From teen soap opera star to Oscar®-nominated indie darling, Michelle Williams has captivated small and big screen audiences since the ‘90s. On August 9, she returns to theatres in drama AFTER THE WEDDING, in which she plays Isabel, an American who has dedicated her life to working with children in a struggling orphanage in Calcutta. In preparation for the release, we decided to take a look back at some of Williams’ best movie roles. Check out our top five.
1. Brokeback Mountain
We have to start our list with the movie that established Williams as a star to watch. For playing Aima, the wife of a closeted ranch hand, she received her first Academy Award® nomination. She also met and started dating the late Heath Ledger, with whom she has a daughter.
2. Manchester by the Sea
In an interview with Time, Williams described her role as Randi in MANCHESTER BY THE SEA as “the bravest human being that I’ve ever played.” The movie follows Lee (Casey Affleck), Randi’s husband (and then ex-husband), and the events following the death of their children. The heart-wrenching performance earned Williams her fourth Academy Award nomination.
3. All the Money in the World
Crime thriller ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD was a bit of a departure from the traditional dramas Williams seems to gravitate toward, though her character was still in line with the roles fans and critics love her for. In the movie, Williams stars as grief-stricken Gail Harris, whose son is kidnapped for ransom.
4. My Week With Marilyn
Williams transformed into the iconic Marilyn Monroe for Simon Curtis’ biopic, for which she received an Academy Award nomination and Golden Globe win. The day-in-the-life drama focuses on Monroe and her relationship with Laurence Olivier during the filming of THE PRINCE AND THE SHOWGIRL (1957), as told through the eyes of Olivier’s personal assistant, Colin Clark.
5. Blue Valentine
Last but not least is Williams’ role in the devastating BLUE VALENTINE, which chronicles the breakdown of a once-loving marriage. Every scene feels painfully real, in part because director Derek Cianfrance pushed Williams and co-star Ryan Gosling to their limits by having them live together on a salary similar to their struggling characters’. Not surprisingly, Williams received yet another Academy Award nomination for her performance.
Be sure to catch Michelle Williams in AFTER THE WEDDING, opening in limited release August 9.