Film Review: Michelle Williams is Luminous in ‘My Week With Marilyn’

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CHICAGO – Bringing the popular culture past back to life in a movie is always a tricky proposition. No matter what, there are always inevitable comparisons to the real thing. They don’t come any more really famous than Marilyn Monroe, and Michelle Williams takes on a portrayal that exemplifies, honors and humanizes the iconic star in “My Week with Marilyn.”

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.5/5.0
Rating: 4.5/5.0

Credit also should be given to director Simon Curtis – working with an adapted screenplay by Adrian Hodges – who establishes an accessible narrative to show all sides of Monroe, at a crucial juncture in her life. Kenneth Branagh also is on his game as Sir Lawrence Olivier, cursed with a crossroads of his own that clashes ironically with the mercurial Marilyn. This is a film that will put a smile on the face of any movie fanatic, but is also fun for the generations not as familiar with the old stars, because it elucidates on a time and place never to come again, with glimpses of the celebrity culture beginnings that now are pervasive in our current society.

The “my” in “My Week with Marilyn” is Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne), a privileged Brit who is dying to get into the film industry. With barely an introduction, he is made a go-fer on the set of “The Prince and the Showgirl,” the first film to be made the production company of Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams). Monroe’s male co-star is Sir Lawrence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh), who also directs the film. Olivier’s wife at the time was Oscar-winning actress Vivien Leigh (Julia Ormond).

Marilyn is in a transitional state, having married the playwright Arthur Miller (Dougray Smith). She comes to England with loads of baggage, which includes her acting coach, Paula Strasberg (Zoe Wanamaker). Monroe is constantly late, erratic and insecure on the set, driving Olivier mad. One of her few supporters is Dame Sybil Thorndike (Judi Dench). She begins to cuddle up to Colin, while at the same time her marriage starts to fall apart. The icon and the go-fer begin to spend quality time together during the production, a magical moment with the biggest movie star on earth.

”My Week with Marilyn” opens everywhere on November 23rd. Featuring Michelle Williams, Kenneth Branagh, Eddie Redmayne, Zoe Wanamaker, Dougray Smith, Emma Watson, Julia Ormond and Judi Dench, Screenplay Adaptation by Adrian Hodges, directed by Simon Curtis. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “My Week with Marilyn”

Power Couple: Dougray Scott as Arthur Miller and Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe in ‘My Week with Marilyn’
Power Couple: Dougray Scott as Arthur Miller and Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe in ‘My Week with Marilyn’
Photo credit: The Weinstein Company

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “My Week with Marilyn”

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