My Week with Marilyn

My Week with Marilyn

Director: Simon Curtis

My Week with Marilyn is based on the diaries of Colin Clark (played by Eddie Redmayne), a third assistant to the film director of The Prince and the Showgirl which famously united Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams) and Lawrence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh) in 1956. Clark revealed in 2000 that he had omitted a week from this diary, in which he had a very close relationship with Marilyn during filming, and while she was married to Arthur Miller.

The film is conveyed through the perspective of Clark, a fresh-faced youth both excited and intimidated by his newfound surroundings. It seems inevitable that he will be drawn under the almost spell-like quality of Marilyn’s persona, despite his initial courtship of wardrobe assistant Lucy (Emma Watson).

Plot-wise not a great deal actually occurs in this film, and I got the impression that a star-studded cast were struggling to work with a poor script. The character and perspective of Clark gave the film a weak structure, which was occasionally offset by predictably strong performances by Branagh and of course Dame Judy Dench who played the small role of actress Sybil Thorndike.

Although the viewer is only privy to Clark’s perspective, the personality of Monroe is the focus of the film. We are made aware through observation of her daily tantrums on set, insecurities, vices and general demeanour that Monroe was a burden on those who surrounded her.

The film obviously aimed to portray the certain constructed nature of Monroe’s seductive exterior, yet I was left with a feeling of inadequacy. Williams’ delivery of Monroe was impeccably grating, complete with voice and mannerisms, as well as curves enhanced by a good deal of padding.

I found Clark and Monroe’s semi-romance to be less than captivating, and would decidedly classify this film as a Hollywood execution which held great potential but unfortunately fell a little flat.

Michaela Hunter
This article first appeared in Issue 5, 2012.
Posted 4:26pm Sunday 25th March 2012 by Michaela Hunter.