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In the summer of 1956, 23-year-old Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne of THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL) joined the set of THE PRINCE AND THE SHOWGIRL as an assistant determined to make his way up in the film business. His diary, released 40 years later, documented the tense interactions between Sir Lawrence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh of HAMLET, VALKYRIE) and the iconic Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams of BLUE VALENTINE, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN). But a week was missing from that account, and this is the story of that week - an experience Clark will never forget. As he and Marilyn spend time together, she begins to shake off the insecurity that plagues her and exposes the many complex layers that have fascinated the world since her rise to fame.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 162
- Fresh: 135
- Rotten: 27
- Average Rating: 7.1/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: Michelle Williams plays Monroe, and she's a wonder.
Rotten: A dubious idea done in by Adrian Hodges's shallow script and Simon Curtis's clumsy direction.
Fresh: I believe the heart of the film, and the cleverest stroke of all, is Eddie Redmayne as Colin Clark, someone few of us will have heard of.
Fresh: That's all familiar lore but, to his credit, director Simon Curtis lays out these separate ambitions and conflicting tensions with breezy dispatch in the early frames.
AN ENCHANTING CHARACTER STUDY
"My Week With Marilyn" is definitely not your average biopic drama. Rather than chronicle the life of its central character in its entirety, the movie takes place during the course of one week in the early summer of 1956, at the height of Marilyn's career. It focuses on the experiences of Colin Clark, a 23-year-old man working as an assistant on the British set of "The Prince and the Showgirl". While there, he meets the film's leading star, Monroe, and the two soon start spending time together, even though she's on honeymoon with her new husband, playwright Arthur Miller. Colin introduces Marilyn to life in Britain as she escapes from her daily Hollywood routine and the pressures of work. But as the week goes on, Clark begins to discover the many complex inner layers that have plagued Monroe for years since her meteoric rise to fame. While the plot is indeed captivating, it's the characters that really bring this film to life. Eddie Redmayne delivers a commendable performance as Colin Clark, as do Judi Dench and Emma Watson in their supporting roles. Kenneth Branagh also gives a solid effort as Sir Lawrence Olivier, the hot-headed actor who stars alongside Marilyn on the set of their movie, much to his displeasure. But of course, this film would be nothing without Michelle Williams, who portrays the legendary icon with remarkable depth and vulnerability. She lights up the screen as a woman whose many insecurities are at constant war with her larger-than-life ego, and the scenes where she's on set with Olivier are incredibly genuine. But it's the way that Michelle can effortlessly switch moods in an instant that truly made me believe I was watching the real Monroe on screen at times. Not only is this the best performance of Williams' already impressive career, but it's most likely the one that she'll be remembered by for years to come. It's no wonder why the role has recently earned her an Oscar nomination. On another note, the script is smartly executed, the score is beautifully conducted, and the screenplay is well paced. Overall, "My Week With Marilyn" serves as an effective, passionate character study for one of the most iconic celebrities of the 20th century. It may not be the most exciting or memorable biopic made in recent years, but for those of you who appreciate Oscar-worthy performances backed up by solid storytelling, it's certainly worth renting.
Michelle Williams captures the very essence of Marilyn Monroe in this delightful first outing from Simon Curtis. For 1 hour and 38 minutes I felt like I was watching Marilyn - transfixed on her beauty, her charm and her air of perfection. Curtis also captures her fragility and depressive nature in a sensitive and insightful way. Eddie Redmayne plays his part to near perfection, but for me, it was Kenneth Brannagh that stole the show. His portrayal of Olivier was sublime.
Perhaps one of the best films I've seen in years.
My Week With Marilyn (2011)
3 Out of 5 Stars
"Gentlemen, it is my special pleasure to introduce a woman who clearly needs no introduction ..."
A woman of poise, oozing of charisma, charm, and such a thrilling sensation of wonder! Not even getting to the sex appeal, but a body amazingly beautiful and like no other; setting the standard of a new world for full figured women all over the world. A woman that can't be described in a simple manner. Who makes you feel the world is full of magic and excitement!
A work … of art!
… Okay Michelle Williams, portray that ... annnnd action! Tough, yes. I commend the young and VERY talented actress for taking on SUCH A DIFFICULT task of trying to recreate the magic that this icon brings to people with the very thought. But did Michelle's performance do the trick?
