My Week with Marilyn


Action / Biography / Drama / Sport


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February 22, 2012 at 02:53 PM



Emma Watson as Lucy
Eddie Redmayne as Colin Clark
Kenneth Branagh as Sir Laurence Olivier
Dougray Scott as Arthur Miller
649.92 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 39 min
P/S 3 / 16

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by M. J Arocena 7 / 10

Michelle Williams overcomes the low budget

Remember "The Prince And The Showgirl"? I saw it for the first time only a few years ago, after the death of all the protagonists. The miracle, and it is indeed a miracle, Marilyn felt so alive, so contemporary. In "My Week With Marilyn" Michelle Williams is full of light, the real light, the internal one, while everyone else is deadly opaque. The film feels like a very low budget TV movie and not even the grand manors and colleges manage to give it the production value, the story deserved. But Michelle Williams is truly enchanting. Not that she is a dead ringer for the real Marilyn. So much more demure, smaller breasts, smaller behind, only her strange kind of melancholia seems to match the original one and some of that magic essence appears to be in place. Eddie Redmayne, the narrator, whose POV drives the story is rather a cool fish. His grasp is so limp and small that I was kept longing for more. Kenneth Brannagh is very funny and Judi Dench, terrific, but Julia Ormond as Vivien Leigh is just so wrong one wants to fast-forward, unfortunately, that's impossible right now. But, let's go back to Michelle Williams, the one reason to see this film and in itself she's reason enough.

Reviewed by Jim Becker 9 / 10

Remarkable Performance!

I just saw this film at the Mill Valley Film Festival and was pretty much blown away. My expectations were low and the very beginning of the film seemed to bear that out. Seeing well-known actors playing very well-known actors can take a little getting used to. But both Kenneth Branagh and Michelle Williams did admirable jobs. Michelle was a revelation. She completely inhabited the role of Marilyn in all of her complexity: her vulnerability, her guile, her sweetness, and her insecurity. This is one of the few performances I've seen where I would say someone is a lock for the Oscar. But this is not only a tour-de-force of acting. It is also a compelling and well-told story of the making of a film and of the competing personalities and agendas involved. Eddie Redmayne was wonderful as Colin, the narrator and main character of the story. Judi Dench was her wonderful, wise self. The cast was filled with wonderful character actors who seemed familiar and comfortable. My brother and I agreed that this was a better film than A King's Speech so on that basis alone it should win Best Picture. At the very least, it was an very entertaining and moving night at the movies.

Reviewed by Dharmendra Singh 8 / 10

Candle in the Wind

Marilyn Monroe, the quintessential blonde bombshell, came to Pinewood Studios in 1956 to shoot 'The Prince and the Showgirl', a light comedy directed by and starring Laurence Olivier. Colin Clark, the third assistant director on the film, was the lucky 23-year-old who got to spend a week with her. 'My Week with Marilyn' cinematises his diary.

I imagine there aren't many characters more difficult to play than Monroe. It must be like playing Elvis. But I'm delighted to confirm that Michelle Williams makes the impossible look easy. She has thrown herself into this part and has nailed the portrayal. Aside from the physical resemblance, Williams walks, talks and acts like Monroe. It's too early to say whether she'll win the Oscar next year, but a nomination seems a certainty.

Williams' performance is bolstered by impeccable turns by an enviable roster of the creamiest cream of British talent: Judi Dench, Kenneth Branagh, Zoe Wanamaker, Eddie Redmayne and Emma Watson. Especial mention must go to Branagh whose Olivier is impeccable. He accurately displays the legendary actor's sophistication and scurrility, and is bound to receive a supporting Oscar nod.

I loved the film's playfulness, for instance when Clark takes Monroe on a tour of Eton, followed by skinny-dipping in a cold river. The filmmakers do well to capture the craziness of Marilyn's world and the feeling of what it was like to be the most famous woman in the world. There are some lovely little touches – like the scene where Clark asks Monroe why she has a picture of Abe Lincoln by her bedside. Her reply, 'I don't know who my real father was, so why not him?'.

Eddie Redmayne, who has appeared in some big films ('The Good Shepherd', 'Elizabeth: The Golden Age') is well-cast as Colin Clark. Perhaps it's because he looks so much the underdog. He sort of represents every young man who would have killed to be in his shoes.

Clark has his eyes set on Monroe but resigns himself to the fact that Emma Watson's character, a costume assistant, is more his match. A weakness in the story, although I'm unclear of the veracity, is how underused Watson is and how readily she forgives his liaison with Monroe. Didn't girls have higher standards in those days?

Simon Curtis is yet another Englishman who has moved seamlessly from TV to cinema. His film astutely plays down the fact that Colin was brother to the even more famous Alan Clark, a former Conservative MP. Rightly so, I think. This film isn't about the minister or his also-famous diaries.

I'm glad the filmmakers didn't sacrifice the film's integrity by moulding it to be rated 12A (British certificate) to increase ticket sales. The two or three flashes of flesh are not only welcome, they are vital (Monroe said that 'the body is meant to be seen'). Curtis teases us like Marilyn was famous for doing. But he knows not to go too far by showing us any more than is necessary.

In summary, this is a brilliant biopic, as well as a story of what happened when a young man got close to the star he adored. It is bittersweet and evocative of a golden age of Hollywood. I was made to care for Monroe. I felt bad for her when she was exploited. Along with Elton John's beautiful song, this film has made me understand Norma Jeane Mortenson a little better. Now I see her as more than a sex symbol. She may have been blonde but she wasn't dumb. Dumb blondes don't read James Joyce or marry Arthur Miller, or come out with some of the wittiest lines a person can utter. She was like all of us, really: a human being.

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