“Forgotten Hollywood”- 21st Century 50 Fav Films (#8, #7)…

Posted on October 1, 2021 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

“`The countdown continues of my favorite movies of the last two decades. Eddie Redmayne and Jeff Bridges are recent recipients for Oscars in great cinema: The Theory of Everything and Crazy Heart. They made a number of films over the last ten years, two of which are featured this week.


~ #8 – MY WEEK WITH MARILYN (2011)

“`A sumptuous chronicle of the time when Marilyn Monroe traveled to England to co-star with Laurence Olivier in The Prince and the Showgirl. My Week with Marilyn is based on two books by Colin Clark, the second assistant director who became a companion to Monroe.

“`The production features Monroe, Olivier, Vivien Leigh, Arthur Miller and Paula Strasberg, principal figures during this era of filmmaking. The movie’s cast includes Michelle Williams, Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, Julia Ormand, Emma Watson, Derek Jacobi, and Redmayne (Colin Clark). Williams and Branagh received Oscar attention.

“`1957 was a transitional year for both Monroe and Olivier. Marilyn studied The Method Acting approach and yearned to be considered a serious thespian. Larry simply wanted to be a movie star by channeling Monroe and his wife Vivien as his vessels to stardom. Neither accomplished their desired goal with The Prince and the Showgirl. Career and personal setbacks make for compelling screen drama.

“`History tells us that Billy Wilder added to the Monroe mystique when he created Some Like It Hot, Marilyn’s next assignment. She received a Golden Globe for her work. Spartacus and The Entertainer were on Olivier’s horizon, with the latter earning Olivier another Oscar nod. Monroe would divorce Miller in 1961; Olivier left Leigh in 1960.

“`This moment in time represents a vanishing era of British filmmaking.



“`A neo-noir thriller, Bad Times at the El Royale has the earmarks of a Quentin Tarantino production (it was not), without the feet. An ensemble cast with Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, John Hamm, and Chris Hemsworth. Sadly, the Oscars snubbed this flick.

“`The El Royale is a hotel separated by the California-Nevada border. Each of six characters are placed in a metaphorical purgatory and each must decide which path will offer salvation. The tale takes place in 1969 during the time of the hippie movement and the Tate–LaBianca murders and draws inspiration on morality from the techniques used by the Coen brothers.

“`This is actually a worthy companion piece to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (hence the Tarantino reference). The soundtrack is 1960s pop music heaven, with such nuggets as He’s a Rebel, Hold On I’m Comin’, Bend Me Shape Me, The Letter, and Bernadette. The flaw with the production is El Royale was marketed as a kind of a slasher film. There is a tension of violence throughout the movie. However, the deadly scenes have more a Hitchcock-feel to its approach, a throwback to a time when gore was suggested.

“`They even showcase a mcguffin (a plot device that appears vital when introduced), common in films, especially thrillers. In this case, a film reel implicating famous people in compromising situations. Though never said out loud, one of the Kennedy brothers and Marilyn Monroe might be the subjects on the reel.  The El Royale is modeled after the Cal Neva Lodge and Casino, frequently visited by Monroe and the Kennedy family. The audience is left to wonder.

“`From start to finish, El Royale remains a fast-paced psychological exercise on celluloid that crackles to its suprise ending.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Friday, October 1st, 2021 at 4:01 pm and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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