Author Topic: Michelle Williams and “My Week With Marilyn”  (Read 14828 times)

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Michelle Williams and “My Week With Marilyn”
« on: November 23, 2011, 09:18:38 am »


[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXfBcz2bLNs[/youtube]



[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJRC7HGRn4I&feature[/youtube]



[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNeL4Q4JMlA[/youtube]
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and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
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Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Re: Michelle Williams and “My Week With Marilyn”
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2011, 09:26:14 am »



[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zO_vzrLykso&feature[/youtube]



[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHqmZOdeYNo&feature[/youtube]
.

"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
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Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Re: Michelle Williams and “My Week With Marilyn”
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2011, 09:46:39 am »


http://www.salon.com/2011/11/23/my_week_with_marilyn_michelle_williams_dazzling_oscar_bid/


“My Week With Marilyn”:
Michelle Williams’ dazzling Oscar bid

The indie star is wondrous, sexy and sweet as
doomed screen goddess Marilyn Monroe in a
lightweight British comedy


By Andrew O'Hehir
Tuesday, Nov 22, 2011 8:00 PM 07:35:25 EST



Dougray Scott and Michelle Williams in "My Week with Marilyn"


We’re about halfway through the stagey, enjoyable behind-the-scenes comedy “My Week With Marilyn” when we hear Kenneth Branagh, playing Laurence Olivier, raging about his costar in the 1957 mishmash “The Prince and the Showgirl.” Teaching Marilyn Monroe how to act, sputters Branagh-as-Olivier, is “like teaching Urdu to a badger.” It’s a funny line, albeit loaded with the imperial condescension Sir Larry evidently felt for the American girl from nowheresville who held the whole world in thrall. But as even Olivier would eventually admit, some badgers just know how to communicate, with or without language instruction.

Most of the chatter around “My Week With Marilyn” will inevitably concern Michelle Williams’ magnetic Oscar-bait performance as the off-screen Monroe, and my only two words on that subject are yes and yes. (Yes, she’s wonderful and yes, she’ll probably win, although I’m still pulling for Ellen Barkin or Kirsten Dunst.) But this film adapted from the memoirs of one-time Olivier assistant Colin Clark also does the service of reminding us that Marilyn Monroe was something more than the Kim Kardashian of her day. She drove Olivier nuts precisely because she had no idea what she was doing as an actress and lacked the kind of discipline and work ethic on which theater-trained actors like him relied — and because in scene after scene in that movie, she blew him away.

As we see her here (and by all accounts this is pretty true to life) Monroe could utterly butcher her lines on the first take, space out and suffer a minor panic attack on the second, and then deliver a perfect, funny, sexy, ingratiating reading on the third, the sort of thing that convinced the audience she was on their side, even playing in a sub-mediocre transatlantic comedy opposite a slumming Shakespearean. Playing to the camera like that was simply not something that Olivier, one of the greatest actors in the history of British theater, was capable of doing. As Branagh plays Olivier, he feels superior to Monroe, superior to the material, and generally insulted by the whole experience. Yet he’s also bitterly aware that even amid her apparent terror and incompetence, Monroe can illuminate the frame, leaving him standing there like an item of spare furniture doing an atrocious Dracula accent. (I’m tempted to accuse Branagh of camping it up in this odd, meta-actorly performance — one great Shakespeare actor playing another — except that I’m not sure one can camp up Laurence Olivier quite enough.)

“My Week With Marilyn” is the kind of shtick-laden movie in the British TV mode that delivers all its laughs, and all its grand, declamatory moments, right on schedule. I’m delighted to recommend it, as long as you know what you’re in for: “The King’s Speech” has the subtlety of Chekho in comparison. Everyone in the supporting cast seems to have worked really hard on his or her accent and is overly proud to show it off, perhaps to conceal that every single aspect of the story is both familiar and predictable. Even when you’ve got Americans playing Americans (Zoë Wanamaker as Monroe’s acting coach, Paula Strasberg) or Brits playing Brits (Julia Ormond as Vivien Leigh, Olivier’s wife at the time) there’s a thick, greasy coating of histrionics. And then you get a whole parade of overconfident British actors doing exaggerated Noo Yawk accents that suggest Rodney Dangerfield topped with gefilte fish: Toby Jones as Monroe’s agent, Arthur Jacobs; Dominic Cooper as photographer-turned-producer Milton Greene; and Dougray Scott, doing a splendid Arthur Miller as long as he keeps his mouth shut. Sure, this is a British production, and that’s great. But they couldn’t get an actual New York actor to play Arthur freakin’ Miller?

