‘My Week with Marilyn’ trailer: does Michelle Williams pull it off?


I didn’t hate this trailer for My Week With Marilyn, the new film (based on the book and the allegedly true story) starring Michelle Williams as Monroe. The movie looks interesting, but… I’m very wary of Michelle’s performance now. The way the trailer has been cut, it’s like they don’t want to show us anything more than a second or two of Michelle’s take on Marilyn. Is it because of Michelle’s funky Marilyn voice? Because it already plucks my last nerve. Marilyn had a light, breathy voice that was so obviously a put-on, but it’s surprisingly hard for most women to duplicate without sounding like a–holes. Here’s the trailer:

I hate to say it, but to me, Michelle seems like the weak link. The film should fall on her shoulders, the film centers around her performance as Marilyn, and at the end of the day, I’m not sure Michelle has pulled it off. She’s just not vivacious enough. Sidenote: Her little wiggle and hip-pop looked jerky. One of the best movie lines about Marilyn in motion was from Some Like It Hot: “Look how she moves! It’s like Jell-O on springs. Must have some sort of built-in motor or something.”

As for the rest of the cast – Eddie Redmayne’s face scares me. It’s always scared me. His cheekbones are too high, and he has serial killer eyes (IMO). Judi Dench looks adorable, Emma Watson looks meh (bangs!), but for the love of God, Kenneth Branagh as Laurence Olivier never fails to make me giggle. Branagh has always thought he was the heir apparent to Olivier, he thinks he’s the next Olivier, and to see him play Olivier… it’s rough. The casting on this film is profoundly weird. But I do think the best/most interesting piece of casting was Dougray Scott as Arthur Miller. THAT is surprisingly good.




Photos courtesy of Vogue, header is a still from ‘My Week With Marilyn’.

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68 Responses to “‘My Week with Marilyn’ trailer: does Michelle Williams pull it off?”

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  1. Jackson says:

    Why wasn’t LL tapped for this part? Has she explained this on Twitter? Outrageous!!!

  2. jamie says:

    Well, I’ll definitely be seeing this purely for my love of period films (and all things British). Before I saw the trailer I was open to the idea of Michelle Williams as Marilyn but I agree she doesn’t seem to pull it off in the preview. Her Marlilyn impersonation IS annoying. Just terrible. They should have cast an unknown.

  3. Jacqu says:

    Didn’t Marilyn speak that way in films because she had a stutter? That’s why she stopped, appeared breathy and somehow made into her persona? Either way, I’m watching this, only because I don’t think it will stink /that/ badly.

  4. Jacqu says:

    Also, thoughts on Watson’s odd bangs? She looks aged in this trailer.

  5. Liz says:

    I don’t know where you guys are coming from, obviously from presumption. She’s a wonderful actress and not one of us actually knew Marylin; this is one take of what she may have been like and I think it appears quite visceral and moving.

  6. KLO says:

    I actually think she acts well here (the gestures, smiles etc). But she looks nothing like Marilyn. She just looks like Michelle Williams.

  7. mia girl says:

    I approached this with an open mind bc I like Williams, but seems like I am just watching Michelle Williams dressed up as Marilyn Monroe.

    The energy seems not quite right – the accent is weird – and physically she lacks the curves. Most of all – she does not really convey that sexy side of Marilyn even in the shots where she is performing. I know that this movie is meant to show another side of Monroe, but even still there appears to be an essence of her that is missing -at least in this trailer.

  8. Ell says:

    I wouldn’t be able to judge anyone’s performance by watching those snippets.

  9. kibbles says:

    The trailer made me cringe. I’ve seen Some Like It Hot, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and Bus Stop at least a dozen times since I was a girl. Michelle Williams failed to immitate Marilyn’s voice, moves, looks, or mannerisms. Monroe was a tragic and vulnerable woman, but she also lit up the screen with her charm, girlish sexiness, humor, and vivaciousness. I don’t see any of that in this trailer.

    Williams appears extremely uncomfortable in this role, maybe because deep inside she knows she wasn’t the best choice for this part. Not because she’s a bad actress but because it takes an actress with a very specific body type, look, and personality to play Monroe. The only similarity is that her face is round and babyish, a bit like Marilyn’s. Everything else is so, so wrong.

    Maybe the casting director for Mad Men should have been hired for this movie because they would have understood immediately that Michelle Williams was not the best choice for a 1960s role.

    That said, I will watch this either online or when it comes out on DVD because despite the miscasts, there are talented actors in this film and I’m interested in seeing this interpretation of Marilyn’s life.

  10. k says:

    As much as I like Michelle Williams, I am thinking they should have cast Kelly Carlson (from Nip Tuck.

  11. Rose says:

    i think it looks great, i think she’s not going to interpret MM’s voice too literally otherwise it would sound like an impression and be distracting. Can’t wait see it once it’s released in the UK!

