An early look at Rex Reed’s rave review for My Week with Marilyn.
What an extraordinary thrill to leave a movie exhilarated instead of drained, sated instead of empty, rejuvenated instead of depressed. It’s a magical experience.
…Totally mesmerizing. This film might not appeal to anyone who never heard of The Prince and the Showgirl or to those too young to understand the super-colossal charisma and appeal of the tragic Marilyn herself, but for legions of movie buffs like me who grew up on this stuff, My Week with Marilyn opens up a world of wide-eyed wonder while it sweeps away the glitter and the fairy dust to reveal the pain, frustration and sweat behind the scenes.
By the time it ends, you feel like you were there, and thanks to the incandescent performance by Michelle Williams as Marilyn, I promise you’ll get know the conflicted woman behind the diamonds and the sunglasses and the glossy 8×10 fan magazine photos a little bit better than you ever will from the continuing parade of biographies that keep writers fascinated by a legend imitated by many Hollywood wannabes through the years but equaled by none.
…My Week with Marilyn is pure perfection, all right, and even more. Simon Curtis, a seasoned London stage director making his feature-film debut, does a masterful job of handling the most minute moments with delicacy and candor. Like eyes growing accustomed to the dark, it takes awhile to adjust to Michelle Williams. I’ve seen drag queens who look more like the real Marilyn. Her eyes are too big, the contours of her face lack the jaw line that stopped traffic, and where are the splendiferous curves when she shakes her booty singing “Heat Wave” and “That Old Black Magic” in film clips Colin watches hypnotized, in the darkness of a movie theatre? Ms. Williams does her own singing and dancing and she’s letter perfect. Who knew? And then everything about the legendary sex goddess comes alive, too—the breathless voice, the undulating poitrine, the tousled mop of bottle-blonde hair, the insecure body language that translated into control and power—as Ms. Williams grows into the role like new skin. The illusion grows on you, like a lichen. Scene by scene, she melts into the picture. By the end, she is no longer an imposter; she’s the real deal, inhabiting Marilyn’s body, mind, heart and soul.
…I truly love this film, and Michelle Williams’ triumph in it. There was only one Marilyn Monroe and nobody will ever duplicate her unique gifts, but this brave, hard-working actress shows the many contrasting moods of a complex woman with inexhaustible craft…
Something moved me deeply watching Michelle Williams as the tragic Marilyn, illuminating the girlish joy, erotic glamour and selfdestructive suffering of a public icon who was privately a bottomless pit of need. Whatever else you think of My Week with Marilyn, make no mistake about it—you know you have been to the movies.