Against that backdrop we get the thoroughly winning, borderline-apocryphal fable of the almost-romance that developed during the summer 1956 shoot of “Showgirl” between Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne), a wide-eyed, upper-crust college grad who had latched onto Olivier, and the Western world’s most famous star. According to Vivien Leigh, Olivier arrived on set as both star and director expecting to seduce Monroe, but their relationship turned sour almost immediately. Monroe hid in her dressing room or her rented Surrey mansion, Olivier fumed, and the handsome, gawky Clark was deputized to be their go-between. There’s really no one left alive to testify to the intimate details of Clark’s relationship with Monroe, but by his account he served mainly as her pal and confidant after Miller fled back to America. Were they lovers? The film doesn’t directly answer that, and I get the feeling that the answer depends on what you think the question means.

I’m a huge admirer of Michelle Williams, but I’m used to seeing her play indie-film characters who sleep in their cars or brave the Oregon Trail. In the abstract I wouldn’t have assumed she had either the physicality or the luminosity to pull off Marilyn Monroe. But from her thoroughly delectable opening number, her performance is relaxed, natural and utterly captivating, capturing Monroe’s precise blend of innocence and eroticism. You could say that the character Williams develops is rootless and uncentered, but one suspects that was true of Marilyn in real life, vacillating between the public sex-symbol persona that threatened to swallow her and the uncertain girl from a messed-up family who was plagued by anxieties and the threat of mental illness.

You can see why she liked Clark, who in Redmayne’s portrayal is supremely smitten, utterly guileless and thoroughly English, three things Arthur Miller — who was clearly having second thoughts about his celebrity spouse — certainly was not. She goes skinny-dipping in a pond at Oxford, in blatant violation of that ancient establishment’s rules, and thrills the university’s service workers by descending a staircase in full Marilyn mode. “Shall I be her?” she purrs to Colin, before striking poses and blowing kisses. As the world would soon find out, the performance of being Marilyn Monroe was too much for her. The performance of being a charming English boy’s pretend girlfriend for a week may have been a welcome respite, or at least it’s nice to think so.
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
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Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Re: Michelle Williams and “My Week With Marilyn”
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2011, 10:04:00 am »



          .


"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
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Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Re: Michelle Williams and “My Week With Marilyn”
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2011, 04:10:54 pm »




http://movies.nytimes.com/2011/11/23/movies/my-week-with-marilyn-with-michelle-williams-review.html



Movie Review
My Week With Marilyn (2011)
Glamorous Sex Goddess,
Longing to Be Human


By MANOHLA DARGIS
Published: November 22, 2011



Eddie Redmayne as Colin Clark, Dougray Scott as Arthur Miller and Michelle Williams as
Marilyn Monroe in "My Week With Marilyn."



In 1976, the year that Marilyn Monroe would have turned 50, Larry McMurtry wrote that she “is right in there with our major ghosts: Hemingway, the Kennedy brothers — people who finished with American life before America had time to finish with them.” Almost a half-century after her death, the world, or at least its necrophiliac fantasists, still haven’t finished with Monroe and try to resurrect her again and again in movies, books, songs and glamour layouts featuring dewy and ruined ingénues. Maybe it’s because it’s so difficult to imagine her as Old Marilyn that she has become a Ghost of Hollywood Past, a phantom that periodically materializes to show us things that have been.

