Already home to the archives of Michael Redgrave and Paul Scofield, London’s Victoria & Albert Museum is enhancing its collection with a vast selection of material belonging to Vivien Leigh. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Gone With The Wind star and the archive will go on display from this fall as well as being made available for research. Among the memorabilia are her Oscars and other awards, diaries, annotated film scripts, photographs and extensive correspondence with her husband, Laurence Olivier. The collection aso includes some 7,500 personal letters from such notables as T. S. Eliot, Arthur Miller, Marilyn Monroe, Winston Churchill, Graham Greene and Noël Coward. There’s also a guest register from the Oliviers’ home signed by such showbiz legends as Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Bette Davis, Orson Welles, Judy Garland and Rex Harrison. The British Leigh, who was married to Olivier from 1940-1960, won two Oscars. The first for playing Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With The Wind and the second as Blanche DuBois in Elia Kazan’s A Streetcar Named Desire. The V&A acquired the archive from Leigh’s grandchildren.
EXCLUSIVE: Emboldened by the critical reaction that the Simon Curtis-directed My Week With Marilyn received in its New York Film Festival debut, The Weinstein Company has moved the film from November 4 to November 23, placing it smack into the Thanksgiving holiday fray. The film received strong reviews, particularly for Michelle Williams’ portrayal of Marilyn Monroe, Kenneth Branagh’s turn as Sir Laurence Olivier, Dougray Scott as Arthur Miller, and Eddie Redmayne’s performance as the production assistant who gets Monroe to drop her suffocating star persona as he shows her a good time in Britain. TWC’s hope is that the film will be commercial enough to play through the year’s end and build momentum into Golden Globes and beyond. Just as Fox Searchlight is expected to have two contributions to the Best Actor category with Shame‘s Michael Fassbender and The Descendants’ George Clooney, Harvey Weinstein seems poised to have dual aspirants for Best Actress with Williams and Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, a film we’ve yet to see.
EXCLUSIVE: After a rousing response to the New York Film Festival premiere of My Week with Marilyn last Sunday, The Weinstein Company has added the film to this weekend’s Hamptons International Film Festival. My Week With Marilyn will screen Sunday, October 16 at Guild Hall and they are about to put tickets on sale. TWC already has The Artist on the festival roster. The NYFF screening started Oscar buzz, particularly for the performance by Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe and Kenneth Branagh’s performance as Sir Laurence Olivier. The film takes place in England during the shooting of The Prince and the Showgirl, which Monroe show while on honeymoon with playwright Arthur Miller (Dougray Scott). She gets a reprieve from her suffocating Hollywood persona when Miller takes a detour to Paris, and Monroe is shown the pleasures of British life by a young assistant (Eddie Redmayne).