First ‘My Week with Marilyn’ Reviews and Comments Boast ‘King’s Speech’ Comparisons


Michelle Williams in My Week with Marilyn
Photo: The Weinstein Co.

My Week with Marilyn premiered this morning at the New York Film Festival (NYFF) and is earning instant comparisons to The King’s Speech as well as the 2009 charmer Me and Orson Welles and even this year’s buzzy Best Picture contender The Artist. Oddly enough, one Speech comparison comes from a critic that would appear to still be sour the period piece took home the Best Picture Oscar, but I have a feeling The Weinstein Co. is grinning ear to ear at such news.

If you didn’t know, the film depicts one week in the life of Marilyn Monroe (played by Michelle Williams), which she spends with 23 year-old Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne), an assistant to Olivier who is directing Monroe’s latest film, The Prince and the Showgirl. The film focuses on the time Clark spent with Monroe when her new husband, the playwright Arthur Miller, leaves England and Colin is able to introduce Marilyn to some of the pleasures of British life.

Most of the comments come from Twitter posts, so please excuse the brevity of information you’re about to take in, but for now that’s pretty much all there is to cull from:

Ed Douglas from comments, “My Week with Marilyn was terrific… like The Artist, it’s a movielovers’ movie for sure. Great performances all around!”

Katie Calautti of SpinoffOnline tweeted, “Elderly people in front of me gushing over My Week with Marilyn = all you need to know about the goal of My Week with Marilyn. #oscarbait”

Then we come to David Ehrlich from Box Office Magazine referring to the film as “The Blonde’s Speech” saying, “A movie made for the Golden Globes. Williams does her best, but it all feels like dress-up.

Another King’s Speech comparison comes from Christopher Rosen at Moviefone who in his review writes:

Being reductive about a film as lovingly crafted as ‘My Week With Marilyn’ feels a bit cheap, but considering Oscar season is all about reductions: if you were wondering which upcoming bit of Oscar bait could be the heir(ess) apparent to ‘The King’s Speech’ look no further than ‘Marilyn.’ From the film’s main theme (by ‘The King’s Speech’ composer Alexandre Desplat) to the presence of Harvey Weinstein’s name in credits to a lead performance, here by Michelle Williams, that seems destined for awards glory, ‘My Week With Marilyn’ shares more with the most recent Best Picture winner than you might have assumed. Which is its strength, as well as its limitation.

A more promising review comes from Mallika Rao at The Huffington Post though her review is mixed. She definitely likes Williams’ Oscar chances:

Though Clark’s perspective (played by Eddie Redmayne) is necessarily the filter through which to see Monroe, he comes off too much the earnest young gopher, and the movie feels downright Disney at times as a result. That said, Williams is a revelation and brings a much-needed darkness to “My Week with Marilyn.” She isn’t the spitting image of Monroe, but she manages to inhabit her shades without overdoing the coquettishness or underplaying the tragic vulnerability. Among a high-profile British cast — the solid (Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench) and the not-so-solid (Emma Watson, we wish you were better!) — Williams is clearly the best thing about this movie, and a shoe-in for an Oscar nomination.

And finally, Eric Kohn at indieWire pushes the Me and Orson Welles comparison over Speech, but it wasn’t too impressed, though I can’t help but believe his negativity will be looked at positively by others:

“My Week With Marilyn” is exactly the type of tolerably superficial crowdpleaser that it looks like. Lacking the meaty role she may have hoped for, Michelle Williams delivers an airy interpretation of Marilyn Monroe without digging too deep into the persona. Her one-note performance matches a movie less invested in the reality of the material than style of it, not pulling back the veil on Monroe but smothering it to death with the familiar polish of a tame show business comedy.

I never thought we were looking at a Best Picture contender with this film. It simply appeared to be an acting piece for Kenneth Branagh (playing Sir Laurence Olivier) and Williams and I still believe the two are strong contenders for nominations. Beyond Oscar chances, though, the film sounds like it could really do well at the box-office and if opinions on the feature improve as we near its November 4 release, you never know, maybe it could become a Best Picture contender… stranger things have happened.

Here’s that recently released trailer for you once again and for more on the film click here.

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Weekend: Jun. 20, 2019, Jun. 23, 2019

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