MY WEEK WITH MARILYN
hopscotchee: dame judi dench score: 47.5 rating: PG-13 time: 98 minutes
what's not enticing about a movie that takes you behind the curtains into what it was like for the hollywood idol, marilyn monroe, herself, those around her, and the same, ol', slimy industry at the time, all during the production of one of marilyn's classic films, the prince and the showgirl. right? right?? well, regrettably, although this film had great potential for an intense and emotional impact into the insight of the life of a hollywood star, my week with marilyn, lacked the glamour that she deserved. maybe we were just expecting a bit more stylization or sparkle, but for the hype that this movie brings, the lack of razzle dazzle on the technical side left this movie feeling, overall, a bit dull.
before we begin, let's just talk about the title. what's with the facebook-lookin' 'my week with'? this is obviously, obviously not a huge deal in the big scheme of things, however, we take title-designs very seriously. a title should fit appropriately with the movie, and its fonts should be chosen accordingly. marilyn monroe is a hollywood icon and deserves an extravagant and classy title, like how they wrote her name, not the blue, common, could-find-it-on-word-could-find-it-on-google title above it. although, they did match it with the blue in her eyes on the poster, and that is aesthetically pleasing. but, before you think we are complete snobs, we do think the title is highly important, because it introduces the audience to your story, and even the one in the beginning credits of this movie wasn't very fitting, however we don't take off points for it.
moving to the actual review of the film, the first thing that was evident about this movie was it falling prey to the aloha-effect. just like the previous hopscotched motion picture, in spite of this film having a wonderful, wonderful cast, this was not the top-est notch in all of their filmography. now, this isn't a cheaper-by-the-dozen-diss on the actors and actresses - we, personally, love michelle williams. (hashtag-serious-queen-power) she is truly an amazing and beautiful person, not to mention a flawless actress, who delivers 100% excellence in all her roles. and to have her alongside eddie redmayne was one of the better things about the movie, because the two heartily played on to each other's performance, adding to the overall uncomfortableness of two people who try to balance between being work-colleagues and affectionate and protective friends. however, this does reflect promptly on the script. flat diao (dialogue) stays flat, no matter the talent, and no matter how the actors and actress read it. and it can kill a movie just a slashery as watching your favorite childhood movie ten years later and realizing how fake the graphics look. and in some cases more so. (especially if this hypothetical childhood movie has both flat diao and bad graphics). unfortunately, a majority of the diao in this movie didn't land right, even in the actors and actresses attempt to save it, leaving awkward tension in the room for the viewer, resulting in an, all-round, awkward watch. and like we said in the aloha movie review, even though this movie had some true shine-bright-like-a-diamond-rhianna stars in it, that didn't make up for the short-sidedness in the script.
additionally, another aspect in a story that's critical to its success is the pacing. knowing where and when plots should come in, fade out, and conclude, as well as, speed up and slow down is super, super (hashtag good / hashtag bradely cooper / hashtag aloha) crucial. my week with marilyn's plot, although based on true events, felt long and dragged out without any spice in the broth for the audience in return. on the other hand, one could say the (spoiler) was-marilyn-pregant-was-she-not-scandal definitely caught viewers off guard, this plot line was just abruptly dropped in and then disregarded. another scene that this happened in was (spoiler) in the skinny dipping scene - ehh!! we're not movie-prudes, but that was kinda awk-weird. it was just a day trip - a fun outing - and then, of course, things had to escalate. and because this movie, from the start, isn't a romance flick, and you know that they aren't going to end up together, it's like, can they be friend's after that?? where does this go?? so, by not connecting or weaving the importance of scenes throughout the movie, ultimately, leaves the audience confused, wondering what was the scene's purpose.
however, the greatest offense toward this movie, that was evident from the beginning, was the shot comp.. largely, made up of humdrum sequences, with little speciality or variety, and some bits that felt a little ken's-burn-zy (specifically seen, for some reason, in scenes with kenneth branagh, like, were they trying to be punny?). it felt overwhelmingly basic, and didn't give much reason to spark the audience's attention. this was the biggest misfortune in the movie, as it increases the tendency for the audience to feel bored or less engaged during the plot.
all in all, as this movie shows, for as much as hollywood celebrates mrs. monroe, my week with marilyn, should have given her a bigger spotlight. though, if you are one that doesn't get too caught up in the technicalities, and are a michelle williams and/or eddie redmayne fan like us, give it watch and tell us what you think.
-- thanks, judi xo