica.
- Brutal Honesty: "[Your heart] needed to be broken."
- Casting Gag: Kenneth Branagh, hailed in his youth as a latter-day Laurence Olivier (mainly for directing and starring in his own Shakespeare epics as Olivier did), is cast as Laurence Olivier in this film.
- Comforting Comforter: Colin does this for Marilyn.
- Cool Old Lady: Dame Sybil is generous and kind to everyone, and even manages to help Marilyn under the guise of asking Marilyn to help her. It helps that she's played by Judi Dench, of course.
- Fake American: Scottish Dougray Scott as Arthur Miller and Dominic Cooper as Lee.
- The Fifties
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Marilyn of course. Colin is a bit of a male example as well.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Inverted. Colin tries to "save" Marilyn from her crazy Hollywood life but she admits that she likes it, even though it drives her crazy.
- Maybe Ever After: Colin and Lucy.
- Oscar Bait
- Poke the Poodle: Lucy's last words to Colin as Marilyn's final day on the set ends:
: Did she
break your heart? Colin
: A little. Lucy
to be broken.
- Precision F-Strike: There's six F-bombs scattered throughout, mainly spoken by Laurence Olivier.
- Shout-Out to Shakespeare: Olivier, an old Shakespeare vet, has a habit of quoting The Tempest and other Shakespeare plays.
- Sidelong Glance Biopic: Let's face it... nobody went to see this movie to learn about Colin Clark.
- Stepford Smiler: Subverted with Marilyn. While she is messed up inside, when she smiles she's genuinely happy.
- What Might Have Been: Ralph Fiennes was originally approached to play Olivier, but turned the part down so he could work on his directoral debut Coriolanus (ironically, one of Olivier's own signature stage roles).
- Woman Scorned: A very mild example in Lucy, who considers Colin's date with Marilyn as jilting her, never mind that Colin believed it accidental. What's the worst thing she does to him? Tell him flat out that his heart needed to be broken after learning that Marilyn did break his heart "a little".