• R, 1 hr. 39 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Simon Curtis
    In Theaters:
    Nov 23, 2011 Limited
    On DVD:
    Mar 13, 2012
  • The Weinstein Company

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My Week with Marilyn Reviews

Page 1 of 132
blkbomb
blkbomb

Super Reviewer

February 13, 2013
Dame Sybil Thorndike: †First love is such sweet despair, Colin.

My Week with Marilyn is such a terrific film with great performances from big names like Michelle Williams and Kenneth Branagh, and littler names like Eddie Redmayne and Philip Jackson. What makes this movie the pleasure it is, is definitely the top notch cast. Michelle Williams just continues to top herself with everything she does and her performance as Marilyn Monroe is no different. She is absolutely fantastic. The other standout is Eddie Redmayne, who plays Colin Clark.

Colin Clark is a 23 year old and has aspirations of making it in the movie business. He works hard to try to get a spot on the production team of Sir Laurence Oliver's next film, which happens to star Marilyn Monroe. Colin is given a position as 3rd Assistant Director and is basically nothing more then an errand boy. He catches the eye of Marilyn though, as he is different from the rest of the films production team. We also get a glimpse at the tense relationship between Oliver and Monroe as they work on the film.

I love movies that show the behind the scenes look at famous people, and with My Week with Marilyn we are given that opportunity. It's also a film of subtlety, which I also love. Marilyn's lifestyle isn't made center stage in the film, but the glimpses we get of it are enough. It's just a really well written and directed film.†

My Week with Marilyn is a must see in my opinion. I loved each and every second of it and can't wait to watch it again. This is one of those films I can see myself revisiting many times and I'm sure I will.†
Daniel P

Super Reviewer

February 9, 2013
I did like this movie, but I think I found the point-of-view too jarring to really be able to get into it; the story was occasionally about the person who's week the title it was, but mostly, it was about Marilyn Monroe. This approach gave us an interesting angle for a biopic - sparing us, thankfully, from the Hollywood formula that so often garners Oscar nominations like Michelle WIlliams's for this role - but I found that wet-noodle Colin (Eddie Redmayne) got in the way of this story about Marilyn Monroe; to my mind, either Colin should've been the hero and Marilyn only seen occasionally, or Marilyn the heroine and Colin only seen occasionally. Dividing their screen time more or less equally made it difficult for me to get into either character's shoes, and I was unsatisfied as a result. It's beautifully shot, though, and Kenneth Branagh channeled Laurence Olivier impressively. A good enough film, but not quite great; a near-miss.
Spencer S

Super Reviewer

October 10, 2011
Any biopic of someone as timeless and monumentally classic as Marilyn Monroe is going to underwhelm compared to the real thing, but with this film it got pretty darn close to impressive. Marilyn Monroe was a very flawed individual, and her life was tormented more by her own demons than anything pivotal, such as her divorces, pitfalls, and aberrations with the law and herself. This film takes on the grappling that Monroe went through in just keeping herself together, and the people who took care of her. The people around her get more of the attention, mostly because the film is from the point of view of Colin Clark (Redmayne) a third assistant director on the set of the film "The Prince and the Showgirl." Because of the setting I was not particularly intrigued to see this film for the longest time, mostly because Olivier's directorial debut was a lukewarm effort on both parties' parts and now that this film has emerged we can all see why. Olivier and Monroe did not work well together, mostly because Marilyn was trying to show herself as a viable and dramatic actress, and Olivier wanted a break from the world of Shakespeare so he could play the funnyman beside the comedic actress. The charm of the original Marilyn does come across well from Williams, as she conducts herself with the same vulnerable attitudes and whimsical sexuality as the real blonde bombshell. Branagh also does a very good job of capturing the bravado and sincerity of Olivier, mostly because both men imbibe some of the same qualities. Redmayne, as the caddish assistant, is without a proper personality other than caring about Marilyn and being cunning in order to secure a job. Other than that we're too busy watching Marilyn unfold herself onscreen to care whether or not she breaks the schoolboy's heart or not. The film is so minimal with what actually happens that Monroe comes off as a typically morose, temper tantrum giving, woman-child. Besides all the drama, it's a very interesting film about the most famous woman in the world.
maxthesax
maxthesax

Super Reviewer

January 6, 2013
My Week With Marilyn is another film "based on actual events", but this time truly believable as the co-writer of the screenplay is Colin Clark who published his diary based on his time spent as 3rd director (read go-fer) during the filming of The Prince And The Showgirl (a truly tepid film that is memorable only for the pairing of those two iconic figures, Sir Lawrence Olivier and Marilyn (who doesn't need a last name!).

