Those who might have had doubts that intelligent, almost elfin talent Michelle Williams was the right person to bring to life that most voluptuous and famously (if not necessarily straightforwardly) ditzy and girlish mega-star Marilyn Monroe can rest easy. Twenty minutes in, you'll forget you're not watching Monroe herself. Yet it's not simply a bludgeoningly photoreal impersonation, more of an elegant impressionistic portrait.
It's not even her story, really - this the based-on-true-memoirs story of Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne), an employee of Sir Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh, enjoying himself), who runs away from his wealthy family to pursue a career in that business they call show. He's not exactly an orphan with a red and white spotted bindle on his back, but rather, the son of a wealthy businessman. No matter - the Old Etonian background comes in handy when Monroe takes a shine to him and wants to see the sights of Ye Olde England.
It's all beautifully shot, beautifully costumed, undemanding stuff, with Williams performing at a level not demanded by the script and pulling it off with aplomb. But like Marilyn herself, this creamy confection is an illusion, which upon waking up to real life again, dissolves.