Film Review: My Week with Marilyn

Like the last film I reviewed, this too is based on a book, and real events. The narrator is Colin Clark, and at the time the story is being told, is twenty three years old and eager to be a part of the production side of a film.

Luckily for him, his family are acquaintances with the famous couple Sir Lawrence Olivier and Vivien Leigh and the former is about to start directing and acting in a film, alongside the equally if not more famous: Marilyn Monroe.

The story told in the book and adapted in the film is Mr Clark's first time experiences of making a film with two polar opposite people, in work ethics, personality and opinions of the other.

Like every film that bases itself on a book, some scenes are emphasised or cut out completely, but unlike others, this one retains the spirit and the heart of the story itself, that of a young boy who discovers a new world of story making. Simon Curtis and Adrian Hodges both do a brilliant job with the direction and screenplay, respectively.

The title character is portrayed by Michelle Williams. Thus adding a new name to the list of actors that can properly lose themselves in a character without making a faff about it. She is Marilyn. A woman who is both childlike and world weary of the realities of her existence. Who is also in a foreign country,    and out of her comfort zone.
Ms Williams was nominated for her performance, Screen Actors Guild, Academy Awards, and won at the Golden Globes. She was also nominated at the MTV Movie awards, for best On Screen Transformation, which accurately describes what you see in this film.

To match Ms William's performance, scene for scene, Eddie Redmayne is Colin Clark. Simple as that.

In the supporting cast, Kenneth Branagh shines as Sir Lawrence Olivier (also was nominated for an Academy Award), Judi Dench as Dame Sybil, is as always, a legend in every way. She too was nominated for a BAFTA award. As well as this,  there is Zoe Wanamaker as Paula Strasberg, Dominic Cooper as Milton Greene, Julia Ormond as Vivien Leigh and Toby Jones as Arthur Jacobs and Michael Kitchen, as Hugh Perceval.

All enter their characters with such life and attention to detail, it is though we are watching a documentary. To add to this impression, production design and costume design come together to make 1956 real. At the BAFTA awards, this film was nominated for best Make Up and Hair, and costume design.

All in all, a truly excellent film and one I've thoroughly enjoyed watching.


  1. This quote comes from another brilliantly made British film, also with an American character who tries to be a part of the well established society.

    “Henry Denton: You Brits really don't have a sense of humour do you?
    Elsie: We do if something's funny, sir.”


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