The film does a wonderful job of getting inside not only the filmmaking, but of the psyche of that mercurial yet fragmented and frightened woman child that was Marilyn. With a strong cast including Kenneth Branagh as Olivier (who must have truly enjoyed being able to emote the bard in so many lines... I could listen to him do Shakespeare all day), and a fantastic rendition of Marilyn by Michelle Williams. For good measure you have Dame Judi Dench in a lovely role, and in what amounts to a cameo, Derrick Jacobi, who manages to light up the screen in his short time on it.

The direction and camera work stand up to the actors involved, with some lovely rotating camera work and lighting that somehow managed to emulate just how the camera loved Miss Monroe. Director Simon Curtis (and wouldn't it be something if he was related to Tony Curtis who once said that kissing Marilyn was like kissing Hitler) - plays the film as if it were the 60's and this serves the film well - keeping things moving along and light and breezy in spite of showing all of Marilyn's frayed edges. Using bits of songs from the Marilyn songbook along the way help capture her glamour but also her frailty, especially the terrific adaptation by Williams of That Old Black Magic which closes the film. Her significant pause before uttering the last word of the song sent chills down my spine.

Many have complained that this film is nothing more than a gimmick, but I have to disagree. It is well made, with terrific acting on display - an intelligent script and a 60's feeling that while showing you bits of the fractured Marilyn, refuses to wallow in it. The film may lack a certain depth in this regard, but for my taste, this isn't what I wanted to see here. The film entertains, shows a degree of respect for the subject, and rises far above the tabloid fare I'm sure many were hoping for.
Nicki M

Super Reviewer

February 17, 2012
Kind of average. I was really looking forward to seeing it, but story was kind of minimal. Michelle Williams does put in a good performance as Marilyn and I liked that it explored her troubled and insecure side.
It was worth watching, but once was enough.
Lanning :

Super Reviewer

September 17, 2012
I know that they were trying to make Michelle Williams look like Monroe, but this was a failure. Seeing something like this makes you know that no one except Monroe looks like Monroe. I'd have preferred a subtle attempt, as they did with Branagh -- looking really nothing like Olivier except by faint suggestion. All in all, well worth the watch. They did capture that problem of public vs. private life for mega-stars, and specifically in Monroe's case, they successfully personalized that experience. Makes me want to see all of her movies again.
flixsterman
flixsterman

Super Reviewer

November 12, 2011
I can't say that Michelle Williams nailed the part perfectly, but there were moments when she channeled the spirit of Marilyn quite well.
cosmo313
cosmo313

Super Reviewer

January 15, 2012
This is based on the true story of Colin Clark, an ambitious 23 year-old trying to make it big in the film industry in 1956 who happens to land a job as an assistant on the set of "The Prince and the Showgirl"- a film starring and directed by Laurence Olivier and featuring Marilyn Monroe as the female lead.

Colin is smitten with Marilyn, and his profesional association begins to turn personal with her, despite warnings of her being a heartbreaker and the threat of trouble. Colin begins to understand who the real Marilyn Monroe is, and he just might be the person she needs most, even if their connection is inevitably going to be a bittersweet coming of age story.

This is a very charming and heartfelt film, and yeah, it's moving too, despite being osmewhat predictable and unoriginal. Like the very similar Me and Orson Welles, this is flawed, yet well played. Eddie Redmayne is decent, but of course he's playing econd fiddle to the more interesting characters played by Michelle Williams and Kenneth Branagh.

Williams may not be a dead ringer for Monroe (kinda like how Frank Langella and Anthony Hopkins don't really look like Richard Nixon), but she uccesfully captures the spirit and essence of her, as well as the beauty. This was going to be a tough role for anyone, but she pulls it off nicely, and she's great at showing all sides of Ms. Monroe, from the sexy and playful, to the insecure and damaged. He's made a career out of brilliant performances, and this is yet another great one to add to the list. Branagh is likewise great as Olivier, doing a good job of showing his frustration with trying to handle a force like Marilyn. There's also some appearances by Julia Ormond, Dougray Scott, Judi Dench, Emma Watson, Bob Hoskins, and Toby Jones, with some faring better than others, but nobody truly sucking.