The latest attempt at resurrection occurs in “My Week With Marilyn,” with Michelle Williams as the Ghost. The movie is largely based on a slim 2000 book that a British documentary filmmaker, Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne, in a role of many smiles and little depth), claimed was a true account of an intimate interlude he spent with Monroe in 1956 while they were making “The Prince and the Showgirl.” At the time Monroe was newly married to Arthur Miller (Dougray Scott) and hoped that the film, based on a Terence Rattigan play, would help her move past sexpot roles. But the shoot turned into a clash of egos and cultures that threw her, leading her co-star and director, Laurence Olivier, to damn her as “the stupidest, most self-indulgent little tart I’ve ever come across.”

This is Sir Larry the Cruel, an assessment cemented by the miscast Kenneth Branagh’s intermittently amusing, unctuous take on Olivier as a pitifully vain, insensitive clod. Those familiar with Olivier, who was 49 when he made “Showgirl” and still strikingly handsome, may be distracted by the physical differences between him and Branagh, whose soft face registers as a blur compared with Olivier’s sculptured solidity. Branagh makes up for this disparity somewhat with his crisp, at times clipped, enunciation and a physical performance that gives Olivier enough vitality so that when, early in, the character sweeps into his production office with his wife, Vivien Leigh (Julia Ormond, a wan placeholder for the original), he dazzles Clark and jolts this slow-stirring movie awake.

Clark, the son of the art historian Kenneth Clark, decided at 23, as he put it, to run away to the circus by working in the movies, an easy enough goal because his parents were friends with Olivier and Leigh. He became a glorified gofer on “Showgirl” (officially, its third assistant director), a position that involved managing Monroe, who during the shoot soon went from bad to worse, from late to missing in action. Her already strained marriage was one reason; Olivier was another. “Just be sexy,” he told Monroe, “isn’t that what you do?” No wonder she misbehaved: The man she idolized as the world’s greatest actor — and whom her production company hired — was a chauvinist bum.

He didn’t get Monroe, and she is similarly out of the grasp of this movie. Ms. Williams tries her best, and sometimes that’s almost enough. She’s too thin for the role, more colorlessly complected than creamy, but she whispers and wobbles nicely. (The costumes hug her tight, but wrongly round out her breasts, which should thrust like rockets ready for liftoff.)

The problem isn’t Ms. Williams or the serviceable work of the director Simon Curtis, but a script by Adrian Hodges that hews faithfully to Clark’s clichés. Instead of the complex woman familiar from the better books about her, the film offers a catalog of Monroe stereotypes: child, woman, smiling exhibitionist, shrieking neurotic, the barefooted free spirit and, lamentably, the martyr teetering in heels toward her doom.

The tragic Monroe is obviously dramatic, but the intimations of disaster don’t fit a movie that works so hard to be breezily, easily likable. Everything on screen looks good and period-appropriate, if also too manicured, as if the past had been digitally spruced up. Mr. Curtis, who has long directed for television (his credits include the 1999 BBC production of “David Copperfield”), here tends to arrange everything in the frame neatly, often by putting people and other focal points dead center. This isn’t uncommon in comedy, where such centeredness helps build tension as you wait for comic anarchists to wreck a meticulously organized world. In “My Week With Marilyn,” this visual approach adds nothing and comes across as generic, as do as the jerky, handheld newsreel shots and popping photo bulbs.

Mr. Curtis enlivens the movie with music, busyness and Zoe Wanamaker’s darkly comic, toadying turn as Monroe’s acting coach, Paula Strasberg, as well as, always, the promise of the real Monroe. (Emma Watson has a thankless part as a diversion for Clark.) Mr. Curtis’s most unwise filmmaking move, however, is to put Ms. Williams continually into familiar Monroe poses and quote her famous photos and films — nude Marilyn, tousled Marilyn, singing Marilyn — a strategy that undermines his efforts to turn the idol into a person. He shows that Monroe is aware enough of her image that she knows — with a wink, a smile, a shake and a shimmy — how to turn her persona on for public consumption, but he too can’t escape wanting and always returning to that Marilyn Monroe.

