MOVIE REVIEW: My Week With Marilyn

Thinking of the slender Williams as the voluptuous Monroe was not something I would have considered.

My Week with Marilyn was based on a couple of non-fiction books first published in the late 1990s. The Wife and I saw the film last Saturday at the Spectrum Theatre in Albany, NY.

In 1956, Sir Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh) is directing and starring in the movie ‘The Prince and the Showgirl’ in London. He hires American film icon Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams) to costar with him. The 30-year-old MM, accompanied by her new, third husband, the playwright Arthur Miller (Dougray Scott), is a sensation to the crowds in England. But artistic differences make the filming frustratingly slow for the director, and stressful for the actress. Marilyn befriends the third assistant director, essentially gofer, 23-year-old Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne) and he becomes one of the few people she trusts, and ultimately has the title experience.

Thinking of the slender Williams as the voluptuous Monroe was not something I would have considered, but she pulls it off, in no small part, based on an interview I read in EW, of getting The Walk. Interestingly, at the beginning and end of the movie, largely removed from the storyline, Monroe/Williams performs a couple of songs, and she looks even more full-figured.

This was a slight, but sweet story of an actress who was instinctively good at her craft, but wanted to get more skilled, but on her own terms. It was also clear that “Marilyn Monroe” was a role she played, which made her extremely popular but also trapped her. I would be surprised if Michelle Williams was not Oscar-nominated as Best Actress.

Kenneth Branagh may also get a Best Supporting Actor nod as the frustrated director. I was tickled by this casting since both Olivier and Branaugh starred in and directed movie adaptations of Henry V, the Shakespeare play, in 1944 and 1989, respectively.

My Weekend With Marilyn is a surprisingly sweet, even somewhat chaste film, given the subject matter. I enjoyed it.

30 Day Challenge – Day 30: Whomever You Find Most Attractive In This World

Rebecca and Rico were dubbed “Lightning” and “Thunder”, respectively.

Jeez, Louise. I started this thing on May 6. I posted Day 29 on November 14. 30 days? HA!

This picture of my wife and daughter is from April of 2008 in Virginia, probably Jamestown or Norfolk, someplace near Williamsburg.



Oh, my niece Rebecca, who had one of those Kickstarter things to raise the $3000 to put together a music album reached her goal! It was interesting because, with less than a week to go before the Christmas deadline, she seemed stuck at about $2350. Got $1000 in the last week.

And speaking of my niece Rebecca, did I mention that she and her husband Rico both appeared on a peculiar TV competition program called Wipeout back in September? It’s Season 3, Episode 16: Food Fight. Annoyingly, I cannot find it either on the ABC.com site or on Hulu.com, though other episodes can be found there. Oddly, though, there is a transcript of the show.

The hosts try to create artificial tension between Rebecca and another woman over Rico’s affection. Also, Rebecca and Rico were dubbed “Lightning” and “Thunder”, respectively. Though Rico was the third to cross the Shape Shifter (don’t ask), and the first to cross without riding in a shape, he was eliminated in the first round. Rebecca made it to the finals, where she ultimately came in second.

30-Day Challenge: Day 28-A Drawing

I can’t help but notice that The Daughter is more externally patriotic than I am.


My daughter is drawing all of the time. This is a piece she did several months ago, which is the one that currently hangs in my cubicle at work. While red, white, and blue, please notice the green G, for Green. She did a similar one for my wife, and since she’s seen mine in my office, she now insists that Carol likewise take hers to HER office.

She does SO many drawings, and she wants to get rid of exactly zero percent of them right now. This winter, during the school break, the sorting will recommence. It won’t be pretty.

I can’t help but notice that she is more externally patriotic than I am. She saw this newspaper full-page piece that says, “I AM PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN”, with the U.S. flag in the middle. It’s been hanging in her bedroom since at least July 4.

30-Day Challenge: Day 27-A Picture Of Where You’re From

This was an arcane piece of information my late father once noted that I found inexplicably interesting.

