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My Week with Marilyn

4.0 out of 5 stars 394 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: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (394 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0059XTUB8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,228 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 FAMEVINE VOICE 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: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"My Week with Marilyn" is great entertainment. Michelle Williams is excellent as Monroe but for me one of the best things about the movie was the who's who roster of English actors, Brannagh as Olivier, Judi Dench is also present, as it Julia Ormond as Vivien Leigh (I believe she's French but she's appeared in many English productions and some American ones). Michael Kitchen who is best known for the series "Foyle's War" is wonderful as is Zoe Wanamaker one of my all time favorite character actors, you'll recognize her from many, many BBC productions, in "Marilyn" she plays Paula Strasberg, Marilyn's acting coach and unofficial therapist. Emma Watson who gained fame playing Hermione in the "Harry Potter" films also appears as Colin's would be girlfriend. Eddie Redmayne is Colin Clark the young man who's diary the film was based on. Redmayne is a face I didn't recognize but he's the epitome of a wide eyed, enthusiastic, fresh faced young man, the perfect foil for Marilyn's antics. There was one scene when they return to Colin's alma mater, Eton, and as the two of them descend a staircase into a crowd of assorted Etonian students, teachers, cooks, and janitors, Marilyn turns to Colin and whispers in her vapory voice, "Shall I be her?" With that she sways her hips, purses her lips and poses seductively for her audience. Michelle Williams transforms herself into Marilyn. She captures Marilyn's vulnerability, her mood changes, her drug and alcohol use as well as her dream of being recognized as a great actress. There was a scene from the film they're supposedly filming "The Prince and the Showgirl" where Marilyn is all by herself in a scene, she's humming and prancing around, both the dance and the song performed sotto voce, that was magic. Michelle Williams disappears almost completely in these scenes, her personality is wiped clean and all you see is Monroe. This is a film well worth your time.
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