Ben Oliver

Banner image for My Week With Marilyn

My Week With Marilyn

Shall I be her?
15 March 2014

A wishy washy drama with one redeeming factor. Fortunately, it’s a key one in Michelle Williams. Marilyn Monroe was an inimitable star but Williams does manage to capture some of her on screen, and it’s enough to make the performance convincing. She’s got all the ticks and mannerisms down, and plays the ‘character’ of Monroe very well. This is as well as giving her own spin on the ‘real’ Marilyn, exposing some of the fragile, mercilessly self-critical aspects of her. She successfully rises above caricature where many others have failed.

There’s little more to go on though. The film feels like a Hollywood view of the UK, everyone is so eccentric it’s unbearable. It’s peppered with irritating attempts at charm. The all-star supporting cast is lacklustre. The art direction is unremarkable. The source material is clearly strong, but any potential it may have has been squandered. This feels like a TV drama on the BBC rather than the complex character study it needed to be. A waste of Williams’ remarkable effort.