What Do You Think of Michelle Williams’ Portrayal of Marilyn Monroe?

What Women Really Think
Oct. 6 2011 4:04 PM

What Do You Think of Michelle Williams’ Portrayal of Marilyn Monroe?

My Week with Marilyn, a new “docudrama” that details a single week in Monroe’s life during the filming of Lawrence Olivier’s The Prince and the Showgirl in 1956, will premiere this weekend at the New York Film Festival. Film buffs have been curious to see how the often serious Michelle Williams, an increasingly important actress who was nominated for an Oscar earlier this year for her work in Blue Valentine, would transform herself into the bubbly starlet. Based on the trailer released today, I think she's done a decent job—though other viewers have described it as awkward and joyless, so I might be in the minority. As for the film as a whole, we’ll have to wait and see: The schmaltzy, goldenrod tone of the trailer—complete with Judi Dench advising that “first love is such sweet despair, Colin”—makes me worry that this might be a case of a fine performance in spite of a lackluster context.

Do you think Williams' performance really channels that infamous “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” allure? Check out the My Week trailer and a clip from The Prince and the Showgirl side-by-side and leave your impressions in the comments.

J. Bryan Lowder is a Slate assistant editor. He writes and edits for Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section, and for the culture section.