~M.M. vs. Y.A.
MARILYN MONROE vs. YOUNG ADULT
YOUNG ADULT WINS !!
but only – by a single strand of bleached blonde hair.
the determining straw: which is the best movie as a whole – both female leads: MICHELLE WILLIAMS and CHARLIZE THERON – are the stuff of stars.
‘MY WEEK WITH MARILYN’ – DIRECTED BY SIMON CURTIS and STARRING MICHELLE WILLIAMS
‘YOUNG ADULT’ – DIRECTED BY JASON REITMAN and STARRING CHARLIZE THERON
REVIEWED BY NANCY SMITH. FRIDAY, JAN 13, 2012
Don’t get me wrong, a lot of my movie pals thought MICHELLE WILLIAMS didn’t rise to the part. I beg to differ, I don’t agree with that at all . . . I thought she, Michelle was raw magic, pure incandescent and absolute Marilyn – in all her shatteringly brilliant facets. c-h-a-r-i-s-m-a.
looking back I was thinking, maybe I feel so in love – because I saw ‘MY WEEK WITH MARILYN’ at the new NITEHAWK CINEMA in Williamsburg, after a typical Brooklyn weekend brunch, that is: whatever – and a couple or . . 4 Bloody Mary’s !! more importantly we got there early and NITEHAWK ran this incredible series of archival clips of the real Marilyn before the movie started, with no other distractions, ads or coming features to steal the thunder, I mean: wonder.
they even showed newsreel clips of the original London press conference that starts ‘MY WEEK WITH MARILYN’ , and is featured at the start of the film’s official trailer as well. and then NITEHAWK even went on to unspool numerous and really wonderful, totally enchanting archival clips from the original 1956 film, this 2012 movie is constructed around – the 1956 British production: ‘The Prince and the Showgirl’, featuring MARILYN MONROE and SIR LAWRENCE OLIVIER !! and of those clips, the most notable was …. the footage of the real Marilyn Monroe’s swanky swell solo dancing scene – in the shop !!
also duplicated delightfully – in the movie, at hand. it’s a bio – get it ?
so, long story short, when Michelle Williams hits the screen as Marilyn – departing her plane into the ‘fan’ driven madness of that 1956 press conference – you have had the ‘real’ celluloid Marilyn in focus, not the mirage in your mind – and maybe that helped me sync the visions . . . into one.
but no, just now, watching the trailer on the film’s official website weeks later, the magic was still there. the ravishing MICHELLE WILLIAMS was MARILYN MONROE – no doubt about it. no ifs, ands or buts – and I’m not allowing room for dissension. if the glass slipper fits, then wear it !!
where the film goes weak – is in how the (mostly very famous) ensemble of actors who support the plot – just go wooden. you can catch it in the trailer if you look hard. one dead give-away is DOUGRAY SCOTT – who really doesn’t make it as Arthur Miller. that’s for starters.
EDDIE REDMAYNE doesn’t totally inhabit his role, either. neither does KENNETH BRANGH as SIR LAWRENCE OLIVIER, nor DAME JUDI DENCH, nor even EMMA WATSON. the only supporting character who took hold – was JULIA ORMOND as VIVIEN LEIGH !!
ok. EDDIE REDMAYNE was good. he held sway in most of his scenes. but, just.
so what happened here, why the rest of the cast – didn’t take flight is hard to tell. did they want to deliberately tap these guys down to double-up on Ms. William’s glow ? if so, they hadn’t had to. was it the director, I don’t know. I just know usually the Brits can carry off a period piece like this, no sweat. it’s a piece of cake to them. they do it all the time and pretty swell, too – esp on the small screen in countess mysteries and costume dramas, so what happened ? put it this way: it’s not ‘The King’s Speech’ which is kind of the exact opposite to this – where you go in thinking you’ll have a boring ole time – and you come out in shock and awe.
watch the trailer, you’ll see the shock and awe in Ms. William’s performance – it could light a house on fire. but it’s like it’s nowhere to be found in the degree called for, anywhere else.
the movie’s website bye the way, is excellent in a totally British way . . . details the narrative, and explains film’s ‘conceit’ – definite worth the whole ‘site’ tour.
MICHELLE WILLIAMS is MARILYN MONROE, with DOUGRAY SCOTT as ARTHUR MILLER behind her – arriving in Britain in 1956 to make the ‘The Prince and the Showgirl.’
yeah – you only wish – she could melt in your mouth.
this is MICHELLE WILLIAMS – pretty much just the way her mythical M.M. character was – incandescent. the movie is based on a wonderful true story, and you can learn all about it – on that previous link – to the film’s website.
now, ‘YOUNG ADULT’ – delivers the whole package. could it be the young and up-and-coming, move-over !! director: the Montreal-born JASON REITMAN ? (hello Montreal – my hometown, too !!)
I bet the fab and way gifted writer/producer DIABLO CODY had something to do with that, too. I even notice JOHN MALKOVICH in the credits as a producer. ha. In fact there were a total of 5 producers, and 3 executive producers on this film – so, I guess it takes a village of talented people to make a great movie. maybe there was more ‘script’ for the cast to hold onto. maybe it was cast to perfection. I don’t know. I just know – it takes off, and flies solid and true all the way through.
CHARLIZE THERON is MAVIS GARY. to watch her tuck her little lap dog into it’s pink traveling bag, carefully and quickly duck its tiny head under the zipper, and then zip it up, with one flourish – – is to see Mavis having done this, and done it, her entire life. there is no entering a disbelief zone, you are already on the other side.
well, and yeah PATTON OSWALT as MATT FREEHAUF, o.k. the cripple – is incredible. . . as he watches Charlize/Mavis deconstruct and unravel . . . PATRICK WILSON is more than pitch perfect as Buddy – the big lug of an old flame Charlize/Mavis never really put behind her. but my fave is ELIZABETH REASER – as his new wife. and wouldn’t you know it – the coolest fem band drummer in town !!
if you want more on her part, read the DIABLO CODY quotes on the movie’s website !! “She’s really cool, she’s in a band. She sends Mavis over the edge.”
I also really liked the young COLLETTE WOLF, in a difficult role – as Matt’s kid sister, Sandra – who just adores Charlize/Mavis – and gets to give her those famous last words: all’s that’s wrong with you is – you gotta get yourself back out of this town . . . and, can I come along with you ? ( !! )
yep. CHARLIZE THERON as MAVIS GARY is about to throw a major fit and ruin the little baby’s naming ceremony !! big time. and yep, her nemesis, ELIZABETH REASER, as the new Buddy love – wife and baby mama – is just about to – you know what !! spill that red wine all down Mavis’ new silk dress. fab. fab, and more fab. hard role, Ms. Reaser pulls it off – just the same way she plays those drums – and that’s the reason ‘Young Adult’ wins, the supporting ensemble cast – is incandescent, too.
IMAGES FROM – THE OFFICIAL WEBSITES.