My Week With Marilyn is based on the real story about a young boy, Colin Clark, fresh out of school and wanting to gain some experience in the work force in the field of film. He's extremely passionate to become a success in the world of movies and is determined to break in. This passion earns him an entry level position at Sir Laurence Olivier's production company which is soon to go into production (start filming) on a new movie with Olivier & Marilyn Monroe herself, The Prince and the Showgirl.
Clark's passion earn him points with the right people to become an assistant to Olivier which brings him closer and closer to Marilyn. Seeing her up close sheds a more personal touch to her and Clark immediately falls in love, forgetting everything else, including logic. And we go on a journey during the filming of the movie, as Marilyn is intrigued by the young lad's passion that's earned him the chance to experience the magic of Marilyn, when personally experienced, may come with some heart ache as well as joy. This journey affects everyone and we all learn how to become better people in the end and are better for it.
Before I can compliment Michelle Williams any further on her hard work, I have to say that I'm THE BIGGEST Marilyn Monroe fan! She's my MOST FAVORITE actor, and most FAVORITE celebrity! Not just that but, she's such an iconic figure in the public, it would be hard for Michelle Williams to fill the shoes regardless of how good of a job she did. So in that light we can only compliment how good of a job Michelle Williams did.
However, I still feel this role was miscast. As Michelle Williams would and will always be a choice much much much further down the list of choices to cast this role in my book. I feel that she did a good job in putting in the hard work necessary to pull of an incredible performance of a character she thought was Marilyn. But in my eyes I saw Michelle Williams playing a role, but not Marilyn. Maybe I'm just too huge of a fan and have way too biased of an opinion. But I'm pretty sure now it's mainly because Michelle Williams looks NOTHING LIKE MARILYN! Had the team of filmmakers that put this together went with someone of amazing resemblence to the character, this movie and that actress would soar TWICE AS FAR as the movie did as it is now, simply because the actress LOOKS THE PART!
My vote would've been for Scarlett Johansson, there would've been an uproar when that annoucement hit but as I mentioned she'd soar twice as far as Michelle Williams, simply because she looks the part. That goes further than we can psychologically fathom, and it really does play just as much of a part as hard work does, more than we think. Psychogically we're already convinced because we see the character! If she put in half the work Michelle did, all that uproar would be forced to silence. So I will always feel this role was miscast. I do want to credit the hard work of Michelle Williams however, but I feel my icon could've been portrayed a lot better. No disrespect to Michelle Williams and all her hard work, as a fellow actor I have nothing but respect for what she did, thank you for this entertaining experience. But this is a tricky character to concur, and it's hard to say if an actor could ever truly "concur" Marilyn.
The film itself I feel was way too choppy and quick. Simon Curtis, the film's director, was really bent on getting in the scene late and leaving early, which is one of the main rules of writing a movie. But in that sense, it took away from the romance that this story needed to portray. The pulse of the movie was just way too fast. Slow it down and let us too fall in love with the magic that is Marilyn as Colin falls in love with the magic.
The one, definite, 100% in all aspects, good thing about this film is Kenneth Branagh. One of the greatest actors to ever act! His body of work, particularly Shakespeare, shows just how talented he truly is. He will be recognized one day in the greatest manner people acknowledge actors someday.
All in all, My Week With Marilyn is an all around romantic film for adults everywhere. They'll get an entertaining experience of the filmmakers portrayal of an iconic figure; an iconic figure that will forever inspire the hearts of many! I just feel that one day, that inspiration will be portrayed in its greatest potential and truest light. Marilyn is special, precious, delicate, and challenging yet rewarding material. Don't just approach it any kind of way. Treat it as if this is the BEST movie, book, theater play, quote, or story someone will EVER EXPERIENCE ... EVER. With that in mind, NOW go tell your story about Marilyn.
So with that said, this movie could've been SO MUCH better! It's just a decent movie. There's nothing spectacular about it; and Marilyn is nothing but spectacular.
My Week With Marilyn
Drama, 99 Minutes, R
Directed By: Simon Curtis
Written By: Adrian Hodges, Colin Clark (Novel)
Stars: Michelle Williams, Kenneth Branagh, Eddie Redmayne, Dominic Cooper
- Genre: Drama
- Released: 2011
- © 2011 The Weinstein Company LLC. All Rights Reserved.