  12. Amy says:

    Since Dawson’s Creek, I’ve never liked Michelle Williams. After watching the trailer, I’m still not feeling her.

    I didn’t even recognize Dougray Scott. Love him!

  13. tiredofrumers says:

    @k as much as i love kelly “kimber” carlson, i don’t think she could pull it off, physically.

  14. alma says:

    her face is too harsh, not soft enough. she’s just not sexy enough

  15. Pyewacket says:

    Nope. She does NOT pull it off. Not in the least.

  16. serena says:

    Eddie Redmayne is the only one I don’t like in this movie.
    I was skeptical about Michelle’s performance as Marilyn and found the choice dumb. But now that I’m seeing the trailer I take it back, she pull it off.

    Of course NOBODY can really pull it off as Marilyn, cause none would be able to. She was unique.
    Said that, Michelle did a good job.

  17. Kimbob says:

    I don’t even like looking at pics of Williams impersonating Monroe. Plain & simple…SHE STINKS!!! She couldn’t even be considered a “poor man’s Monroe.”

    A cheap imitation. Women/actresses really need to stop it w/this faux Monroe crap. They all look like blathering idiots.

  18. Gine says:

    Michele’s a good actress, but I agree that she’s just wrong here. They should’ve gone with an unknown.

    And yes, Eddie is bizarre looking. I know a lot of women find him attractive, but I don’t see it at all. He looks like a creepy little kid.

  19. Nessa says:

    I suddenly feel really sorry for Michelle Williams.

  20. madpoe says:

    Kim Basinger, yes.
    Monroe, nope.

  21. Alejandro says:

    People can’t separate what they think they know about Marilyn being a sex bomb and who she truly was. I don’t think she has to look exactly like her or imitate her voice 100 percent to get it right. I can’t wait to see this.

  22. bros says:

    she is the LAST actress I’d pick to pull this off. she’s not all owning this. its awful awful, and she looked terrible in that last photo shoot they did trying to pass her off as Marylin.

  23. Rhiley says:

    I just watched Blue Valentine over the weekend, and while it is one of the most depressing movies I have ever seen, with no real resolution to the sadness, Michelle Williams is fantastic in it. I also liked her in Brokeback Mountain. I honestly think she is one of the best dramatic actresses working today, and she really seems to choose roles that are meaningful to her. I don’t know if I will see this movie or not— I kind of don’t get the Marilyn obsession that most women my age seem to have— but it looks beautifully filmed, and I suspect that Michelle Williams will win an Oscar one day.

  24. ness says:

    “A cheap imitation. Women/actresses really need to stop it w/this faux Monroe crap. They all look like blathering idiots.”

    my toughts exactly I especially hate when ppl like Paris Hilton and loser Lohan do it. Lindsay looked super gross in those pictures.

    by the way i do think michelle is a good actress

  25. guillotinegirl says:

    I would like the two minutes of my life I spent watching that refunded, please.

  26. Happy21 says:

    Nope. She doesn’t. She is not sexy at all. Not buying it. Its unfortunate because there is quite the cast in this film.

    I’m not a Michelle Williams hater I just have never found her remotely sexy and when I heard she was playing Marilyn in a movie, I hoped there was some mistake. I almost would be embarassed if I was her…

  27. danielle says:

    Not a huge Michelle Williams fan, but not a hater either. And, while I think she does vulnerability well, she does not seem to be in touch with her sexual side, and for Marilyn that seems effortless.

  28. jdao says:

    they should’ve cast Scar Jo imho

  29. taksi says:

    I like Michelle Williams but she’s never had sex appeal and she’s just all wrong in the trailer at least. I can’t really judge until I see the movie and the whole context of those scenes. Eddie Redmayne is awkward looking and Emma Watson is always meh (don’t know if it’s Harry Potter that clouds people’s judgment but she’s actually very plain-looking).

  30. RocketMerry says:

    She does not have the face for it and she’s not that good an actress. Somebody else should have been considered for the part.
    Still, she doesn’t ruin it, as far as I can tell from the trailer.

  31. ManicPixieDreamGirl says:

    i think she pulled it off. She’s doing her own interpretation of marilyn. I don’t think anyone could play the role perfectly because Marilyn really was a one of a kind. I can’t wait to see it.

  32. As a life long fan of Marilyn Monroe, this trailer just made me ANGRY. Michelle Williams is completely miscast. Epic FAIL.

  33. ella says:

    I think what a lot of people here are forgetting is that Marilyn was not the same as her movie roles. On screen she was a sex bomb, but in real life she was very vulnerable and fragile. And unless I’m completely wrong, the point of this movie is to show Marilyn as a person and not how we’ve seen her in films…?