“Shall I be her?” she asks Clark, who, like this film, would like nothing better.

“My Week With Marilyn” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). Foul language, drug and alcohol abuse and discreet female nudity.


MY WEEK WITH MARILYN

Opens on Wednesday in Manhattan.


Directed by Simon Curtis; written by Adrian Hodges, based on the diaries of Colin Clark, “The Prince, the Showgirl and Me” and “My Week With Marilyn”; director of photography, Ben Smithard; edited by Adam Recht; music by Conrad Pope, with “Marilyn’s Theme” by Alexandre Desplat, piano solos by Lang Lang; production design by Donal Woods; costumes by Jill Taylor; produced by David Parfitt and Harvey Weinstein; released by the Weinstein Company. Running time: 1 hour 39 minutes.

WITH: Michelle Williams (Marilyn Monroe), Kenneth Branagh (Laurence Olivier), Eddie Redmayne (Colin Clark), Dominic Cooper (Milton Greene), Philip Jackson (Roger Smith), Derek Jacobi (Owen Morshead), Toby Jones (Arthur Jacobs), Michael Kitchen (Hugh Perceval), Julia Ormond (Vivien Leigh), Simon Russell Beale (Cotes-Preedy), Dougray Scott (Arthur Miller), Zoe Wanamaker (Paula Strasberg), Emma Watson (Lucy) and Judi Dench (Sybil Thorndike).
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Re: Michelle Williams and “My Week With Marilyn”
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2011, 05:04:09 pm »


Interesting...the interview was in a restaurant on 49th and Lex, a corner I walk by every day...you certainly never know who you might meet...!


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/fashion/michelle-williams-in-an-unfamiliar-role-the-star.html?pagewanted=all



Main Course
For Michelle Williams,
an Unfamiliar Role: The Star

By CATHY HORYN
Published: November 25, 2011





HERE is 45 minutes in my life. Actually, 58 minutes 50 seconds, according to the counter on my tape recorder when I finish my conversation with the actress Michelle Williams in the bar of the Bull and Bear Steakhouse in the Waldorf-Astoria, and her publicist, a harried-looking woman named Cari, whisks her away. A bottle of red wine sits unfinished on the table. I pay the check for my $30 hamburger — she wanted only cocktail nuts — and for the glass of wine I ordered while I was waiting for her, and my thoughts skip a beat, releasing me from the scene. ...

She came across the bar toward the corner table and stuck out her hand: “Hi, I’m Michelle.” She’d come from a room upstairs, where she was doing interviews for “My Week With Marilyn,” a Weinstein production set in England in 1956 when Marilyn Monroe was making “The Prince and the Showgirl” with Laurence Olivier.

Ms. Williams, her hair restored to a pixie cut after Marilyn’s goddess curls, did not remove her tweed coat, and it gaped at the neck when she sat down, making her look even smaller than she is. She shook her head when a waiter asked if she wanted something.

“I would have a glass of wine but I’ll fall asleep,” she said with a light laugh. “I’m usually a partaker.”

She had arrived that morning from Detroit, where she has been filming “Oz: The Great and Powerful” and living in the suburbs with her 6-year-old daughter, Matilda, the child she had with the actor Heath Ledger. She got home from the set at 3 a.m.

“I don’t know when I’ve ever been busier than I am now,” she said. “It’s really taken me by surprise.”

“More than the publicity for “Brokeback Mountain”? I asked.

She nodded. “I’ve always had someone to do it with. When we did “Brokeback,” pretty much everything I did was with Heath.” For “Blue Valentine,” she was with Ryan Gosling. “So I haven’t had the experience of being the only person in the conversation.”

“You mean being the star?”

She pulled a face and laughed. “I don’t like to put it that way.”

I had two reasons for wanting to talk to Ms. Williams. First, it’s very clear in “Marilyn” that she gives a star performance. She does not so much portray Monroe as project the legend’s thrilling, and toxic, essence. At 31, Ms. Williams has played a string of misery types — Alma in “Brokeback,” Wendy in the enchanting “Wendy and Lucy,” Cindy in “Blue Valentine.” “Marilyn” breaks that pattern, maybe once and for all.

