My week with Marilyn: Music from the Motion Picture (a J!-ENT World Groove Album Review)

December 1, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

“My week with Marilyn: Music from the Motion Picture” features a delightful soundtrack with songs wonderfully composed by Conrade Pope, beautifully sung by Michelle Williams and beautiful piano playing by Lang Lang. 

TITLE: My week with Marilyn: Music from the Motion Picture

LABEL: Sony Classical


RELEASE DATE: November 29, 2011

1. Marilyn’s theme – Conrad Pope
2. ‘When love goes wrong, Nothin’ Goes Right’ & ‘Heat Wave’ – Michelle Williams
3. Colin Runs off to the the Circus – Conrad Pope
4. Colin Joins the Circus/Mr Jacobs – Conrad Pope
5. Driving through Pinewood – Lang Lang
6. Paparazzi – Conrad Pope
7. Colin and Vivian – Conrad Pope
8. Memories Are Made Of This – Dean Martin
9. Rushes – Conrad Pope
10. Lucy – Conrad Pope
11. Uno, Dos, Tres – La Tropicana Orchestra
12. Arthur and Marilyn – Conrad Pope
13. Marilyn Alone – Conrad Pope
14. Arthur’s Notebook – Conrad Pope
15. Vivian Screens Marilyn – Conrad Pope
16. The Getaway – Conrad Pope
17. You Stepped Out Of A Dream – Nat King Cole
18. Eton Schoolyard Conrad Pope
19. Autumn Leaves – Nat King Cole
20. Overdose – Conrad Pope
21. Colin’s Heartbreak – Conrad Pope
22. Colin and Marilyn – Conrad Pope
23. It’s a Wrap, I found a Dream – Michelle Williams
24. Such Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of – Conrad Pope
25. Remembering Marilyn – Conrad Pope
26. That Old Black Magic – Michelle Williams

One highly anticipated film to come out this winter is the British drama “My Week with Marilyn”, an adaptation of Colin Clark’s two books “The prince, the showgirl and me: the Colin Clark Diaries” (1995) and “My week with Marilyn” (2000).

Colin Clark worked as an assistant director on Laurence Olivier’s film “The Prince and the Showgirl” (1957), which starred Olivier and actress Marilyn Monroe.  Clark would write about his experience working on the film via a diary featured in the book.  During the time, Marilyn Monroe was recently married to playwright Arthur Miller.  But while everything was quite detailed in that book, one week is missing.

That one week was then written in Clark’s “My week with Marilyn” in which Colin Clark alleges to have had a relationship with the actress.

In the film adaptation, the film is directed by Simon Curtis (“Five Days”, “David Copperfield”) with a screenplay by Adrian Hodges (“David Copperfield”, “Primeval”, “The Lost World”) and would star actress Michelle Williams (“Dawson’s Creek”, “Brokeback Mountain”, “Shutter Island”) as Marilyn Monroe and Eddie Redmayne (“The Good Shepherd”, “Powder Blue”) as Colin Clark.

The music for the film is composed and conducted by Conrad Pope (“Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”, “Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace), “Marilyn’s Theme” by Alexandre Desplat (“The King’s Speech”, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1”) and would feature piano soloist Lang Lang and also music featuring the vocals of Michelle Williams.

To imagine the context of what Colin Clark is writing about, it’s important to note that Clark’s diary showed how much he disliked Monroe, how critical he was about her Hollywood look, her work ethic and then of course, the nine days missing from his first book.  A week that he alleges to have had an intimate relationship with an already ailing Marilyn Monroe in Sept. 1957, Monroe would die in an accidental overdoes in 1962.

While debate will always continue if whether or not Colin Clark’s memoir is indeed factual (Clark passed away in 2002), so far many people who have viewed the film has received positive reviews from critics.

As for the soundtrack, after repeated listening of the tracks, my opinion of the music is positive as I felt this is one classy, smooth and entertaining album.

First, Michelle Williams who did a fantastic job as playing Marilyn Monroe, also does a remarkable job performing the tracks such as “When Love Goest Wrong, Nothing Goe’s Right” and “Heat Wave”, another surprising track is Williams rendition of “It’s a Wrap” and “I Found a Dream”.  A beautiful song featuring Williams vocals and Lang Lang’s piano playing.  And a surprise for me was to see William’s cover of “That Old Black Magic”.  After listening to the Louis Prima and Keely Smith version for so many decades, it was interesting to hear a sultrier version by Williams.

Other vocal tracks on this album include Dean Martin’s “Memories are Made of This” and Nat Cole King Trio’s “You Stepped Out of a Dream” and “Autumn Leaves”.   And the instrumental “Uno, Dos, Tres” by Tropicana.  These songs help build upon the believability of the film taking place in the late ’50s.

But it’s Conrad Pope’s compositions that are easy listening.  From its upbeat, adventurous track of “Colin Runs Off to the Circus”, the big band jazzy “Collin Joins the Circus/Mr. Jacobs” and “Eton Schoolyard” to the adventurous string-dominated “Colin and Vivian” to the gentle “Vivian Screens Marilyn”, and of course the more sadder tracks with “Overdose” and “Colin and Marilyn”.  So, there are a good number of tracks that showcase a variety of emotions from Colin Clark’s earlier years, to when he first meets Marilyn, becomes closer to Marilyn and later to reminisce of Marilyn.

Alexandre Desplat has one track which he composed which is “Marilyn’s Theme” featuring beautiful piano playing by Lang Lang.  Lang Lang would be featured in five more tracks which include the beautifully scored “Paparazzi”, the sadder “Marilyn Alone”, working with Michelle Williams for “It’s a Wrap, I found a Dream” and for the closing track instrumental track “Remembering Marilyn”.

Overall, “My week with Marilyn: Music from the Motion Picture” is a soundtrack that provides great balance in songs showcasing the sultry Marilyn Monroe (via Michelle Williams who does a great job with her vocals), the Dean Martin and Nat King Cole tracks were also welcomed additions, and the inclusion of Desplat and Lang Lang were great additions.  But for the most part, Conrad Pope did a wonderful job composing and scoring this film.

“My week with Marilyn: Music from the Motion Picture” features a delightful soundtrack with songs wonderfully composed by Conrade Pope, beautifully sung by Michelle Williams and beautiful piano playing by Lang Lang.

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