My Week with Marilyn–Movie Review

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3.5 Stars

My Week with Marilyn is a high-minded British historical drama based on some autobiographical writings by filmmaker Colin Clark.

In 1956 Clark (Eddie Redmayne) was an eager young college graduate obsessed with movies. Rather to the dismay of his upper-class parents he managed to wrangle a job with Sir Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh) who was about to direct a movie with Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams). The movie was eventually released as The Prince and the Showgirl but the process of making it was extremely difficult. “I think directing a movie is the best job ever created,” said Olivier, “but Marilyn has cured me of ever wanting to do it again.”

Colin Clark was intimately involved in all this drama. Indeed, if we can believe his account, he had a very brief affair with Marilyn.

If you are familiar with movie history there is not much new to be learned here. We see that Marilyn Monroe was the greatest sex symbol of her time, an extraordinary natural talent with an overwhelming screen presence. She was also extraordinarily difficult to work with. Her erratic behavior may be attributed to her struggles with depression and her addiction to sleeping pills. All of this is well known.

Still this is a high-class movie with some excellent performances, particularly Michelle Williams as the very troubled Marilyn. It is probably worth watching for that alone.