Wednesday, September 09, 2020

5 Off My Head: Michelle At 40

While we sit on both of our thumbs and impatiently wait for the tremendously exciting new adaptation of Ingmar Bergman's Scene From a Marriage that will star Michelle Williams and Oscar Isaac we might as well give our thumbs a momentary break from, you know, sitting upon, and use them  to wish the great and powerful Michelle an extremely happy 40th birthday today! She's been knocking our socks off and our thumbs out of places for a full two decades now, but as much good work as she's gotten across in that stretch of time I think it's not totally nuts to say she might be at the height of her powers right this minute, judging by the career-best work she just did on TV with Fosse/Verdon -- I cannot wait to see what her next spin for TV, with that Bergman joint, turns out. On that note, here are my faves...

My 5 Favorite Michelle Williams Performances

Gwen Verdon, Fosse/Verdon (2019)
"Maybe I should find a lover, too, then. 
How about that?"

Alma, Brokeback Mountain (2005)
"Jack Nasty! You didn't go up there to fish!"

Cindy, Blue Valentine (2010)
"I'm so out of love with you. I've got nothing left for you,
nothing, nothing. Nothing, there is nothing here for you."

Wendy, Wendy and Lucy (2008)
"I'm not from around here. I can't be an example."

Arlene, Dick (1999)
"Dick frightens me!"


And some runners-up because this list could have been twice as long without me breaking a sweat: Synecdoche New York, My Week With Marilyn, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Certain Women, Take This Waltz, Meek's Cutoff, and her speech at the Golden Globes last year

What are your favorite Michelle performances?


Anonymous said...

I like her work with Kelly Reichardt best. I never got the Blue Valentine love. Two pretty people with dirty hair and no make up on ACTING. Cool.

joel65913 said...

I'm a great admirer of her and her talent but must admit I'm not always drawn to the films she chooses. I respect that she isn't ruled by picking what she thinks will be popular but what interests her, though it does look like every once in a while she'll take on a bigger project to keep her marketability up. That's not a bad thing, I see it as pragmatic. Too many unsuccessful projects in a row and the phone stops ringing.

So what I'm saying is that I'm not as well versed as I should be but of what I've seen I'd chose these five, not necessarily the films themselves but her work within.

Brokeback Mountain
Blue Valentine-I hated the movie but she was excellent.
The Station Agent

Anonymous said...

One of my picks is one of her least "respectable" projects, and that is her wonderful comic turn in "I Feel Pretty." Do more comedy, Michelle! You're so good at it from what I've seen!

Anonymous said...

She is great in But i'm a cheerleader!

Jason Adams said...

Agree re: MW and comedy -- she was super funny in I Feel Pretty, I should have put that on my runners-up list. Love her in But I'm a Cheerleader too.

Aquinas1220 said...

god, her end scene in Manchester by the Sea!!! Made the entire movie

bdog said...

Fosse /Verdon was amazing, watched it just a few months agog. I wanted more.

Eugene said...

I was probably too old to be watching Dawson's Creek. Very few if any of my contemporaries were at the time is was airing, but I was watching it and fell in love with her then and have followed her career ever since. I am thrilled by her success, and my what an interesting life she has led. Look forward to anything she does even when I might not care for the vehicle.