Sunday, 2 March 2014

My Week with Marilyn (2011)

My Week with Marilyn is a BBC Films production and is based on the memoirs of the film-maker and writer Colin Clark. He claims that he came very close to having an affair with Marilyn Monroe during one of the most difficult film productions of her career. The film begins in 1956 where we see a young Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne) being hired as a 3rd assistant director to Sir Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh). The world-renowned actor is preparing to direct and star in the film The Prince and the Showgirl and has hired Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams) to act alongside him. Olivier has no idea of what he's let himself in for. Marilyn turns out to be extremely needy and insecure, is frequently late to the set, and has great difficulty in remembering her lines. Olivier and the crew soon become exasperated with her but Colin feels sorry for Marilyn. He suspects that despite her huge success and recent marriage to Arthur Miller (Dougray Scott) that she's deeply unhappy. Over the course of one particular week Colin finds himself spending a lot of time with Marilyn. He ends up falling for her and this interferes with his budding romance with a costume girl called Lucy (Emma Watson).

As a biopic My Week with Marilyn didn't really work for me. There wasn't a single moment in this entire film where Williams and Branagh managed to convince me that I was watching Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier. It was the same with Julia Ormond's performance as Vivien Leigh. None of these actors bear the slightest resemblance to the real-life characters that they're playing and they didn't even alter their voices very much. Having said that My Week with Marilyn is still quite a charming film. It has some funny lines and it's very watchable. I really enjoyed Eddie Redmayne's performance. Emma Watson and Judi Dench are both very good in their minor roles. There will be quite a few familiar faces in this film for period drama fans actually. Dominic Cooper, Toby Jones, Jim Carter and Sir Derek Jacobi all make appearances in this film. My Week with Marilyn isn't a great film but it's worth a watch.

Rating: 3/5
Film Certificate Rating: 15


Hamlette said...

I've been vaguely interested by this, but I think I'll just leave it on the list of "movies I'd watch if they happened to be on TV when I was looking for something to watch."

Hannah said...

Yes it's that kind of film. It's not one that you'd seek out.