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My Week with Marilyn

4.1 out of 5 stars 398 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

During Marilyn Monroe’s (Oscar® Nominee Michelle Williams) first trip to London to film “The Prince and the Showgirl,” with Sir Laurence Olivier (Oscar® Nominee Kenneth Branagh), she befriends Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne), an ambitious 23 year-old production assistant on the set. As their relationship progresses Colin’s focus shifts from making his way in the film business to rescuing her from the pressures of celebrity life. When Monroe’s new husband, playwright Arthur Miller, makes a brief trip to Paris, Clark takes the opportunity to introduce her to the world outside of Hollywood fame. Based on the true story by Colin Clark, this memoir describes a magical week in which Monroe opens herself up to a stranger and finds in him a confidant and an ally.

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Anyone doubting the layered, nuanced, and heartbreaking acting abilities of Michelle Williams will find My Week with Marilyn a tremendous revelation. And Williams fans will enjoy it even more. In My Week with Marilyn Williams takes on the formidable challenge of playing Marilyn Monroe, and does so with depth and assuredness, and without resorting to caricature. Williams's Marilyn commands the screen with pain and delicacy, and doesn't let go until the final credits. My Week with Marilyn focuses on a small time frame in Monroe's life, right after her marriage to Arthur Miller. Monroe, already "the world's most famous woman," still feels the need for validation as an actress. What better way to achieve that, she believes, than committing to costarring with Laurence Olivier in The Prince and the Showgirl, a film she firmly believed would finally cement her reputation as a serious actress. My Week with Marilyn is based on the short memoir of Colin Clark, a crew member on The Prince and the Showgirl, who quickly became the confidant of the wildly insecure Monroe and watched a train wreck of egos--mostly Olivier's and Monroe's--collide in a fiery near-disaster. Kenneth Branagh gives an uncharacteristically restrained performance as the exasperated Olivier, resentful of the "new blood" in Hollywood that the young Monroe represents, and disdainful of her cult-like devotion to Method acting. (And of Monroe's chronic tardiness, which threatens to undermine the veddy, veddy strict British work schedule.) Eddie Redmayne plays Clark with a sweet, gentle veneer, someone who grows to care genuinely about the complex Monroe. Julia Ormond is clipped and proper as Olivier's then-wife, Vivien Leigh, and Emma Watson shows a lovely gravitas as Lucy, Monroe's acting coach. But it's Williams who gives the revelatory performance, capturing with painful intensity the insecurity that begins to seep out of Monroe like a fearful sweat. "Excuse my horrible face," she blurts out, while looking nothing less than her usual radiant self. Where does this tragic insecurity come from? My Week with Marilyn doesn't attempt to answer the unanswerable, but instead shines a light on the very real woman who became lost in the giant shadow of legend. --A.T. Hurley

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Michelle Williams, Emma Watson
  • Directors: Simon Curtis
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: The Weinstein Company
  • DVD Release Date: March 13, 2012
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (398 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0059XTUB8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,612 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "My Week with Marilyn" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ed Uyeshima HALL OF FAME on November 24, 2011
Format: DVD
The real Marilyn Monroe was an inch and a half taller than Michelle Williams, a significant difference when one considers that there is no way Williams could have replicated the voluptuous physicality of Monroe's presence. Yet, the young actress does something quite unexpected in capturing the essence of Monroe's wounded psyche for all its frailties and doing a convincing job of conveying the public Marilyn for all her breathy sensuality in this modest 2011 showbiz tale. Directed by British TV veteran Simon Curtis and written by Adrian Hodges, the film depicts a minor piece of motion picture lore based on the memoirs of Colin Clark, who was a lowly "third assistant director" during the production of the Ruritanian romance, The Prince and the Showgirl. The mostly forgotten 1957 movie marked Monroe's attempt at being taken seriously as an actress in a well-publicized collaboration with Sir Laurence Olivier just after she married playwright Arthur Miller.