All in all, this is a nice film, and it looks great, and is highlighted by the acting, but the story is nothing new, this isn't as fresh as it could have been, and it's pretty overrated, but still, even then, it's hard not to like it even just a little bit.
MANUGINO
MANUGINO

Super Reviewer

November 9, 2011
Colin Clark, an employee of Sir Laurence Olivier's, documents the tense interaction between Olivier and Marilyn Monroe during production of The Prince and the Showgirl.

Great Film! The movie is similar in tone to "The King's Speech," and was helped by a beautiful score and wonderful costumes. I thought the performances were all very good by the leading characters. Michelle Williams's hardcore study on her character shows in the movie and she deserved her Oscar nomination. The cinematography used throughout the picture is exquisite and has a very nostalgic feel to it, which adds to the authenticity of the film, throughout. I understand that it is extremely hard to satisfy all audiences when a film about such a universal icon is created. However, I did feel that the film only scratched the surface of Monroe's exquisite facade, and that so much more could have been done within the creative walls of Curtis' direction. Overall, beautiful setting, costume design, and a thoroughly believable love affair between Redmayne and William's characters, all add up to a captivating, beautiful film, which I feel will be looked upon in years to come, as a sensitive and inciteful look into the life of Hollywood's most intriguing superstar.

Young Oxford graduate Colin Clark has dreams of getting into the movies. Or, has he prefers to say, run off to the circus. He pursues a production position and is eventually named third assistant director for The Prince and the Showgirl (1957). Directed by and starring Sir Laurence Olivier, the film also stars Marilyn Monroe. While Olivier the renowned stage actor is looking to become a movie star, Monroe is a movie star looking to be seen as a serious actress. Monroe is terribly self-conscious, has her own full-time acting coach in Paula Strasberg and is frequently late. It all drives Olivier a bit mad and he assign Colin to supervise her and make sure she gets to work on time. Colin and Marilyn soon develop a rapport and they have a positive effect on one another.
KJ P

Super Reviewer

April 26, 2012
"My Week With Marilyn" celebrates the story of how Marilyn Monroe became a huge movie star, from the low point of being hated by everyone on set, to overcoming her fears and gaining the appearance of best actress of her time, this film shows how beautiful film truly is. Eddie Redmayne and most notably Michelle Williams, deliver stunning performances as Colin Clark and Marilyn Monroe. Everything about this film is perfect. From the script, to the acting, to the picture perfect cinematography, "My Week With Marilyn" is a masterpiece. Easily of the best films of 2011.
LWOODS04
LWOODS04

Super Reviewer

December 16, 2010
Cast: Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh, Dominic Cooper, Julia Ormond, Emma Watson, Judi Dench, ZoŽ Wanamaker, Toby Jones, Derek Jacobi, Dougray Scott

Director: Simon Curtis

Summary: While filming a movie in England, Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe slips away with a young Brit for a week of self-discovery and frivolity. The story that ensues is based on the real-life memoirs of Colin Clark, once assistant to Sir Laurence Olivier.

My Thoughts: "I absolutely loved this movie and am, once again, impressed by Michelle Williams performance and her portrayal of the haunting and beautiful Ms. Marilyn Monroe. The film gives you a glimpse in the life of Marilyn as well as Colin. I don't think anyone will can truly say they knew the real Marilyn, but just this little glimpse of how it was for her makes me feel sad for her. The impending feeling she had of wanting acceptance and love comes through the screen in a force. The film surrounds more on Colin Clark, but Michelle Williams took over the screen with her presence that you forget who the film is really about. Not that Redmayne didn't give a great performance, cause he did, it's just Michelle was a force to be reckoned with. Judi Dench and Kenneth Branagh give great supporting performances as well. Great film."
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

April 13, 2012
I thoroughly enjoyed My Week with Marilyn. The ensemble cast is fantastic with Branagh and Dench as great supporting actors but Michelle Williams stealing the show as Marilyn Monroe. She is brilliant in the role, so much so that I kept having to remind myself that she wasn't the real Marilyn, I exaggerate not. She is fast becoming my favourite actress, with her last few films being my favourite of the last few years. Although the story is based on Colin Clark's book, it's fair to say that his memory was slightly blurred my his whirlwind romance, understandable but when it comes to that odd scene where we see Jack Cardiff say hello it doesn't quite ring true. I met Jack a few years ago at Brighton film school, he tried to sell us original photos of Marilyn for ridiculous sums of money. He was old and had lost it a bit but he spoke of Marilyn in the most wonderful way, I can understand how she captivated so many. I did however, appreciate the uncomplicated mood of the story - what many see as being dull I saw as being focused. The two second Norman Wisdom appearance was great though and very much appreciated, wouldn't it have been great if he was in The Prince and the Showgirl!
Carlos M