    At least I plan to see the whole movie before I judge Williams’s performance.

  34. Original Bee says:

    I completely agree about Eddie Redmayne. That FACE. My god. I’ve seen several of his movies. And everytime that face comes on screen I involuntarily recoil. He is a good actor though. Michelle is not pulling Marilyn off at all. Christina Hendricks would’ve been a much better choice.

  35. Isa says:

    I really don’t think anyone could do the job…there was something about Marilyn. Something very elusive and difficult to mimic.

    But all I see is Michelle Williams.

  36. Nymeria says:


    To be fair, any woman who attempted to play Monroe would be lambasted by Monroe’s fans, because there is only one Marilyn Monroe, and she is gone. Having said that, I am getting the antithesis of MM from Williams’s performance. Her face, body, body language, and voice are all wrong. Just bloody wrong. I also want to know what the hell she is trying to do with her accent – it sounds like a cross between an American toddler and a British adult.

    Kenneth Branagh is actually an excellent choice for Olivier. (Branagh would agree with me, hehehe.) He resembles Olivier in this trailer, and I’ve always respected Branagh’s acting. (Ian McKellen is a much better actor, but I digress.)

  37. brin says:

    No one can completely capture her, but it looks interesting from the little we get to see.

  38. Jayna says:

    No woman can play Marilyn Monroe on a movie. She has something to her so intangible that can never be recaptured or duplicated on screen by someone playing her. Her beauty and sexuality riveting.

  39. Heather M (Heather) says:

    I agree with Rose. I expected to be horrified & uncomfortable, as I usually am when someone tries to “be” Marilyn, but Michelle Williams seems to be toning it down so that it does not become a caricature. I wouldn’t mind seeing an unknown bc that way it’s possible that it would be easier to lose ourselves in the character (versus, “that’s Michelle Williams trying to be Marilyn…”); however, I think Michelle is a gifted actress and may be able to pull it off.

  40. bubbly says:

    So, would you be happier if Lindsay Blohan had taken on this movie role? At least Michelle is a reliable, professional actress who won’t miss work for waking up in the twilight zone after passing from a coke OD. Come on, I think Michelle was THE best choice in hollyweird for this movie. Her facial features are feminine, fresh and beautiful. Nobody will ever duplicate Marilyn, but Michelle is definitely doing a great job.

  41. Nikki Girl says:

    No. Just no. And she’s way, way too skinny to portray her accurately. They should have picked a curvier actress. >:(

  42. taxi says:

    yes! to jdao. ScarJo has the right body type & shape for Marilyn.

    Michelle’s accent is odd, wrong body gestures, different facial expressions, & no sex appeal on this short trailer.

    My father knew Norma Jean before she was MM & as a kid, I was in Coronado during the shooting of SomeLikeItHot. We’d cut school to hang out around the set & watch the stars.

    Michelle is probably a competent enough actress, but I think she’s over her head in this one & whoever directed this didn’t guide her properly.

    Love Eddie Redmayne! He’s fantastic in everything I’ve seen, got a Tony a couple of years ago.

    Can’t think who could do Olivier except Branagh or Firth.

  43. T.C. says:

    Am I the only one that looks at William’s lack of curves and lack of sex appeal and think ‘WTF were they thinking’? It just looks really fake, all I see is a poor imitation and I know Williams is a good actress. I know it’s stupid but just looking at her little breasts and narrow hips throws you off on any Marilyn impression. You need more than just the blonde hair.

    I have always found Eddie R. creepy looking. Not sure how he got this role but that was also a bad decision. This movie is going to be pushed for Oscar?

  44. jingoJango says:

    Why wasn’t Scarlett Johansson cast in this role? I admire Michelle Williams’ acting abilities and after viewing the trailer I think she performed well. It was not here acting but her look. I couldn’t forget Michelle Williams and be drawn into Marilyn Monroe’s story.

  45. Semper says:

    Michelle Williams is SO WRONG for this role. Ugh.

  46. Lisa says:

    Michelle Williams looks NOTHING like Marilyn. It makes me so upset that they would cast her as Marilyn. Amber Heard is more realistic – her role in Playboy Club is exactly what Marilyn would have been (when she was all breathless in her seductive scenes) and she looks 10 million times more like Marilyn.

  47. Angel says:

    oh geez, who WOULD do Marilyn right and please all of us? Absolutely no one. I’d be appalled with Amber Heard or Scar Jo playing her, for instance. But I recognize that this is because of shallow reasons; the truth is either would probably be just fine. As good as they could be, anyway.

