A very entertaining film. I laughed a lot and enjoyed spotting the cameos by various celebrity actors - Emma Watson, Dominic Cooper, Zoe Wanamaker, Michael Kitchen, Toby Jones.
The stage was held by the three stars, two of them leading Shakespearean actors of their generation.
Dame Judi Dench, majestic as Dame Sybil Thorndike, played the Prince's mother in the film "The Prince and the Showgirl."
Michelle Williams was mesmerising as Marilyn, a perfect piece of casting. The camera just licked her all over.
Kenneth Branagh was equally mesmerising as Sir Laurence Olivier, a part he was surely born to play, having followed in the maestro's footsteps by acting and directing himself as both Henry V and Hamlet. His cut-glass accent slipped at times, but when on form, he was the very living image. I recall seeing Sir Laurence acting on stage in "Long Day's Journey into Night" at the Aldwych in the early seventies. Branagh brought him back to life.
The young Colin Clark was suitably well-brought up, naif, and helpful.
It helped having seen the film "The Prince and the Showgirl" to appreciate the verisimilitude of the sets.
It helped to have read the biographies of Sir Laurence, his then wife, Vivien Leigh, and to have seen Marilyn's great film achievement "Some Like It Hot".
This created the background necessary to really enjoy the allusions. It also helped to have read and seen at least three plays by Arthur Miller (M's then husband). At first I thought that Jeff Goldblum would have been a better casting for the latter, but as the film went on, I realised the Jeff is far too nice. The Arthur in the film captured the cold, analytical heart of the playwright.
Altogether, a delightful piece of artifice, and one that captured all of life in the short space of 105 minutes.
Love, loss, fear, success, failure, aging, heartbreak, and some beautifully delivered lines of Shakespeare, which the Larry character is apt to quote at times of stress.
Made me go home worried that I have missed out on a lot of life. Then I remembered Marilyn's early and tragic death. Some stars burn too brightly go out too soon. Maybe I will just keep plodding on as before.