There is currently a lot of buzz surrounding Michelle Williams and her role as Marilyn Monroe in My Week With Marilyn, which could lead to her being a big contender this coming awards season. While the film’s other cast members have been blithely under reported, today brings us a first look at Kenneth Branagh in the film, who will play legendary thespian Laurence Olivier. From what we see in the photo above, it looks like he nailed it.
Apart from having a keen love for Shakespeare, Olivier and Branagh don’t have that much in common physically. But like Anthony Hopkins in Nixon or James Franco in 127 Hours, it is all about the physicality of the performance and not necessarily the doppelgänger looks. Branagh has very slightly altered how he holds his jaw and the facial expression is dead on. Of course like Hopkins, he’s not entirely without the aid of make up.
For those who don’t know, the film tells the story of Marilyn Monroe making The Prince and the Showgirl with Olivier as her director. The behind-the-scenes story is famously rocky. Her personal and professional life were tempestuous at the time leading to many upsets on set and resulted in Olivier not directing again for 13 years. All this drama could prove to be a compelling watch as dramatized for film.
Following Madonna‘s W.E. being received about as merrily as a venereal disease by critics at the Venice Film Festival, The Weinstein Company will be keen to thrust a lot more attention on My Week With Marilyn as an Oscar contender this fall. Especially for Williams and Branagh, who between have stacked up an impressive array of nominations but not a win. Who knows, it could be their time for awards success.