It wouldn't be Oscar season without one of the contenders coming under some fire for the veracity of its narrative. Last year, both 'The King's Speech' and 'The Social Network' were besieged by claims that the films' real-life main characters weren't portrayed in an honest light; now 'My Week With Marilyn' is, once again, at the center of a did-it-or-didn't-it question regarding its titular clandestine relationship.
An article in the Los Angeles Times on Saturday went deep into the backstory of the new film, which is based on two works from Colin Clark (played onscreen by Eddie Redmayne), a third assistant director on 'The Prince and the Showgirl,' who claimed he spent a romantic week off the grid with Marilyn Monroe during the production of that film in 1956. Or, maybe not.
"It's a complete lie. It's a fantasy," said Joshua Greene, the son of Monroe's then-producing partner Milton Greene, a man who himself allegedly had a fling with Monroe. "He was a fourth-rate water boy. There was clearly no interest in trying to make a real movie based on the situation. Don't sit there and say this is based on a true story and not have the decency to confirm that your story is true by going to people that are still alive." Greene is in charge of his father's archives.
Not that director Simon Curtis is worried about this latest round of attacks. "I have no reason to doubt Colin's version. Who is to say what happened in those bedrooms on those nights?"
Not Michelle Williams, though the star and possible Oscar nominee is a bit more skeptical than her director. "When you read both of his books, you do get the sense that he's writing with the advantage of hindsight, and he's put some awfully big words in his own mouth," she said to the Los Angeles Times. "I think he says in the book that Marilyn wanted to make love, but he said, 'Oh, no!' And you're like, 'Oh, sure.' I'm sure that there was a relationship there. To what extent it was consummated, I don't know."
Earlier this year, Vera Day, an actress who had a small part in 'The Prince and the Showgirl,' told The Daily Beast that she wasn't sure what type of relationship Clark had with Monroe.
"I didn't witness anything between Marilyn and Colin Clark [as in the film]. I actually don't remember him on the set at all. There weren't any rumblings of them being together on set. She was very, very into Arthur Miller, and they were on their honeymoon. Goodness me, no. Whatever he said about that ... I mean, I can't accuse him of lying, but I very much doubt there was anything going on there. She was with [Miller] all the time, and when she wasn't she was working, and he was on the set all the time with her."
Whatever the case, the controversy hasn't goosed the box-office returns for 'My Week With Marilyn.' Through three weeks in limited release, the film has earned just over $5 million.
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