The story really begins with Monroe's arrival in London to start filming. Fully devoted to Lee Strasberg's school of Method acting, she constantly searches for her character's motivation even within the context of a soufflé-light drawing room comedy. With sychophantic acting coach Paula Strasberg constantly by her side, she is chronically tardy on the set keeping her distinguished British company of thespians waiting for hours. Monroe's already renowned insecurities become heightened by Olivier's abrasive impatience as not only her co-star but her director. As a witness to her undeniable aura, the young Colin becomes smitten as he is assigned to be her protector when she begins to bond with him after Miller returns to New York.
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Format: DVD
An aspiring young filmmaker spent a short time in 1956 on the set of a Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe film as an assistant director. He became close to Marilyn as many men had, and ended up a key figure in the production. Marilyn Monroe was notoriously difficult to work with in Hollywood and that is well-dramatized here. Michelle Williams IS Marilyn Monroe in this one and her performance highlights a realistic look at the difficulties that Marilyn had with trying to be a serious Hollywood actress while dealing with her insecurities and a prescription drug habit. This film was a pleasant surprise and another terrific movie to see during the holiday season.
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Format: Blu-ray
I'm old enough to remember seeing most of Marilyn Monroe's films on the big screen when they were released. And I'm sure I had her pinup somewhere in my room. I'm sorry she never finished her last film "Something's Gotta Give" but, as I was watching Michelle Williams in the new film, I felt I was seeing a "New" Marilyn film. Williams was perfect casting. And I had never seen her before. I missed "Blue Valentine". She really channels Monroe and is both sexy and introspective.

As you have probably read - I won't go over the plot again, as others have surely done that here - the film is based on Colin Clark's journal about the week he spent on the set of the film that eventually became "The Prince and The Showgirl". I can't think of a male over age 18 that won't think - while watching this film - "Wow! If only I was in Clark's position!" And I'm sure many will dream of that! Honestly, I can't say how this plays out from the point of the female viewer.

No this is not an "epic" film but rather the kind of small "Quality" films that the Weinstein Company finds and releases. (Just look at "The Artist", "The Descendants" and "The Iron Lady"; all with superb casting and lots of Oscar noms.). And for that I can recommend it highly. It's not long - at just 99 minutes.

Both the DVD and the Blu-ray have the same bonus features. These include a full length commentary by Director Simon Curtis as well as a 19-minute " The Untold Story of An American Icon", which is the now-typical "making of" featurette which mixes comments from the cast and production crew with scenes from the film. There a few actually newsreels clips of Monroe included, but not enough to mention.
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Format: Blu-ray
First off, I'm a movie lover, but not really much of a critic. My critiques of films rely almost solely upon how entertained I was. I believe I have an eye for what is good on-screen, although I can't really pick things apart to discern if a thing was off, such as the direction. That being said, I could not have been more captivated watching Michelle Williams portrayal of the different facets of the iconic Marilyn Monroe. It's not really that she looks like her--I don't really think that she does--but more that she embodies the role with such grace and nuance as to shed light on Marilyn's evolving personalities so unselfconsciously that one suspends disbelief while watching her play the seductive temptress, the insecure woman-child, and the lonely and lost soul who's reaching out for anyone or anything that might save her. She does all this with humor, candor, honesty, and most importantly, immense compassion and empathy for her subject. Michelle's performance made me look again at Marilyn, an endeavor I started with the stunning release last year of the collection of her writings, "Fragments".

The supporting cast here is amazing. Kenneth Branagh as Olivier is a revelation. Again, I could not have imagined him in that role, but he is absolute perfection as Olivier. Judi Dench brings her usual emotional weight and sweetness to her portrayal of Dame Sybil Thorndike, and Eddie Redmayne is pitch perfect as the besotted Colin, who wrote the book detailing his time with MM.

I cannot say enough good about this movie. For people fascinated with movies, Marilyn, or just the trappings of the human heart, this movie is a wonder. Michelle Williams is the main reason.
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