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"You Might Find Us Odd and Quaint" (Movie Reviews)

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Last post 24/04/2018

Posted by SusyLuvsPaul

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      Kenneth Branaugh's Lawrence Olivier murmers this to Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe in "My Week with Marilyn" on her first day on the English set of "The Prince and the Showgirl." This movie kind of bedazzled me, to the point I need to see it again having probably missed some things.
      It's worthy of repeated viewings, that's for sure. I was amused by this almost throw-away line, bespeaking British eccentricity and preciousness and old-fashioned yet dear things, as it does. Ironically all that seemed lost on Monroe, who did comment on ancient-looking architecture with a certain impressed awe, "God that looks old!" kind of thing which is sort of funny. But she got right to the heart of the matter with her instinctive raptures over the special beauties of the English countryside, of its gorgeous nature as seen in forests, gardens, lakes, etc. Her first impulse was often to skinny dip like a child of nature.

      Williams, shown a couple of times naked from the back, doesn't look as shapely and feminine as Marilyn but she gets her essence down pat, very admirably, as you keep reading in reviews. It's true. Sweet, vulnerable, child-like and kind of lost. Not knowing who to turn to, as in the Elton John song. Even her husband of three weeks playwright Arthur Miller is using her for material, and writes bad things about her which he leaves around for her to read. She gets very upset. He complains she is "sucking the life" out of him and leaves her to go off on a trip.

      Director and co-star Lawrence Olivier throws big hissy fits when Marilyn nervously flubs lines, slams her ferociously, verbally, behind her back. But she knows. Her "acting coach" Paula Strasberg (Zoe Wanamaker) is a pathetic paragon of kow towing continually telling Marilyn "you're the greatest actress in the world" and "I think of you as my daughter" and such, but when Marilyn locks herself in her room for a pill-popping pity party just hovers outside helpless.

      It's up to eager young Englishman Colin Clark (writer of the book the film's based on) to climb through her window and be her only comfort. He's an aristocratic stage-struck aspiring show biz participant who lucks into being "third assistant director" which is really just being a "go-for," he admits. Eddie Redmayne who plays Colin should be over the moon about his role, he seems to be in every scene. But it's Williams and Branaugh who are fascinating and enthralling. The rest of the cast, including Dame Judi Dench and Harry Potter star Emma Watson and lesser knowns, all give steller support.
      I loved "My Week with Marilyn."It's an Anglophile's and Golden Age of Hollywood fan's dream.--SUSY

        SusyLuvsPaul:Kenneth Branaugh's Lawrence Olivier murmers this to Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe in "My Week with Marilyn" on her first day on the English set of "The Prince and the Showgirl." This movie kind of bedazzled me, to the point I need to see it again having probably missed some things.
        It's worthy of repeated viewings, that's for sure. I was amused by this almost throw-away line, bespeaking British eccentricity and preciousness and old-fashioned yet dear things, as it does. Ironically all that seemed lost on Monroe, who did comment on ancient-looking architecture with a certain impressed awe, "God that looks old!" kind of thing which is sort of funny. But she got right to the heart of the matter with her instinctive raptures over the special beauties of the English countryside, of its gorgeous nature as seen in forests, gardens, lakes, etc. Her first impulse was often to skinny dip like a child of nature.

        Williams, shown a couple of times naked from the back, doesn't look as shapely and feminine as Marilyn but she gets her essence down pat, very admirably, as you keep reading in reviews. It's true. Sweet, vulnerable, child-like and kind of lost. Not knowing who to turn to, as in the Elton John song. Even her husband of three weeks playwright Arthur Miller is using her for material, and writes bad things about her which he leaves around for her to read. She gets very upset. He complains she is "sucking the life" out of him and leaves her to go off on a trip.

        Director and co-star Lawrence Olivier throws big hissy fits when Marilyn nervously flubs lines, slams her ferociously, verbally, behind her back. But she knows. Her "acting coach" Paula Strasberg (Zoe Wanamaker) is a pathetic paragon of kow towing continually telling Marilyn "you're the greatest actress in the world" and "I think of you as my daughter" and such, but when Marilyn locks herself in her room for a pill-popping pity party just hovers outside helpless.

        It's up to Englishman Colin Clark (writer of the book the film's based on) to climb through her window and be her only comfort. He's an aristocratic stage struck would-be show biz participant who lucks into being "third assistant director" which is really just being a "go-for," he admits. Eddie Redmayne who plays Colin should be over the moon about his role, he seems to be in every scene. But it's Williams and Branaugh who are fascinating and enthralling. The rest of the cast, including Dame Judi Dench and Harry Potter star Emma Watson and lesser knowns, all give steller support.
        I loved "My Week with Marilyn."It's an Anglophile's and Golden Age of Hollywood fan's dream.--SUSY


        you kind of lose a bafoon like me susy.but i must say your written english and grammar on here is pretty impecable.
        i would say the 'blog' section on the new site is tailor made for someone with your mind and skillset.