Second, I was interested in a remark she once made about her decision at 15 to be emancipated from her parents. She said, “I didn’t want anyone telling me what to do.” Although I wondered why she thought she was capable of making good decisions, it didn’t strike me as rash. On the contrary, she seemed to know what she wanted. And I suspected she knew that, as well, when she became involved with Mr. Ledger and had a child. (He died in 2008.) She can take care of herself.

Ms. Williams sets up home wherever she is working, enrolling her daughter in a local school and traveling with a sitter. It makes it easier, she said, than commuting to their home in upstate New York.

“It’s hello and goodbye in circles when you live that kind of life,” she said, adding in a false contralto, “ ‘Oh, no, we forgot bunny!’ And I think my daughter knows now that our life is split in two. Half of the year is spent with Mommy working and the other is spent with no work in sight.”

“Can you feel part of a community?” I ask.

“You know who makes that happen is my daughter,” she said. “She is remarkably outgoing, engaging, confident. Because of her we wind up making friends wherever we go. We just got a dog. We were at the park and Matilda went up to another family with a dog and started chatting away. Last Tuesday, we had dinner at their house. She’s the social glue.”

A waiter brought a bottle of wine, a gift to her from the producer Harvey Weinstein. Ms. Williams decided to have a glass. “Here I am drinking wine,” she said. “Surprise, surprise.”

I told her I was curious about the remark she had made about her freedom, and whether she believed she had lost anything in the bargain, like a proper education.

“Yes, I do,” she said. “One of the big delights of my life right now is working with James Franco, who hasn’t lost anything. He’s a perpetual student who is now becoming a teacher. I just kind of poke him all day and say, ‘What’s that mean?’ ‘How would you dissect that poem?’ Whatever education I got was from experience and reading. But I also realize I wouldn’t pass my friend’s sixth-grade class. Wow.”

I asked, “So was it teenage rebellion that made you feel that way or were you wise beyond your years?”

She shrugged. “It could have been both. Listen, I’ve always been very headstrong. I did find my direction at an early age. But mixed in there was — I mean, how much sense of the world can you really have at 15? Mixed in was some brashness and naïveté about real danger. I do consider myself lucky that whatever I brushed up against didn’t stick.”

Many years ago I interviewed a well-known actor who, though a year away from winning an Academy Award, was at the time in a trough of bad-guy roles. When I asked why he wasn’t making better pictures, he replied, “Because those are the roles I was offered.” I repeated the comment to Ms. Williams.

“I concur,” she said. “There isn’t something out there that I’ve — ” She paused. “It was this or dreck. This is what has come to me. It takes one person to say, “I see her a little differently.”

Certainly Simon Curtis, the director of “Marilyn,” saw her as no one else has. She said: “I read the script. I think it came as an offer — which, my God, it’s really good to live in that world. Immediately I knew I wanted the part.”

Given that it’s such a departure, I wondered what she thought about her performance.

“Well, I felt like I made a bet with myself and won,” she said in a soft voice that sounded like Marilyn’s.

“But it’s such a glamorous part.”

“It’s a jump.”

“And star making.”

“You said that dirty word again,” she said, and laughed.

After a moment she said, “I really surprised myself. You know that scene in ‘Star Wars’? Luke and Solo — I don’t even know their names — are about to be squashed in that thing.” She looked at my son, Jacob, who had joined us. “You know that thing?”

“A trash compactor,” he said drowsily.

She nodded. “That’s what I felt like every day on the set. Like I was being pressed up against the wall of my own abilities.”

Cari the publicist was hovering and I said to Ms. Williams, “One last question.”

“Uh-oh!”

I said I was curious about a “Dateline” interview in which she invoked Joan Didion’s line about a “year of magical thinking” to describe Mr. Ledger’s death. She said she was in a way sad to be moving further and further away from it. I wondered: is that age or did she lack the tools at the time to comprehend everything?

