by J.R. Jones
Adapted from a memoir by Colin Clark, this British feature recounts his brief friendship with Marilyn Monroe in 1957, when he was a lowly assistant for Laurence Olivier's production company and she was causing her usual diva problems on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl. There's nothing here about Monroe that we haven't been told a thousand times already: she was sexy, she was troubled; she was warm, she was selfish; she took pills, she lit up the screen. Michelle Williams shoulders the daunting task of portraying the movie legend, and though she requires a body double with the appropriate curves, she gives a persuasive and nicely vulnerable performance. British TV veteran Simon Curtis directed; with Eddie Redmayne, Emma Watson, Judi Dench, Kenneth Branagh (as Olivier), and Julia Ormond (as Vivien Leigh).
My Week With Marilyn screens tonight at 7 PM at River East 21, 322 E. Illinois, as the "Festival Centerpiece" program of the Chicago International Film Festival, with Curtis and screenwriter Adrian Hodges scheduled to attend. The screening is sold out, but rush tickets may be available in the theater lobby before showtime. For more information call 312-332-3456 or see chicagofilmfestival.com. A trailer follows the jump.