          I've still to see the movie, as a fan of MM its on my radar sometime soon, one of the best books i've ever read on MM was titled "The Assassination of Marilyn Monroe" its worth a read Susy, some really sad stuff in it which i won't go into on here

            Thanks for the compliment and tip, Limeys

            "Young Adult" starring Charlize Theron is an excellent character portrait fully realized by Theron, but the vehicle is a real "feel bad" movie. She's a writer of young adult fiction and a truly miserable somewhat unlikeable person who just wallows and drags down the viewer with her. She's the type who wants to get her ex-boyfriend away from his sweet compassionate wife who just had their first child, and actually has the nerve to try. She's the most bitter, unhappy person I've seen depicted in cinema in a while, and to see this movie at Christmas time was a jarring, incongruous experience despite the few black humor laughs and all-around sterling acting. Would love others to see this, because misery loves company. Ugh, left me with a bad taste in my mouth (shudders) and yet "Young Adult" is a well-made seldom boring movie written by the screenwriter of "Juno," Diablo Cody. A happier ending would have lightened and cheered up the whole tone, would have left the viewer with a much better feeling and better response to the film as a whole. And to come up with one would have been quite a challenge and triumph, if done successfully.--Susy

              Finally saw "Another Year" a Mike Leigh film (British) starring Jim Broadbent (he's everywhere! In "Iron Lady" with Meryl Streep too!) and Lesley Manning on DVD, last night. Very well made, beautifully filmed, kind of quirky, but not nearly as offbeat and strange as some of his I've seen. Well acted. Not exactly a "feel good" flick as many of the characters are downright miserable. Lesley Manning's Mary is rather pathetic, always thinking about being single and alone, obsessed with it, as she doesn't deal with that lifestyle positively and well. Drinks like a fish, most of the characters are shown drinking a lot. Broadbent and his counselor wife have a warm happy successful union which nearly drives Mary up the wall to witness when she's drunk, especially. They're kind to her, warm, until the chilling end when...well, it doesn't really show or tell what happened, but you can sort of get an idea. The smug happy marrieds don't just appreciate their bliss, Broadbent's character comments "we are old and will soon be history" a statement which doesn't brim with hope and cheer.

              Will finally get to see "Tamara Drew," another recent British film, on DVD tonight. Thankfully supposed to be a comedy, albeit a bit of a black humor one. Englishwoman Gemma Arterton stars.

                "Tamara Drew" is another Brit film from last year I'd longed to see. It didn't quite live up to expectations, but I didn't regret seeing this (on DVD), and might wish to again. Gemma Arterton is gorgeous as the countryside native who triumphantly returns from London where she's a journalist, to renovate her lovely ancestral manse. She had a too-big nose there growing up and residents are startled to behold her resplendent with a new honker, though some deride her as having a "plastic nose." Arterton's charming character seems a bit lacking in personality which might be explained by "Tamara Drew" being based on a "graphic novel" comic book series. A writer's colony lies across some rolling green hills from Tamara's place in the provinces, loved seeing the English countryside. She has affairs with two Mr. Wrongs including Dominic Cooper as a hilarious famed rock star drummer with a fixed scowl and hideous 80's hairstyle, and also a lecherous married crime novel author before finally hitting on Mr. Right. Things get pretty wild towards the story's end. The film is done proud by actress Tamsin Greig, affecting and effective as a wronged farm wife. I'd previously seen her mainly in 1800s-set costume dramas. Two would-be naughty teens sneak around spying, making mischievous trouble due to boredom and their adulation of Cooper's rock star drummer, they add a lot to the proceedings and it's funny that the song in the end credits bespeaks the drummer's falling for one of the 15 year olds, singing " I love you and we can wait"--they'd have to!--SUSY.

                  Forgot to mention in "Another Year" Jim Broadbent's character starts singing "Who's that knocking at the doe-war" when the doorbell rings. It's from Paul's famous song "Let 'Em In." A nice little surprise, a sweet treat when Broadbent does that

                    "Run Fatboy Run" a British romantic comedy of a few years back, stars Simon Pegg, Thandie Newton and Hank Azaria--was directed by David Shwimmer of "Friends" T.V. show fame. the movie is set in London and boasts a fabulous soundtrack. The story is fairly amusing with "screwball" elements (I love screwball) and effective acting all round. It's not earth shattering, but features a few laff out loud moments. Simon Pegg's character is not athletic at all, but sets out to run a London marathon to try to impress his ex, Thandie, whom he left preggers at the altar fearing he wasn't good enough for her. Tough wrong to make right. And he was dumb 'cause she'd agreed to wed him, so she must have thought he filled the bill-- however that's one of the less amusing screwball things about the movie, without which there'd have been no plot. I'm glad I got this on DVD. It was on sale cheap and features a right good bit of London scenery. It doesn't make London look all that good, though, looks a bit shabby and ordinary...they needed a more discerning cinematographor and locations scout, or something. Cause I've seen London look lots better than this.

                      Some movie reviews of mine which were published perished in a fire, but I'll place more movie reviews I wrote here. It's fun to write them. I'm seeing "I Feel Pretty" starring Amy Shumer, tonight.