Okay, so he was her escape for a week.
Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne) was the third assistant director to Lawrence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh) on his film "The Prince and the Showgirl" (1957), which was to be his fourth directorial outing, and twenty-ninth film role. Through a string of greetings at the main entrance to Pinewood Studios, Clark caught the eye of Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams), and during her numerous personal issues during production, Clark became a close friend and confidant. Even more so than her acting coach and confidant Paula Strasberg (Zoe Wanamaker), and her husband Arthur Miller (Dougray Scott), who seemed to realize what a mistake he made in marrying her at the exact wrong time.
Despite that filming lasted six months and Clark was with the production the whole time, he only got close to Marilyn for a week or so. You'd think that after publishing two books about it that he ran off with her on some grand adventure. But no. Not really. Nothing more than just a small first date of sorts, and few nights of consoling her when she was feeling down. Again, this makes the case for a nice memory, but not for an entire film. Hence why much of it is about how horribly Marilyn would perform her role. She always showed up late, could never remember her lines, and was acting too overly dramatic through the first half of the film. Much like a preteen drama queen. Yet strangely enough, Olivier and even Sybil Thorndike (Judi Dench) still greatly respected her 'talent.' This was especially comical with Olivier since his head is frequently on the verge of exploding on numerous occasions due to Marilyn's ineptitude. So the film earns some points here as an unintended comedy given that Olivier is becoming the tortured artist, but the fact that they're all entranced by the giddy childish act that is Marilyn Monroe is perplexing. The two feelings don't seem to go hand in hand at all, but that's what Clark recalled of the experience.
Michelle Williams shines as Marilyn Monroe. She makes her a real person instead of just a pretty face with the stereotype of being a dumb blonde, for while there are plenty moments of that, you get to see the real Marilyn away from all the cameras. She was a very lonely person who relied on pills to get through numerous daily routines. And she considered the act of playing the character 'Marilyn Monroe' a real chore. But given the amount of drama queen that goes along with it, the two sides don't balance out properly. So director Simon Curtis should've spent more time showing us whatever it was that the other film greats saw in her besides her being a nightmare to work with on set, for while that was certainly the case a lot of the time, Curtis provided no context beyond the act of Marilyn Monroe for us to see as their point of reference, as she only really reveals her true self to Colin. In the given circ*mstances, Williams still pulls off a great performance.
Overall, this was a quiet film which wasn't really adventurous as some may think from the title, as it implies a weeklong getaway of endless possibilities with the most famous film star in the world. You think something really exciting is going to happen, but instead, you get a very dramatic and personal look inside the real Marilyn Monroe. It just wasn't something I found to be worth watching for ninety-two minutes with the exception of the acting.