My Week With Marilyn (2011) Review | Jamie Daily

My Week With Marilyn (2011)
84th Academy Awards 2012
3/5 Stars
Nominated for Best Actress (Michelle Williams) and Supporting Actor (Kenneth Branagh).
Watched July 21, 2012.

First of all, watching all of these nominated films is probably the best project I have ever come up with.  I am almost guaranteed that all the movies I watch will be good–that something about the film will make it worth watching.  In my opinion, Michelle Williams is that reason in My Week With Marilyn.  For all the comments on the film’s low budget feel, bad scripting, and mediocre directing, I quite enjoyed it.  It felt more like I was inside of a BBC series with some amazing acting.  I am a fan of BBC and therefore did not mind the television feel.  I found the cinematography refreshing and different from mainstream Hollywood, and to be honest, couldn’t take my eyes off of Williams.  I didn’t know a lot about Marilyn Monroe from the start, and to my knowledge have only seen her in one film (Some Like It Hot).  After watching My Week With Marilyn, I was inspired to look her up and find out what happened to her.  Apparently, a few short years alter shooting The Prince And The Showgirlshe passed away, probably from an overdose.


My Week With Marilyn is about a boy named Colin who “runs away to the circus,” as he calls it, and earns himself a spot as the third assistant director on a movie set.  Essentially, he was a glorified gofer.  But what luck when he finds out that he will be working with none other than the famed star, Marilyn Monroe herself, who will be acting in her first British film!  Yes, it is yet another movie about a film within a film–a tradition of entertainment that will probably never die.  Somehow, Colin becomes someone who Marilyn trusts and once her husband has gone back to the States, they have a mini love affair.


In the film, Colin makes a wonderful observation.  Marilyn wants so very much to change from a star into a great actor.  This is one of the things that gave her so much grief and that troubled her very much when coming onto this shoot.   You can see in her eyes that, though she has so many problems–between her own almost bi-polar personality and constant substance abuse–she is in love with Marilyn Monroe.  Colin tries to tell her that she can leave it alone–that she doesn’t have to be in the spotlight any more.  For a split second, she imagines it, and then you can see the distaste.  She loves being Marilyn, being the sex bomb, the star every woman wants to be and every man wants to have.


I see the point of many critics–that the film is indeed much more suited to television than cinema.  It is as if one is watching several episodes of a series pieced together by Colin’s narration.  However, as I was watching it, I saw it as much more of a character study of Marilyn–divulging her complicated self and watching her go instantly from a troubled woman to the sex goddess known as Marilyn Monroe, an incredibly complicated feat that I believe Williams did brilliantly.  As was said on, “the performance of Michelle Williams […] continues to quietly and succinctly prove that she is one of the best actresses of her generation.”


If you are a fan of BBC, watch it.  If you are a fan of Monroe, watch it.  If you like accents, watch it.  If you, like myself, have come to the realization that Williams is brilliant, watch it.  If you are looking for cinematic brilliance, go somewhere else.


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Sources: IMDBRotten TomatoesScreen Rant,  New York Times

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