On a less surprising note, Michelle Williams has been nominated for Actress in a Leading Role for her part as Marilyn Monroe in My Week With Marilyn. This pleases me. The movie itself was …well, I want to call it “so-so” but that’s not fair on the grid of movies out there. It’s better than average, but it wasn’t great. There was lovely cinematography, costumes, the cast was out of this world good BUT the story itself was (to put it eloquently) BLAH.
It was off to a disadvantage from the start. It’s based off of some guy’s “memoir” so mediocre writing and seldom factual information is what the film makers had to work with from the beginning. There was so much wrong information wise with the story. The dialogue wasn’t strong. It’s such a shame. It could have been a fantastic movie given they were telling a story about a very interesting figure during a very interesting time for her. They should have not based the film off that book and done a better film. It’s that simple. But they didn’t and we got what we got. It’s absolutely worth a viewing and I’m quite certain I will end up owning it because I am a bit of a Marilyn buff and I’m a great fan of Williams. Which brings me to my main point: Michelle Williams is reason enough to watch this movie.
Though I think she could have been a little more subdued with her “Marilyn laying low and not being ‘on’” portrayal, that’s not to say she wasn’t brilliant. I appreciate greatly what a daunting undertaking it would be to portray one of the most famous people in the world. Marilyn was an icon, and many have played that breathy icon …but Williams played the human being. Given all the folklore (including the book the film was based on) and taking into account her mental health/drinking and drug abuse …nobody really knows who she was. Those closest to her with a large intellectual capacity (ie; Arthur Miller) couldn’t begin to understand her. Take all the issues she came with along with being astronomically famous …unless you’re Elvis or one of the remaining Beatles …we can’t begin to imagine what it felt like to be in that unique and invasive position.
With all of that said, I was left incredibly impressed with Williams’ portrayal. I didn’t feel like I was watching some cartoon of her, which is always how I’ve been left feeling in the past. Anyone can do a caricature. Williams fleshed her out as well as I think anyone could of such a well known, but not known woman. I would compare watching her to last year’s Natalie Portman in Black Swan. Do it for nothing but to see the lead performance. In this case, the supporting cast was up to snuff as well. Bonus.
I’ve always been a fan of Michelle Williams. I’ll say it, I watched Dawson’s Creek in high school (and into college…cough…) I watched the shit out of it. Alright, so her earlier work isn’t necessarily what to go off of. But I’ve always liked her and enjoyed her personal contribution to projects. Shutter Island. Blue Valentine. Need I say more? (We won’t mention Dick because we’ve already established the earlier years are take what you can get).
Hell, some people only know her as some tragic figure who was Heath Ledger‘s great love who was left to raise their baby after he died way before he should have. It’s nice to see that she is finally being recognized on her own accord and not “former fiance of …who’s also an actress, you might remember her from Dawson’s Creek.” I wouldn’t necessarily bank on a win since she took home the Golden Globe in the “comedy/musical” category. I thought that to be a very odd choice. It hardly resembled either. Now she’s getting thrown in the big kid pool of “acting!” against the seasoned likes of Meryl Streep and Glenn Close. I’m rooting for Michelle. Those other dames have had more than their share of award recognition. Regardless, I’m just glad this vehicle has given her the legs to do whatever she chooses. Opportunities ahoy!
Oh! And just a suggestion from a movie nerd: Michelle Williams was in a little known film called The Baxter (another great cast). I consider it a little gem. Some might not enjoy the comedic pacing of it, but you can’t please ‘em all. I think it’s a charming twist of a romantic comedy.