My Week with Marilyn



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There are two bright spots in this lackluster adaptation of Colin Clark's dual memoirs about working on Laurence Olivier's ill-fated 1957 comedy, The Prince and the Showgirl. The first is Michelle Williams, whose portrayal of Prince's costar (and, alledgedly, Clark's lover for one memorable week) as a sexed-up frail bird extends far beyond mimicking the iconic blond's pneumatic walk and baby-doll voice. The second—and by far the best reason to see this exercise in cheap nostalgia—is Kenneth Branagh's pitch-perfect performance as Sir Laurence. Watching the younger actor once dubbed "the new Olivier" playing up the old one's arrogance and insecurities with such theatrical panache, you almost forgive director Simon Curtis's insistence on slathering the story in that-was-the-summer-that-changed-my-life sap. Almost.—DF

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New York Film Festival 2011

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