The Review at a Glance: ( max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: the Weinstein Company - 2011
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 99 minutes
Genre: Drama, Romance
Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish Mono
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Michelle Williams, Kenneth Branagh, Eddie Redmayne, Dominic Cooper, Zoë Wanamaker, Julia Ormond, Emma Watson, Judi Dench
Directed by: Simon Curtis
Music by: Conrad Pope
Written by: Adrian Hodges, Colin Clark
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 13, 2012
"That's what she does, she breaks hearts. She'll break yours. "
Colin Clark met Marilyn Monroe while working as a young assistant on Laurence Olivier's "The Prince and the Showgirl." When Marilyn experienced emotional difficulties during shooting, the 23-year-old third assistant director came to her aid and romance developed. But one week of honesty and fun was not enough to save the doomed star from self-destruction.
My Take:Was she insecure and over her head? Was she an addict who was a master manipulator? Was she a man eater and afraid of commitment or did her reality scare the men in her life away? My Week With Marilyn shows all of these sides and more, thanks to an impressively believable performance from Michelle Williams as the iconic Marilyn Monroe.
This is the true story of 23 year old Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne), who was determined to work in the "pictures". He leaves home to camp out in Sir Laurence Olivier production office until they just have to give him something to do. This quickly lands him on set of a new film, "The Prince and the Showgirl", starring Sir Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh) and Marylin Monroe. Not a bad first gig huh? Well he is only a gofer, but this has him rubbing shoulders with the best in the industry. Colin witnesses Marilyn struggle with her acting as she is nervous to work with the talented Olivier, and she sees in Colin an ally who can get inside information from the production on her performance. When her newest husband, playwright Arthur Miller (Dougray Scott), needs to escape the "circus" and flies back home to New York, Marilyn calls on the young Colin to meet and they end up spending a week building a strong bond. Colin helps her get back a bit of her edge, helping her performance, and he makes her feel wanted for whats inside her, not just for being super hot. She gives him confidence and self esteem as well as a world view he didn't yet have. Again, was she opening up to him or was he just another guy who fell in love with Marilyn to inevitably be swallowed by her world of insanity and addictions?
Marilyn overcame a difficult childhood of foster homes after her paternal mother was diagnosed with mental illness. She was discovered by a photographer while working in a factory in Burbank, CA, to become the worlds biggest sex symbol. She had never resolved her issues of abandonment from her difficult childhood, and this baggage led her to go from man to man, and to be the biggest dichotomy-- the most famous woman in the world yet completely alone and insecure. At only 36 years old, 5 years after this film, Marilyn Monroe died of a drug overdose on August 5, 1962.
I was engaged by the film in more than one way. The story kept me interested, but it was the acting had me hooked. I must say that no matter who plays Marilyn there will be something missing. Marilyn had a magnetism to her that is so rare, just being a great actress and beautiful cant achieve it. Michelle Williams came close and was the best I have seen at playing Marilyn. She received a nomination for Best Actress and Kenneth Branagh earned a nomination for Best Supporting Actor in the 84th Academy Awards. These were well warranted nominations, but the rest of the cast are what help them to rise to such levels. Eddie Redmayne as Colin Clark, Julia Ormond as Vivien Leigh, Toby Jones as Arthur Jacobs and especially Dominic Cooper as Milton Greene, added a layer of believable depth to the story and to Williams already convincing portrayal of Marilyn. When going into this film don't expect action, sex or a challenging plot as it is a bit slow paced. Thankfully Director Simon Curtis' ebb and flow between all of her emotional swings, the story of the filming of a film as well as Colin's journey to fall for the woman Marilyn Monroe, not the pin-up beauty queen (of course that helped!), made the films slower pace easy to flow with. My Week With Marilyn is a different view into the world and life of Ms. Monroe and quite worth your time.
Rated R for Profanity and Adult Content.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
My Week With Marilyn comes Blu-ray Disc from Anchor Bay Entertainment & Starz featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22.2 mbps and DTS HD-MA sound that has an average bitrate of 3.1 mbps
My Week With Marilyn was filmed in 35mm and the results are outstanding. Fine Details are apparent on Vivian Lee's wrinkled face and you can pick out individual strands of Marilyn's hair. These details mingle with a light layer of film grain while colors are vivid and extremely pleasing to the eye. Not all is perfect as there are times the image does expose some softness as well as a lighter shade of black. Most the time the image and Black Levels are stunning and this is still a very impressive release from Anchor Bay. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 track is a center channel affair, with effects speakers used lightly and for ambiance only. The sound-field does widen for music, but this is by-and-large a talkie with no action or need for LFE at all. The articulation of dialogue is precise always in the proper place in the sound-field and there is nothing I could find wrong with the track. It achieves what is asked of it with grace and clarity.
- Audio Commentary With Director Simon Curtis
- (HD) The Untold Story of An American Icon
- (HD) Previews: W.E., Coriolanus, The Iron Lady, The Descendants
- DVD Copy
My Week With Marilyn is a different view into the world and life of Ms. Monroe. It shows all her sides from sex-pot to scared and lonely little girl. Unfortunately we will never know what was really going on in her head, but this week is a look that confirmed all of my suspicions. Wonderfully acted and directed, this is a film worth seeing on Blu-ray as anchor Bay does the material justice. The supplemental features sure are lacking, especially for such an iconic figure, however, we get a directors commentary and a 20 minute Featurette with the cast and crew. As much as I enjoyed the film, I don't see it getting much in replay value so I suggest a rental first. Recommended.
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Screen Innovations Solar HD 1.3 120" 2.40:1 CinemaScope Screen
Denon AVR 4311 Pre/Pro
Sunfire Theater Grand 7201 Amplifier
Sony PS3 Slim Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
MK Sound S-150MKII LCR
MK Sound S-150T Tripole Surrounds
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Michelle did a fantastic job of portraying her. A definite must see and collect!
I had the Alliance Canada version but sold it because I found the black level / brightness fluctuations very distracting. Please tell me the US version is not that bad? None of the reviews on the major sites (blu-ray.com highdefdigest.com dvdtalk.com) mentioned any such problem.
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The official review here has me intrigued and also the feed back from those here who saw the movie.
If some of you are into odd quirky films - might I suggest "Insignificance." This is a very surreal movie that takes place in the 1950 and is somewhat a "what if" movie. If you like films portraying Monroe, imagine her meeting up with the likes of Einstein, Joseph MacCarthy, a senator and more true to life - Joe DiMaggio. The scenes with Einstein are strangely entertaining and as rumoured, she was attracted to brains and power.
My Week With Marilyn is now in my top 10 for rentals.
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