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My Week With Marilyn — Movies for Lawyers — The Act Of Communication Point Of View

30 November 2011

From Katherine:

Of course Alan and I loved MY WEEK WITH MARILYN. What is not to love by two actors in the telling of this wonderful bit of show biz lore – the infamous filming of “The Prince And The Showgirl” which starred Marilyn Monroe and Lawrence Olivier? (By the way, looking at Larry Olivier’s profile picture on IMBD makes me want to only allow shots of myself before 1975 to ever see the light of day). This is a loving screen adaptation of Colin Clark’s memoir of the same title, it is beautifully shot, magnificently acted and a definite “must see.”

Alan loved the amazing performances by a who’s who of British acting royalty. If you go on the movie site right now and look at the cast list, and you are any kind of a fan of Britsh actors, you are going be drooling immediately. This is in addition to the simply ravishing performance of Michelle Williams as Marilyn. Yep, from Dawson’s Creek. If you enjoy the history of modern acting, you will truly enjoy the faithfully executed difference between the “methodical” Brits and the “method” American…and you’ll see why American actors learn stage technique from Brits and Brits learn subtle interior work from American film actors.

Now – what can lawyers glean from this piece other than learning more about acting styles?

Because the film is told from one point of view, that of the “go-fer” kid Colin Clark, the impressions of many of the cast of characters might be criticized as being two dimensional and flat. At first I was a little taken aback that, for example, Dame Judi Dench’s Sybil Thorndike was like everyone’s vision of what a kindly old granny might be. Or that Julia Ormond’s Vivien Leigh seemed to be so…well…down to earth and, frankly, sane.

Then I started to see the characters as “Archtypes.” As in “the good mother” or “the hero” or “the villan.” I was recently speaking at a conference of the National Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers. One of the topics was “Archtypes and Persuasion”. The speaker highly praised one of my fellow trial consultants from The American Society of Trial Consultants, Joseph Guastaferro for his unique work in this area. I highly recommend that you get in touch with Joe to find out more about how he uses “Archtypes” in his trial consulting practice. And, if you want to experience some very clear Archtypes first hand, you can do so by watching this highly entertaining and wonderful film.

TIP: Look at the cast of characters in your trial. See any Archtypes?

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