A picture? I did a whole blogpost about my hometown of Binghamton, NY last year, and much more recently, a partial blogpost about Albany, NY, where I’ve been the last 30 years.

Well, all right:

When I was growing up, this was the post office in Binghamton. Now it’s the federal building.

Perhaps slightly before my time: it’s the house of the first Dutch governors, who resided in Albany.

This was an arcane piece of information my late father once noted that I found inexplicably interesting. Binghamton, NY is about in the middle of the state, east to west, but lies very close to the northern border of another state, Pennsylvania. To get to the state capital, Albany, you have to travel about 150 miles to the northeast (more like 140, but whatever).

Charlotte, NC, where my parents moved in 1974, and where I lived briefly in 1977, is about in the middle of the state, east to west, but lies very close to the northern border of another state, South Carolina. To get to the state capital, Raleigh, you have to travel about 150 miles to the northeast (more like 175, but close enough).

30 Day Challenge: Day 26-A Picture From One Of The Greatest Days Of Your Life

I wrote about my JEOPARDY! experience extensively, starting my first month of blogging; in fact, writing about the daughter and writing about JEOPARDY! were the only purported reasons I even started the blog.


Hey, nothing in the instructions said it had to be a picture of me!

Above is a picture of Alex Trebek, host of a game show called High Rollers, which I would occasionally watch 30+ years ago. But more to the point, he has been the host of the game show JEOPARDY! since 1984.

To be honest, I’m not sure if that picture of him is from the day I was on JEOPARDY! But it WAS from one of the programs that was filmed in Boston, and the two weeks of programming in Boston was filmed over a two-day period, five shows per day, so I have a 50% chance of it being from the day I was taping, though not necessarily the episodes.

It’s not the suit he wore on the first episode I was on – I don’t remember what he wore the second show – and it’s not what he wore on this 1998 Teen Tournament reunion episode, either.

As I have noted, there was a big story in the local (Boston) paper the day after I taped my episodes, seven weeks before they aired.

Chance at fame for $100, Alex
Boston Globe – Boston, Mass.
Author: M. R. Montgomery, Globe Staff
Date: Sep 19, 1998
Start Page: C.1
Section: LIVING
Text Word Count: 827

Abstract (Document Summary)
“It’s the show, not the host,” he demurred. And it may not be false modesty: The 3,200 citizens roared for the new “Jeopardy!” set, for the assistant producer who warmed up the crowd with some practice contests, for the show announcer, and even for a camera shot of themselves. Alex Trebek got the same wild applause as “Boston, a great city,” and “Meet our contestants.”

Yesterday’s first taped show will air Nov. 9, and 15 million Americans will get to see Amy Roeder of Merrimack, N.H., match wits and unadulterated trivia with defending champion Tom Schellhammer of New York City, and Roger Green of Albany. The results are technically a secret (does anyone bet on “Jeopardy!” broadcasts?). With the whole 1950s game show scandal business hanging over their heads, the “Jeopardy!” staff takes serious measures. Contestants for a taping are selected at random from the pool of entrants just before each game. The winner, who will return, is, as they said, “sequestered.” Asked why, a representative of the show said they don’t want to let anyone aid, abet, help, or otherwise enhance the winner’s chances for the next game.

I’d LOVE to get copies of those two pages from the Boston Globe, each with a picture of Amy and me; the third person in the first shot is Tom, and in the second, a JEOPARDY! producer. Anyone in Boston with access to the Globe microfilm? Short of that, I could just buy a couple of pages – they run from $74.95 (unframed 11×17) to $169.95 (framed 18×24) each.

I wrote about my JEOPARDY! experience extensively, starting my first month of blogging; in fact, writing about the daughter and writing about JEOPARDY! were the only purported reasons I even started the blog.
Part 1
Part 2

Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Epilogue, when I write about discovering myself on J-ARCHIVE – hey, there’s a picture of me! -and realized I had misremembered certain events from less than seven years earlier.