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Set to premiere at the New York Film Festival as the Centerpiece Gala on October 9, My Week With Marilyn gives Michelle Williams the chance to pull off one of the versatile actress's most impressive transformations: becoming screen icon Marilyn Monroe. Set behind the scenes of production on Monroe's film The Prince and the Showgirl, the movie is told from the point of view of a young production assistant (played by Eddie Redmayne), in charge of keeping an eye on Monroe during production. While Williams is expected to be her usual transcendent self onscreen, rumor has it that recent Thor director Kenneth Branagh is also terrific playing a very cranky Laurence Olivier.
Even if you're not obsessed with the Marilyn Monroe myth, the movie feels like a must-see, not just a look behind the curtain of Old Hollywood but a chance to see Williams tackle what might be her difficult role yet. In the still photos so far Williams appears to have seriously transformed into Monroe, and now another image makes the argument even more convincing. The new image premiered at ET Online< and you can also see it below.
I'm not sure what's up with the black and white vs. color photo trick here-- presumably it's just an effect for the sake of publicity image, but who knows, maybe there's some of that going on in the film itself too. That's Redmayne you see on the far left, escorting Williams through a crowd of onlooker and paparazzi. Unlike the ethereal close-up shot released while the movie was still in production, this is Williams playing a version of Monroe who is guarded and hounded by the public, a side of her that may be more important to My Week With Marilyn than the onscreen sexpot. That's the part of Monroe I think the quiet, thoughtful Williams can nail, and it's exciting to see a trace of that in this image, even if it's mostly my own projection.
My Week With Marilyn will come to theaters November 4, with Judi Dench, Dominic Cooper and Emma Watson rounding out the cast, but I'll be covering the New York Film Festival and bringing you a report then.