Opens: Wednesday 11/23
Us Rating: ***
Way before Lindsay, Britney and Madonna, there was Marilyn Monroe -- the glamorous movie star who gained more notoriety for her offscreen drama than for her talent. Yet her troubles stay in the background in this surprisingly frothy take, based on a true story. It's 1956, and Marilyn (Michelle Williams) is in London to film The Prince and the Showgirl. She courts her fans with air-kisses and smiles but irks her director, Laurence Olivier (a wonderfully haughty Kenneth Branagh), continually arriving late and flubbing her lines. Only besotted production assistant Clark (Eddie Redmayne) gets through to her, soothing her insecurities.
The charming Williams doesn't just mimic the icon; she vividly captures her sex appeal and spirit. (When Clark suggests isolated Marilyn see the city's sights, she retorts, "I am the sights!") Monroe's life ended tragically, but this chapter is a joy.