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.

TODAY IN SLATE

History

The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Television

See Me

Transparent is the fall’s only great new show.

Doublex

Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

  News & Politics
Damned Spot
Sept. 30 2014 9:00 AM Now Stare. Don’t Stop. The perfect political wife’s loving gaze in campaign ads.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 11:25 AM Naomi Klein Is Wrong Multinational corporations are doing more than governments to halt climate change.
  Life
Atlas Obscura
Sept. 30 2014 10:10 AM A Lovable Murderer and Heroic Villain: The Story of Australia's Most Iconic Outlaw
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 10:59 AM “For People, Food Is Heaven” Boer Deng on the story behind her piece “How to Order Chinese Food.”
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 10:48 AM One of Last Year’s Best Animated Shorts Is Finally Online for Free
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:36 AM Almost Humane What sci-fi can teach us about our treatment of prisoners of war.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath the Methane Lakes of Titan?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.