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We're going to see a lot of impressive performances from a lot of well-known actors over the next two months, as Oscar season ramps up and every movie with a half-decent shot at a Best Actor or Best Actress nomination crowds into theaters. And while everyone is waiting to see if Meryl Streep turns in another pitch-perfect imitation as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, we're already getting a look at what might be the season's best portrayal as a real person. My Week With Marilyn is by no means a biopic of Marilyn Monroe-- it focuses on a single week on the set of her little-known movie The Prince and the Showgirl, and a young man's (Eddie Redmayne) experience befriending Monroe-- but Michelle Williams's performance as Marilyn utterly dominates the film. The actress known for restrained performances in Brokeback Mountain and Meek's Cutoff goes full bombshell here, and it's not even that she's doing an excellent impression of the Marilyn we know from the movies, but the scared young woman she was underneath.
Two new clips released from the film show off both sides of that performance. The first, which premiered at Moviefone, is the first thing we see in the movie-- a glitzy, sultry performance of "Heat Wave," complete with besotted male backup dancers. This is all the flash and sex appeal of Marilyn we're used to seeing.
The second, via The Playlist, is Marilyn in an obviously more intimate moment, singing in the bathtub. Make no mistake, though-- she knows perfectly well that Eddie Redmayne's character Colin can see her, and the singing is just as much for his benefit, a small act of flirtation disguised as an innocent bath.
I'm not a huge fan of My Week With Marilyn overall-- it participates in the myth-making surround Marilyn Monroe even when it claims to dismantle it, and it's a shockingly shallow story overall-- but Williams is the best thing in it, and they're wise to showcase her in all the clips. The movie comes to theaters on November 23, and since it's backed by the Weinstein Company, you can bet we'll be hearing about it constantly until the awards season is through.