An interesting film this. Based on the diaries of Colin Clark (younger brother of famous womanising MP Alan Clark) it tells the story of the production of a film - the Prince and the Showgirl - and makes a study of one of the icons of the last Century, Marilyn Monroe. It shows how she and Clark became friends during the shoot, and reveals much about the troubled Norma Jean that lay behind the mask of Marilyn Monroe.
For the most part it's an inoffensive film that does what's required of it effectively, but never really catches fire. Michelle Williams as Marilyn totally failed to make any impression on me, likewise Eddie Redmayne as Clark. The cast list reads like a who's who of current British talent, and it is the supporting cast who really make the impression, especially Judi Dench as Dame Sybil Thorndyke, a strong woman but incredibly supportive and always with just the right words to defuse a situation and Philip Jackson as a worldly wise and decent police inspector.
After a career that has had many (intentional or not) parallels with Laurence Olivier's, Kenneth Brannagh finally takes it to the logical conclusion by playing the famous theatrical Knight as he tries to direct the film and becomes exasperated with Monroe's behaviour on set. He does a fine job, not going for a straight impersonation but rather an interpretation of the man. The film tries to look at the various relationships and the effects that filming has on each of the characters, but this respect I felt was not as well realised as the portrayal of the filming process - A film about the filming of a film offers a rare insight into what goes on behind the cameras, and it is used to it's full potential here.
But for all the occasional sparks the film didn't really catch fire for me. It's OK, professionally made and with the odd interesting or really god moment, but in the main unengaging. 3 stars.