Hollywood meets the English stage set

There are many good reasons to see “My Week With Marilyn” but here are my top three.

Michelle Williams’s beautiful representation of the quintessential movie star who yearns to be a great actress. A stunning performance which captures her calculation and innocence; desolation and sweetness; terror and comfort (often as fleeting expressions glimpsed floating across her perfect face).  Surely the Oscar nomination (at least) is firmly in her effortlessly stylish bag.

Equally impressive though is Kenneth Branagh’s complex study of desperation as Laurence Olivier. A diva himself who expects to be the centre of attention; an experienced director who is appalled by Marilyn’s frequent unprofessional lateness; a classical actor who knows that he cannot compete with her natural star power but who marvels at what he is most jealous of.

Best of all though for me were the two line bit parts from some of the greats of English theatre which punctuate the whole film: Michael Kitchen as a laconic film producer; Toby Jones a sleazy press agent; Jim Carter as an incredulous publican; Derek Jacobi as a Windsor Castle curator; and Simon Russell-Beale playing a gossipy potential landlord dressed in a country tweed and curly wig ensemble that deserved a review all of its own.




  1. knowingd
    Dec 19, 2011

    and Eddie Redmayne! Let’s not forget the lovely Eddie Redmayne!

  2. Carol Nunan
    Dec 20, 2011

    Must put that on the list of films I’d like to see this month

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