Super Reviewer

April 5, 2012
A decent yet not memorable film that left me smiling after it ended. Michelle Williams is great, even though she doesn't resemble the real Marilyn physically or in tone of voice - and it is also a role that would require an actress with greater sex appeal.
Cynthia S

Super Reviewer

October 24, 2011
Very well done little film that gives an inside look at the woman behind Marilyn Monroe. The cast is uniformly good and the story interesting, but the real reason to see it is for Michelle William's performance. She is just fantastic, and at times seems to be channeling Marilyn, especially her intelligence, complex personality, the battles with her inner demons, and her incredible ability to manipulate men. She absolutely deserved her Best Actress nomination. Good job!
TheDudeLebowski65
TheDudeLebowski65

Super Reviewer

March 24, 2012
Simon Curtis's My Week With Marilyn is an entertaining , but somewhat lacking film about the filming of one of Marilyn Monroe's most famous pictures. I felt that Michelle Williams was terrific in her role as Marilyn Monroe, and it is the highpoint of the film. In the end, you have an imperfect film that has been said it was to be a perfect film and what not. Unfortunately for Michelle Williams, who brilliantly portrays Marilyn Monroe. This is a flawed film that really doesn't do William's performance justice. The story and directing felt unfocused. Thus, My Week with Marilyn is a film that is imperfect and was backed with an effective marketing campaign to make this film seem better than it is. I thought the film was good, and the acting was great; but the story lacked something to really make this one stand out. The film suffers from something truly interesting that would make this film stand out. Aside from Michelle Williams really looking the part, this is a film that should have been great, but is limited because of a lacking script and uneven directing. Luckily the film isn't a total waste due to Michelle Williams phenomenal performance. She alone saves this film from being a total misfire. Unfortunately My Week with Marilyn isn't the great film I thought it would be. Watching the film, I felt that there was something missing to make this a truly remarkable and memorable film experience that would this a superb film to watch. But the story lacks at times, and in some cases, it becomes uninteresting to the viewer.
Matthew Samuel M

Super Reviewer

March 23, 2012
Michelle Williams was perfect. Emma Watson gave a wonderful performance. Kenneth Branagh was also a strong supporting actor. The film, however, fell flat and little was actually accomplished or fulfilled. Nonetheless, it is worth watching to see some great acting.
LorenzoVonMatterhorn
LorenzoVonMatterhorn

Super Reviewer

March 20, 2012
"People always see Marilyn Monroe. As soon as they realize I'm not her, they run."

Colin Clark, an employee of Sir Laurence Olivier's, documents the tense interaction between Olivier and Marilyn Monroe during production of The Prince and the Showgirl.

REVIEW
The real Marilyn Monroe was an inch and a half taller than Michelle Williams, a significant difference when one considers that there is no way Williams could have replicated the voluptuous physicality of Monroe's presence. Yet, the young actress does something quite unexpected in capturing the essence of Monroe's wounded psyche for all its frailties and doing a convincing job of conveying the public Marilyn for all her breathy sensuality in this modest 2011 showbiz tale. Directed by British TV veteran Simon Curtis and written by Adrian Hodges, the film depicts a minor piece of motion picture lore based on the memoirs of Colin Clark, who was a lowly "third assistant director" during the production of the Ruritanian romance, "The Prince and the Showgirl". The mostly forgotten 1957 movie marked Monroe's attempt at being taken seriously as an actress in a well-publicized collaboration with Sir Laurence Olivier just after she married playwright Arthur Miller.

