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My Week with Marilyn

Directed by Simon Curtis

UK, 2011

Cornerhouse, 11 December 2011

My Week with Marilyn

It is a bit staid and predictable, this film based on Colin Clark’s memoir.

Kenneth Branagh imitates, or rather takes the role of, Laurence Olivier and Michelle Williams plays at being Marilyn Monroe.  What makes the film so dull is – well, everything, but above all the script.  It’s emoting and emotional manipulation by numbers, the people behaving like counters being moved from A to B.  The thespians, and sadly I include the esteemed Judy Dench here, do the wholly unwarranted, just-popped-in, teary-eyed routine that Brenda Blethyn (bless her) is so adept at.  Another thing that is annoying about the film is the jingle-jangle soundtrack, and sometimes there is even an outbreak of fey drumming.  Still another annoyance is the off-key American accents, Toby Jones’ above all.

Maybe it wasn’t the director’s intention but the film doesn’t ever approach the truth about Marilyn Monroe, never mind Norma Jean.

You do, however, learn that screen acting and acting for the stage require different skill-sets.  So if you didn’t already know it, you know it now.

A mediocre effort.