The recollection, if true to the book, paints a congenial picture of the women in Colin's life. Dame Sybil Thorndike (Judi Dench), a supporting player, is kindly and nurturing towards Marilyn recognizing her worth and her value to the film. Julia Ormond, as Olivier's wife Vivien Leigh, is remarkably sane and understanding considering that she has been supplanted by Marilyn in the role she originated on stage. Emma Watson as the plucky love interest for Colin is smart and no-nonsense and soon disappears as she realizes how infatuated Colin has become with Marilyn. It all appears a bit tame and not quite believable.
But the men in Marilyn's life don’t fair so well here. Husband Arthur Miller (Dougray Scott)
|Eddie Redmayne as Colin Clark|
It’s an interesting move by Branagh who has often been accused of modelling himself on Olivier and fancying himself as Olivier’s heir in the theatre. These are empty accusations as far as I am concerned. Even though he doesn’t resemble Olivier he captures something essential about him – the vanity, the insecurity and the fear that he is rapidly becoming a fading icon of the past.
The more I read about Monroe’s life the more uneasy I am about how she was used through her career by various people. It is lovely to think that she found refuge with this young man for a brief, short time. I hope that she did.