Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday Similar Standards: Michelle Williams

Welcome to a new semi-regular weekly feature here at Movies with Abe. On those weeks where reviews are sparse, I’ll be taking a look at an actor or actress whose body of work boasts many roles that may not be as diverse as those taken on by other actors or actresses. This is hardly a judgment on their abilities; rather an analysis of the kind of parts they play so well.

Michelle Williams

This former “Dawson’s Creek” actress has earned Oscar nominations for Best Actress twice in a row, and while she definitely has talent, most of her characters have much in common. Whether she’s playing someone famous or a nobody with few friends, don’t expect her to be too happy, since she’s likely displeased with her choice in man or otherwise lacking a connection to society around her, yearning for something different. That’s a key job description for an Oscar nominee, so expect her to earn more nominations in the future.

The Station Agent (2003): She was an unhappy librarian looking for people to treat her better in this independent gem.

The United States of Leland (2004): She was a devastated sister of a murdered mentally challenged brother in this terrific and powerful film.

Brokeback Mountain (2005): She was a participant in a loveless marriage who always resented her husband for being gay.

Wendy and Lucy (2008): She was a woman wandering around with her dog, less than capable of making human connections.

Shutter Island (2010): She was the silent, non-communicative mother haunting Leonardo DiCaprio’s dreams in this frightening thriller.

Blue Valentine (2010): She was the long-suffering wife whose dream guy didn’t turn out to be nearly as charming as he initially seemed.

My Week with Marilyn (2011): She was the biggest star in the country, Marilyn Monroe, whose great fame couldn’t make up for her incredible loneliness.

Take This Waltz (2012): She was a young wife unfulfilled by her life and tempted by her extremely kind and enticing neighbor in this Tribeca entry slated for theatrical release in June.

Anything different?

Not just yet.

What’s next?

Playing Glinda in Disney’s “Wizard of Oz” prequel due next March.

The verdict?

She’s clearly skilled at playing this particular type of character, but her movies can feel awfully lonely and depressing as a result.

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