    But personally, I think Michelle is just a tad better because of what she brings to the role character-wise. Her looks are hardly what made her Marilyn, though at the time they treated her as if that were the case (and she resented it greatly). All that considered, it looks like Michelle was a fine choice. The girl can definitely act and her appearance isn’t so far off the mark as to be unbelievable. But most importantly, there is a certain frailty, a tragedy, and a sensitivity about her that most other young actresses would be greatly missing, and it is crucial. I also think it is clear Michelle is portraying the woman and not the character. Even the trailer is heavy-handed about that.

    The trailer looks good. I am looking forward to seeing it.

  48. Camille says:

    I agree with you Kaiser.

    And I think Christina Hendricks should have played MM.

  49. sasa says:

    I think it looks quite good. If the film is about portraying MM as a tragic character, which it seems to be, Michelle will nail that part certainly more then IMO ScarJo or Hendricks could do. If it were a movie celebrating Marilyn’s sex appeal and charm then I would say Michelle wasn’t a good choice because she is weaker in that respect.

    But they have her sad and crying already in the trailer so yeah, it’s gonna be about making her look human and vulnerable which Williams does good. I think MM is one of the toughest role to try and play so props for the courage.

  50. mooshi says:

    It was very obvious that the latter part of her life she was over-medicated and passed around like a toy.

    To make her seem like a predator shows a really gross agenda to this film.

    The trailer makes my skin crawl and its an evil twisting of history.

    Hollywood has been doing a lot of this lately.

  51. jen says:

    OMG Dominic Cooper is in this junk? Now I have to see it LOL.

  52. Cirque28 says:

    I love Michelle Williams– I think she’s beautiful and talented. But she’s just not sensual enough to play MM.

    Like William Hurt. Great actor, but he should never try to smolder.

    And what is the story of this film? If it’s one of those, “Famous Dead Person and I were madly in love but no one’s ever heard of me before” stories, then… yuck.

  53. WOM says:

    I’m neither a fan of Marilyn Munroe or Michelle Williams, but it looked good to me.

  54. Shy says:

    I look at this and Katie Holmes dressed up as Jackie Kennedy comes to my mind. I can’t take it seriously. No matter how well Michelle Williams will be “dressed” – she will never be Marilyn. Because she doesn’t have sex appeal.

  55. Seal Team 6 says:

    I think it looks bloody fantastic, and Watson’s bangs are realistic for that era.

    Michelle Williams is one of the best actresses of her age they could have chosen for this part, for the part of MM’s life they want to portray.

    I also think people getting hung up on Monroe’s sex appeal are doing a grave disservice to Monroe. She herself hated that people fixated on that. Shelley Winters was a good friend and a roommate of Monroe’s during the 40′s, and she said Marilyn was smart and funny and sweet and often very naive and very vulnerable. THAT’S what Williams can bring to the screen, and that’s what I want to see.

    Also, kudos for Dougray and Sir Kenneth!

  56. reg says:

    this will be nominated for an Oscar for best female lead.

  57. Marianne says:

    I think the film looks fantastic and I can’t wait to see it.

    As for Emma’s bangs…she’s supposed to be a wardrobe girl. Don’t think she is supposed to look very glamorous.

  58. JaneWonderfalls says:

    I will give her a chance, they picked her for a reason…I will wait until I have an opportunity to judge the whole entire production. But I know many people will get upset because Marilyn Monroe was an American icon, but she in itself was a parody.

  59. Addie says:

    It looks fine.

    I don’t think that many people knew who the private/behind closed doors Marilyn was, so this is one view point.

    Does anyone know of the development with Linday Lohan playing Sharon Tate in some movie??
    Any truth to that?

  60. JQ says:

    No. Just no. Ugh. Marilyn was sexy. Michelle is as sexy as granny panties.

  61. Laura says:

    What the f*** is up with her voice ? NO NO NO
    As for her Marilyn Look… she just looks retarded. Just no.

  62. sierra says:

    I don’t get it. TV has someone who could have played Marilyn to a T. Why the hell didn’t these producers get Christina Hendricks?????

  63. Francesca says:

    Looks great, I’m looking forward to the movie. Ease up on Michelle, how can you all be such bullies? She’s a young actress playing an old actress – a dead one at that. She has to make her own generalizations on how to portray MM as MM is no longer around to enable artistic direction. Michelle’s obviously doing it her own way, and I think she’s doing it brilliantly. And as for not looking exactly like her – her acting ability is more important.

  64. kris says:

    I hate that everybody’s been using the phrase “but at the end of the day..” it bugs.. I think drag queens pull off a better Marilyn.. she doesn’t look like her.. she just looks like Michelle Williams & her hair in these photos look crazy! Marilyn Monroe’s hair always looked put together.. these photos look like someone ratted & teased her hair.. it doesn’t look anything like her..

  65. Al says:

    Williams looks and sounds NOTHING like Monroe. WORST casting choice.

    Redmayne is creepy looking and wrong too.

    Not seeing this bomb.