My Week With Marilyn review

Marilyn Monroe toddles over to England, acts alongside Laurence Olivier, has a few issues, and spends some time with an enthusiastic kid.

Bogged down by numerous stories of historical interest surrounding the central plot, the protagonist’s encounters with the eponymous siren are so few and fleeting that there isn’t enough substance to truly care about their relationship. At the same time, the film’s scope is too narrow to make much of a statement on Monroe’s extraordinary power, legacy, or mental state, but it still makes cursory attempts to do so.

The quality of filmmaking is unfortunately unadventurous and uninspiring, too. Whilst operating within similarly conservative confines to The King’s Speech, it lacks its Weinstein Company stablemate’s depth of creativity.

The cast is the film’s saving grace although even that soup is being used as a lido by a handful of flies. Emma Watson reads lines with the exuberance of a dead seagull, Dominic Cooper is, characteristically, as bland as stale oatmeal and, as usual, Kenneth Branagh plays Kenneth Branagh playing a character. But Eddie Redmayne, who plays the “My” part is captivating, his youthful enthusiasm wholly believable and Judi Dench comes close to pinching the limelight from Michelle Williams’ Marilyn every time she appears on screen. And Williams is quite remarkable. One of the most interesting actors of recent years, a few eyebrows were nonetheless raised when her appointment to the role was announced. It’s an incredibly difficult task, playing such a complex, iconic one-of-a-kind, but she nails the fragility, the sexy, the witty, the bewitching to such a degree it is hard to think of anyone possibly doing better. She looks the part and her mannerisms are, at times, so astonishingly uncanny I have fallen in love with Marilyn Monroe yet again.

3 out of 5

30th Nov 2011 | Official site | On IMDb