“I think it’s just time away from the event of the thing,” she said, catching herself. “No, event is the wrong word — from the impact of the thing. There’s sort of a ripple effect. Then when you get too far away you start to get really scared.”

“That you’ll forget.”

She said, no, that some things were impossible to forget.

“But you don’t seem to carry that dragline,” I said.

“No, I don’t,” she said and then smiled. “Why don’t I?”



Also posted in the Chez Tremblay thread: Michelle Michelle Michelle:
http://bettermost.net/forum/index.php/topic,6778.msg623066/topicseen.html#msg623066
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline louisev

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Re: Michelle Williams and “My Week With Marilyn”
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2011, 09:50:54 am »
Fascinating interview.  It does seem, though, that though we have lost Heath, we now have the growing delight in Michelle Williams' burgeoning career.  And she's brave to bring Matilda with her instead of the Hollywood starlet mom thing which has warped so many second generation actors and actresses.

anyone seen this yet?



“Mr. Coyote always gets me good, boy,”  Ellery said, winking.  “Almost forgot what life was like before I got me my own personal coyote.”


Offline southendmd

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Re: Michelle Williams and “My Week With Marilyn”
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2011, 11:00:50 pm »
anyone seen this yet?

Yes!  Lynne and I saw it tonight.  

In one scene between Marilyn and Colin Clark, he says to her--I'm paraphrasing--"Sir Laurence is a serious actor trying to be a star; you're a star trying to be a serious actress.  I'm afraid this film will accomplish neither."  

I'm not sure this film accomplished much either.  

Maybe because I kept seeing Michelle and not Marilyn, except for a few moments.  Maybe because this film is so damned boring.  Michelle is fine, but not great, I'm afraid.  I don't see Oscar.  Honestly, I liked her better as Coco in "I'm Not There".  She does her own singing, however, mostly in scenes irrelevant to the story, seemingly just tacked on.  

The kid who plays Colin--Eddie Redmayne--is just ok.  He's all freckles and big green eyes and full lips and anachronistic blender-blown hair.  And very little expression.  After all, it's supposed to be "his" film, a young man's fantasy-come-true, and even he seems bored.  

Judi Dench seems to be everywhere these days.  She starts out promising as a sympathetic Dame Sybil Thorndike, but the film soon abandons her.  

I hate to say it, but Kenneth Branagh was the best thing here.  While he doesn't much look like Sir Larry, he nails the voice, the pomposity, and the thin-lipped exasperation.  Sir Larry both starred in and directed "The Prince and the Showgirl"; check it out on youtube--it's completely unwatchable.  

The exceedingly annoying music tries to push and pull the plot along, but sounds like a generic Disney soundtrack.

The credits are keen to tell us it's a true story.  Maybe.  It's not particularly entertaining and could have used a little--more?--fiction to juice it up.  

My advice:  listen to "A Candle in the Wind"--it's more satisfying.

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Re: Michelle Williams and “My Week With Marilyn”
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2011, 12:11:21 am »



Sir Larry both starred in and directed "The Prince and the Showgirl"; check it out on youtube--it's completely unwatchable.


Uh-oh.

I first saw "The Prince and the Showgirl" many, many years ago--and adored it! Everytime I would see it (and THAT'S a long, long time ago I had a television in the house!) I would see it again.

Oops! Not saying anything about MY sense or taste, I guess!!

Ha!

 ::) ::)
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


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and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
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Offline southendmd

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Re: Michelle Williams and “My Week With Marilyn”
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2011, 12:53:42 am »

Uh-oh.

I first saw "The Prince and the Showgirl" many, many years ago--and adored it! Everytime I would see it (and THAT'S a long, long time ago I had a television in the house!) I would see it again.

Oops! Not saying anything about MY sense or taste, I guess!!

Ha!

 ::) ::)


John, your taste is impeccable, as always.  Poor loutish me couldn't stand the endlessly silly accents.