I am not sure why My Week with Marilyn received so many accolades. I waited to see this movie once it was available for rental since the idea of spending twenty bucks (cannot forget the snacks!) to see it in the theater was not all that appealing. Michelle Williams pretty much has one speed as an actress (read: depressed, sullen, intelligent girl) and I didn’t have much faith in her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe.
I will give it to Williams: she can dance and sing pretty well. She is no Marilyn Monroe though. Outside of the musical performances, there is nothing else striking about her portrayal here. Normally, you expect to walk away from a biopic of this sort with tears or an overwhelming desire to know more about the real person whose life you just witnessed on film. I walked away completely relieved that the movie was over and pondered whether or not I should rent a movie starring Marilyn Monroe so I could truly be entertained.*
We know who Marilyn Monroe was. Watching her flub her lines, bat her eyelashes, cry over a man leaving her side, and pop too many pills is nothing truly revelatory in terms of what we know about her. A movie based on a man’s diary about nine days he supposedly spent with her on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl was unnecessary, unbelievable, and not entertaining. I’ve got to be honest: I have a hard time believing that Monroe would have fallen for and seduced Colin Clark, the director’s third assistant on the film. If you look at her track record, she went for famous, powerful, and/or talented men. Why would she fall into the arms of a nobody?
Personally, I think Clark’s story (on which this movie was based) is mostly just a figment of his imagination and taken from his fantasies of being with a woman like Monroe, with whom he was lucky to even have any contact with.
Simply put: the movie is boring and the performances are stale. Put it on if you want some background noise, want to catch a glimpse or two of Michelle Williams’ backside, or want to laugh at how bad Emma Watson’s wig looks with her pixie haircut sticking out from underneath it.
* Quick side note: In case you are wondering, I ended up watching Another Earth on HBO the following night to make up for Marilyn. It is a quiet and yet moving story about a woman recently released from prison, righting the wrongs she had committed in life; all set against the backdrop of the discovery of a new planet that mirrors our own. I had seen it once before and knew that it was worth another watch. What a shame a movie like this does not have the mass appeal of something like Marilyn or gain as much attention come awards season due to lack of big-named actors or lots of Hollywood financing.