I’d been looking forward to the new cinema opening for ages, no more trips to Kettering, Northampton or Peterborough and yet it had been open for two months before I finally made the time to go and see a film at the Savoy in Corby. I live five miles away so I should have got there before now and the irony was that I went to see a film I already own on dvd. Madness! However, last night was a special night; for the Savoy and for me. The film was ‘My week with Marilyn’ starring Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne and Kenneth Branagh, but also along for the evening was the film’s producer, David Parfitt.
I knew it was going to be a bit different when the mayor turned up, or was it the deputy mayor? Either way I couldn’t work out if she was supporting the Big Film Week (the initiative that had put this film on) or if she was a Marilyn Monroe fan. A couple of friends had another also joined me and we settled in our seats, back row, top corner – I love sitting up there in any cinema; I get to see all that is going on. The Savoy also has some double seats, but not on the back row; if you have a double seat in Corby you have to behave!
We were ushered in, a lady began to tell us about the significance of the evening and a false start was highly amusing. To see the pause button pop up in a cinema is a sight you don’t often see. It was after this that the film started; I’ve only seen it once before and it was almost like seeing it for the first time. On the big screen and utterly captivating. Michelle Williams is brilliant in the part of Marilyn, all angst and brilliance at the same time. Eddie Redmayne captures the innocence of Colin Clark and his wide-eyed love of the megastar. Branagh is Olivier in this portrayal and there are magnificent cameos throughout, especially Judi Dench. I was lost in the film from start to finish and as I had recently read about the making of the film it all seemed so real.
With the end came the Q & A session with the producer, David Parfitt. A short interview was conducted first during which I learned that Mr Parfitt won an Oscar for ‘Shakespeare in Love’.When asked what difference it had made to him I was amazed to hear that there was none; as an actor it might, but to a UK based producer there was no benefit at all, although owning one of the statues must still be a great feeling. The film cost $6 million to make, but has never made it’s money back. And this is a successful film, a lesson in business and in art. I got to ask a couple of questions (those who know me will know I always have a question ready) and Mr Parfitt was very generous with is time when I spoke to him afterwards.
The biggest revelation was that Judi Dench did not film her scenes with most of the rest of the cast as her part was shot some two months before the film commenced properly. Even watching the film back again you would have no idea that this was the case; the continuity is superb and the editing a masterclass. Another lesson, if something has to be done you will find a way to do it.
My evening with Marilyn was touching, amusing, enchanting and thrilling. All you would expect from the enigmatic, troubled, beautiful superstar. I’m looking forward to more evenings with her, at home this time, and on reflecting on a night of wonder that the cinema, and art, can create.