Williams tackles the impossible with her empathetic performance as Monroe, and she manages it with aplomb without resorting to outright impersonation. One deliberate exception is the enchanting little dance she does as her character in the movie within the movie - she mimics Monroe perfectly in those few moments. Eddie Redmayne plays the callow Colin to the best of the screenplay's workmanlike limitations since the only hint of complexity is breaking the heart of the young costumer played in a fetching manner by an underused Emma Watson. As Olivier, Kenneth Branagh captures the ego-driven bluster and measured speech cadence of the legendary actor, but he is also underserved by Hodges' script. Dame Judi Dench again steals her scenes as a fellow scene-stealer, Dame Sybil Thorndike. Barely making a ripple in the story are Julia Ormond as Olivier's then-wife, Vivien Leigh, with just a hint given of her descent into madness, and Dougray Scott as a taciturn Miller. For all its flaws, the film is worth seeing for Williams' mesmerizing work, for example, the scene where she romps through the English countryside conveying Monroe's sense of freedom in a way that recalls a similarly poignant scene in "The Misfits".
jjnxn
jjnxn

Super Reviewer

November 24, 2011
Yet another trip to the well to pick over the legend of the sad Marilyn suffers from several faults. It has always been acknowledged even by Marilyn herself that "Marilyn Monroe" was a creation of the star and the actual woman was very different but for something so joyous to exist there had to be a reserve for her to draw from, could we please someday see a film about that facet of her life. Questionable source material purports to tell the story of a brief interlude during her filming in England with a callow youth who somehow manages to keep her glued together when others can't. The whole thing comes across more as wish fulfillment than fact however good acting helps cover many of the shortcomings. Michelle Williams is undoubtedly one of if not the best actress of her generation and her Marilyn is an interesting interpretation but she doesn't capture the Monroe essence, can anybody? The two best performances come from Kenneth Branagh as Larry Olivier and Judi Dench as Dame Sybil Thorndike, masterful performers making real people out of their characters with only a handful of scenes. Zoe Wanamaker's turn as that parasitic succubus Paula Strasberg is also well judged subtly implying her iron fist and crippling control over the vulnerable Marilyn. A false note is struck by Julia Ormond, a good actress but totally wrong as Vivien Leigh she neither resembles nor gives off that actress' charisma. Another issue that might only be an irritant to classic film fans but to them will be glaring is the terrible staging of her musical numbers, they use numbers she actually performed true but do not even approximate the actual perfomance of the songs. It wouldn't be so bad were they not presented as a filmed viewing experience but since they are it distracting. Not a bad film but ordinary.
Sam B

Super Reviewer

February 24, 2012
My Week with Marilyn really is a powerhouse of acting, but behind the novelty of seeing a 'true' story of scandalous Hollywood history, there is a distinct lack of clear conflict or stakes. What we have is a larger-than-life, enigmatic character on display and no attempt to make sense of that enigma.
Alice S

Super Reviewer

January 28, 2012
I love Marilyn Monroe, so I generally enjoy movies about Marilyn Monroe, especially those that bring out the little-girl-lost behind the calculative-movie-icon behind the little-girl-lost. The script treats Monroe magnanimously (a little too hamhandedly is my only criticism), showing how her deep ability to love and her sparkling intellect were quashed by those who expected her to be Marilyn Monroe all the time. It's also fair in showing how her own self-criticism and self-medicating were contributing factors to many of her problems.

I wish they could have shown more of the "good takes." So many of them were Marilyn fumbling lines and looking dumb, and they didn't quite capture how when "she gets it right, she really gets it right." For an audience unfamiliar with MM, people's compliments about her being brilliant seem empty.

I'm not quite sure how to rate Michelle Williams' performance. I'm glad she won the GG because her acceptance speech was lovely, but she didn't fully capture Monroe's essence. Can anyone, really? That's the enigma of Monroe. She could really turn it on, just like that. Williams does a very good performance of SOMEBODY, but I can't quite say that that somebody was Marilyn Monroe. I suppose out of all the actress who have tackled the part (that I've seen), Williams creates a serious role and not just a frothy impersonation, and she deserves props for that.

The editing and design could have helped with that "IT" quality though. Williams looks a little bit like MM, but her face is too round and her smile isn't as Joker-esque. There are a few slow-motion pans and B&W freeze-frames at the beginning of the movie that I wished would pervade throughout because only in those stylized shots did Williams look more like MM. As with Tyra Banks' adage of "creating your own hair wind," MM created her own slow-motion and B&W freeze-frames, but Williams doesn't really.

Oh Emma Watson. Why so much tension in your brow and mouth? You could probably be a great stage actress with all the faces you pull, but giiiirl, RELAX!!!
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