Without a doubt, Miss Marilyn Monroe. No ifs ands or buts about it. I've had the same answer to this question for over 20 years now.
This past weekend I saw My Week With Marilyn. I was 30 minutes early for the flick and had to wait anxiously outside the theater doors as the staff inside were still busy picking up half-empty popcorn boxes and cleaning up sticky soda residue. I got the perfect seat, dead center and the one towards the front with the bar which quickly became my own ottoman. Popcorn in hand, a little buttery for my taste but screw it I've been good all week, and a Coke Zero in the cup holder, wide-eyed I waited in anticipation for the film to begin.
Michelle Williams was the perfect actress to play a role so rich and complex as this one. Many starlets out there were dying to play Marilyn but the Weinstein company made the right choice with Michelle. She oozed sexiness with just the right mix of grace. I read an article last week about how Michelle prepared for the role. When asked about Marilyn's "wiggle" she said "It's not a figure eight, it's not a side-to-side motion. It's like she's moving through honey."...think about that one again. Yowza!
The film takes place in the summer of 1956...she was just 30 years old. Addicted to pills and obviously not having dealt with the abandonment of her parents, a fragile Marilyn is shown. Each room is silenced the second she walks in...not because she says anything but her utter beauty demands it. Try and look away...you just couldn't. Every woman is intensely jealous as they should be. Nobody, except my mother of course (love you mom!) has ever come close to being as beautiful as Marilyn. Every man wanted her and every woman wanted to be her. And then we saw Norma Jeane. The tears, loneliness and constant questioning of herself. My Week With Marilyn gave us a hint of the inside life of this young, broken girl.
I left the theater quiet and saddened. The beautiful Marilyn was human after all.