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.
- Bad Bad Acting: Monroe's performance is off in numerous occasions.
- 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.
- Brick Joke: Early on, the innkeeper of Dog & Duck pokes fun at Colin: "And, uh, hope you don't mind, you'll be sharing with Grace Kelly." In the end, he is flabbergasted when Marylin Monroe comes to visit Colin at his place.
- 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.
- The Fifties
- Film Within A Film: The movie depicts the making of The Prince and the Showgirl (1957).
- Gilligan Cut: Laurence Olivier suggests to keep the arrival of Marilyn low profile. Cut to the mayhem at the airport.
- 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.
- Method Acting: In-universe example with Marylin, who engages a mentor to bring out her method acting abilities.
- Obsessive Compulsive Barkeeping: In both his scenes, the barkeeper of the Dog & Duck's is fiddling around with a rag and glasses.
- 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.
- Scenery Porn: Colin and Marylins's visit to Windsor Castle and other sights are lavishly photographed.
- 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.
- Technician Versus Performer: Sir Laurence and Marilyn.
- Wag the Director: In-Universe. Marylin and her 'method acting' mentor cause a lot of tension with the director on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl.
- 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).
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The movie ends with Marylin singing a song while text overlay tells us what happened to her, Colin and Laurence after the film.
- 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".