My Week with Marilyn Movie Review

My Week with Marilyn Movie Review


Upcoming movie My Week with Marilyn is little more than a vehicle for Michelle Williams to be nominated for an Oscar. She does an impressive impersonation of Marilyn Monroe but there is very little substance to this new movie release.

The movie picture is based on two memoirs by TV Documentarian Colin Clark about a comedy directed by Sir Laurence Olivier in 1957 called “The Prince and the Showgirl.” Kenneth Branagh plays Olivier and Williams gives a predictable irate response when he asks that she be “sexy.” Basically new movie "My Week with Marilyn” makes Marilyn Monroe a sex object for Colin, played by Eddie Redmayne. Simon Curtis, a veteran of TV, does a terrible job of putting the movie together in his cinematic debut. The film is so cheaply made that Williams’ trademark dedication and great performance can’t even get it off the ground. It may draw some Marilyn Monroe fans to the theater.

Clark, who died in 2002, wrote two books about Olivier and his own work as a third assistant director as Olivier tried unsuccessfully to not only direct but to act opposite Marilyn Monroe, known for her erratic ways. Monroe decided she was going to give Method acting a shot with the coaching of Paula Strasberg played by Zoe Wanamaker. This brought the whole production to a stop. The first book by Clark is from his diaries and is acerbic in tone. It’s all about the production and his first negative impression of Monroe, saying she had bad skin, facial hair, and a dumpy body.

The tone of the first book is not present and the movie is based more on Clark’s second book, the overly sentimental My Week with Marilyn, published in 2000. Clark is very dramatic in his confession that he acted as a confidante to Monroe when she was not working well with Olivier and her husband of the time, Arthur Miller, played by Dougray Scott, was back in America visiting with his children. According to Clark, he and Marilyn spent one day in the English countryside, swam naked in a river, and kissed. This was about the entirety of their affair. Movie forums are very unimpressed with Clark’s boring story.

But Marilyn in the book is much funnier than Marilyn in the movie. Unfortunately My Week with Marilyn sticks quite close to the book when it comes to the titillation factor. Branagh hams it up as Olivier and gets the best line in the movie. Williams never quite manages to play a convincing Monroe but the hard-working Williams does show a very conflicted woman who only appears relaxed when she realizes her effect on the public. Clive, played by Redmayne, is just awful. The Marilyn in this movie is flat – she’s mixed up, tragic, and sexy. There’s little excitement and viewers are going to be frustrated with Clive when there isn’t much else in the movie to take into consideration.

There’s little to talk about when it comes to the shooting of the film and it’s poorly cut by Adam Recht. The music is also indifferent – ranging from sloppy piano music to some Jazz and back to piano. There isn’t much to recommend in My Week with Marilyn.


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