Friday, October 7, 2011

Michelle Williams Tackles Marilyn Monroe

Michelle Williams is taking on a role most women in Hollywood will kill for (and some have decided to play out in real life) as Marilyn Monroe in the film My Week with Marilyn. The film focuses on Colin Clark, who during the filming of The Prince and the Showgirl escorted Monroe around Britain. The film stars the delectable Eddie Redmayne as Colin Clark and a post-Harry Potter Emma Watson who looks right at home in the 50's fashions. But it's Michelle Williams who really seems to embody the coquettish style of her character as well as filling out some of those famous outfits.

I know some are skeptical of her performance but I hink Williams is actually the perfect person for this role. Beyond her china blue eyes, pale skin and blond hair, Williams has an inimitable quality and a vulnerability that hovers close to the surface. All things that are good for playing Marilyn who wavered between strength and laughter and always stood on the precipice of a nervous breakdown. I'm actually quite excited to see this movie because I wonder how Williams will play the part and given that the story is Marilyn seen through the eyes of a young, starstruck man, it's kind of like the audience is still only seeing a rose-colored image of Marilyn rather than the star herself.

And then there's the fashion. In the trailer we see Williams decked out in cigarette pants, form-fitting dresses and cool, cats-eye shades. In the film, she has an effortless air to her clothes while always being put together. It's also amazing how dresses and tops that we would consider conservative by today's standards have an appealing allure when they're put on "Marilyn". It was her ability to elevate a simple outfit and make it sultry that marked her charm and though Williams is known for her punkish-pretty style, she embodies the Hollywood siren completely.

I know Marilyn Monroe can be a polarizing figure. Many adore her while other scoff at the hype which still swirls so many years after her death. Women who are part of the fat acceptance movement champion her as the image of a sexy and healthy woman while stick-thin starlets constantly try to re-form themselves in her image. I will admit I am a Marilyn lover. There is something about the star that I find intriguing. But whether you love her or hate her there is something about Marilyn that endures.

Williams once said: 
I've had the feeling of working at the edge of my abilities. That's an exhilarating and terrifying place to live, and I don't go there easily. It has its rewards, but it's not a dinner party. I'm constantly pushed up against the wall of what I'm capable of doing, and that can be an excruciating place to confront yourself. But I don't want to lose sight of the fact that work gives you a good feeling about yourself. 
I imagine that we'll all enjoy spending two hours with Marilyn and Michelle.

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