The new film My Week with Marilyn is a true story about the struggles and a clash of personalities between the American film icon Marilyn Monroe and the British master of the stage Sir Laurence Olivier during the filming of a movie they did together, The Prince and the Showgirl in 1957. It shows the marked differences in acting styles between the unpredictable natural instincts of Marilyn and the polished classically trained stage conventions of Laurence Olivier.
It’s an excellent heartwarming story of first love on a movie set with some of the greatest entertainment personalities of the 20th century and it all happens to be true. Based on the diaries of the third assistant director, Colin Clark, who was then a young man eager to work in the film industry and got his first job on this film through a family connection where he met and inadvertently became Marilyn’s confidant; helping her through the struggles and conflicts with her director and co-stars and with her insecurities.
Having experienced life behind the curtain of the Theatre and on the set of a movie production myself, this film felt very accurate and realistic with fabulous performances from Michelle Williams as Marilyn, and Kenneth Branagh as Sir Laurence Olivier. The mostly British cast also includes the well-known Dame Judy Dench, Emma Watson, best known as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films, Dominic Cooper, recently from The Devil’s Double, and Derek Jacobi one of the greatest Theatre and film actors in England.
Happy Feet 2 is the computer animated sequel to the Oscar winning film Happy Feet (2006) starring singing Penguins, elephant seals, a pair of krill and a Puffin. The film is voiced by a star studded cast of well-known American actors including Elijah Wood, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Hank Azaria and Sofía Vergara from the hit TV sitcom Modern Family.
Mumble must battle his insecurities as a new father when he tries to be the supportive and inspirational dad for his son, a role that his own father could not provide for him in the first film. But he has some serious competition and major obstacles to overcome as his son’s ambitions may be unattainable.
If you loved the first Happy Feet as I did, you will not be disappointed. As with the first film, the Penguins and the rest of the creatures, apart from the fact that they sing and dance, are all rendered as realistically as possible and with incredible detail. The Music is fabulous as usual and the story has a poignant environmental message as in the first. All the elements that made Happy Feet such a memorable hit are in this sequel. Enjoy and feel free to bring the kids.
This holiday movie season has something for everyone and an even greater line up is on the way including two Steven Spielberg films The Adventures of Tintin (Dec. 21), and War Horse (Dec. 25).
Also watch for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows on Dec. 16, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Dec. 21) and We Bought a Zoo (Dec. 23).