Release Date: 25th November 2011
Director: Simon Curtis
Starring: Michelle Williams, Kenneth Branagh, Eddie Redmayne, Dominic Cooper, Emma Watson, Dame Judi Dench, Toby Jones
Running Time: 99mins
Few actresses have ever had an effect on the world at large as Marilyn Monroe. Both in her own time and since, she is seen as a global superstar, and probably the most famous woman who has ever lived.
My Week With Marilyn follows Colin Clark, a 23 year old former Etonian, trying to make his way in the movie industry. Having blagged his way onto Sir Laurence Olivier’s new film – The Prince and the Showgirl – he finds himself face to face with Marilyn herself, and is instantly in awe of the blonde bombshell.
It’s an interesting idea, but not one which really works in practice, and the end result can be summed up with just one word: dull.
Michelle Williams puts in a perfectly fine performance as Monroe – indeed it’s a performance which has gained exceptional plaudits elsewhere – but it is for me nothing more than fine. Given that whatever she achieves will always be in the shadow of Marilyn herself, she can never quite stand up to the legend.
Beyond her performance meanwhile the rest of the proceedings just feel almost completely lackluster.
From Eddie Redmayne’s rather wet Colin, to a completely pointless bit part for Emma Watson which was almost certainly only there in the first place so they could put her name on the trailer, the cast simply doesn’t gel whatsoever, and it makes for a slow and meandering film – even at less than 100minutes
It just feels like this film really covers no new ground, and in the end seems like rather a waste of time. We see Marilyn’s struggle with her fame, and her attempt to escape her own loneliness, but just as these angles start to get interesting the film allows itself to slip back into a series of montages of Monroe and Clark’s brief affair.
For everything it could have been, My Week With Marilyn is really rather disappointing, and but for an OK performance from Michelle Williams the remainder is entirely, and instantly forgettable.