My Week With Marilyn Movie Review

Based on Colin Clark's memoirs, this film sometimes feels a bit too warm and nostalgic for its own good. But the performances are strong, and it's packed with terrific moments.

At age 23, Colin (Redmayne) is struggling to break into the movie business, camping out at the production offices of Laurence Olivier (Branagh), who is just about to start filming the 1957 comedy The Prince and the Showgirl with Marilyn Monroe (Williams). While Marilyn's diva behaviour and strict acting coach (Wanamaker) enrage Laurence, he can't deny that when she gets it right, she's magic. Meanwhile, Colin is assigned to help Marilyn make it through the shoot. And of course he can't help falling for her.

In addition to the central story, subplots and side-characters entertainingly fill out the scenes. Cooper brings terrific bluster as Marilyn's manager, Dench offers acerbic compassion as veteran diva Sybil Thorndike, Watson's costume assistant is a likeable romantic distraction, and so on. Less energetic are Monroe's tortured new husband Arthur Miller (Scott) and Olivier's long-suffering wife Vivien Leigh (Ormond). But the cast is packed with superb actors who bring a lot of fun to the screen with telling glances and biting dialog. And Branagh's sparkling performance steals the film.

Director Curtis beautifully captures the period with a realistic sense of paparazzi interest, the controlled chaos of a film set and intricate backstage antics. The movie has a lively pace that holds our interest, while Williams adds a remarkably emotional counterpoint as she reveals Monroe's inner demons.

Together Curtis and Williams effectively show how this troubled woman is able to stop everyone in their tracks with her sheer presence, even if Williams doesn't have the charisma that everyone mentions when describing Monroe.

But this is only a slight problem: Williams is a great actor even if she never comes across as a glamorous movie icon. We must take everyone's word that they fall under her spell, which makes Clark's memoirs (and the frankly awful voiceover narration) feel like a schoolboy's fantasy that the filmmakers themselves don't really believe. So while the film is thoroughly involving, it also feels like a series of mini-adventures that probably never happened. And if no one's left to confirm the truth, this myth will do nicely.


My Week With Marilyn Rating

" Good "

Rating: 15, 2011


More Michelle Williams

Shia LaBeouf Guilty of Smoking, Yelling at Actors at Broadway Show

Shia LaBeouf has pleaded guilty to being a general nuisance at a Broadway show in which he lit up cigarettes and yelled at the actors...

Emma Stone To Replace Michelle Williams In 'Cabaret' Musical

Hollywood star Emma Stone will make her debut on Broadway, starring in the ongoing revival of Cabaret. The 25 year old actress will play the...

Emma Stone May Finally Get That "Cabaret" Gig - Actress In Talks To Replace Michelle Williams In Broadway Revival

Emma Stone on Broadway is something we’d very much like to see. Recent reports state that this may be happening soon. The Easy A actress...

Jessica Alba Is Classy In Glowing Gown At The 2014 NYWIFT Designing Women Awards

'Sin City' actress Jessica Alba looked positively glowing in her stunning strapless bronze gown at the 2014 NYWIFT (New York Women in Film and Television)...


The Ladies Of "Destiny's Child" Back Together In Summery "Say Yes" Video

Are we all sufficiently in love with Destiny’s Child still? For those fans, who still live for the trio’s reunion, Michelle Williams just dropped the...

Jesus Christ Superstar US Tour Cancelled - Celebrity Stars Express Disappointment

The entertainment company responsible for the Jesus Christ Superstar Arena Spectacular Tour announced on Friday (30th May) the upcoming tour was cancelled. The company in...

Producers Pull The Plug On Star Studded ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ Arena Tour Just Days Before Debut Performance

A star studded cast taking a much loved musical on tour, what could have gone wrong for ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’? Frankly, we don’t know but...

Michelle Williams - Fire Video

Michelle Williams delivers ‘Fire’; the second single to be taken from her forthcoming fourth album ‘Journey to Freedom’, her debut on Light Records and E1...