Strong showings for "Eighth Grade" and "You Were Never Really Here" highlight the Independent Spirit Award nominations                Review: Round-Up: "At Eternity's Gate", "The Clovehitch Killer", "Jonathan", and "The Last Race"                "Green Book" is a crowd pleaser of the highest order and a definite Oscar contender                Steve McQueen and a phenomenal ensemble cast help make "Widows" look effortless                "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" offers something for every type of Coen Brothers fan                Updated Academy Award predictions for early November                Review Round-Up: "Dr. Seuss' The Grinch", "El Angel" "The Long Dumb Road", and "Outlaw King"                Taking a look at potential Best Documentary Feature contenders                "The Front Runner" is a terrific and timely film for right around Election Day                Hollywood Film Awards Marked the Launch of Awards Season                Taking a first crack at Golden Globe predictions                “The Favourite” and “The Front Runner”: Films to see in November                Awkwafina to Host 22nd Hollywood Film Awards                Review Round-Up: "Bodied", "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms", and "The Other Side of the Wind"                Rosamund Pike is a force to be reckoned with in "A Private War"        

Michelle Williams’ “Marilyn” centerpiece of NYFF – AWARDS ALLEY


By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: The centerpiece film at this year’s New York Film Festival, usually a slot reserved for movies with serious awards heat, has been given to Simon Curtis’ “My Week with Marilyn,” it was announced earlier this week.

The biopic casts Michelle Williams as the tragic Hollywood starlet, focusing on a specific window of time spent on the set of the 1956 film, “The Prince and the Showgirl.” Williams will be joined by Kenneth Branagh as Sir Laurence Olivier, who clashed with Monroe on set. Dominic Cooper, Toby Jones, Julia Ormond, Dougray Scott and Judi Dench also appear in what’s shaping up to be an Oscar-bait period drama.

Film Society of Lincoln Center chief Richard Pena commented on Curtis’ film, saying that “after seeing Marilyn Monroe so often portrayed in films as a caricature, it is a pleasure to see this complex personality and unique on-screen presence portrayed so well by such a talented actress as Michelle Williams.”

Williams is becoming an Academy favorite, having earned Oscar nominations for her stellar work in “Brokeback Mountain” and last year’s “Blue Valentine.” The Academy also perks up when current starlets portray Hollywood legends on screen. I’m curious to see if Williams’ portrayal of Marilyn will be positive or flawed. But I’m guessing if any actress can shatter the illusion of Monroe as the bubble-headed blonde bombshell, it’s the extremely versatile Williams.

We’ll have much more on “My Week with Marilyn” as the NYFF approaches. Curtis’ film will screen on Oct. 9, while the fest kicks off Sept. 30 with Roman Polanski’s “Carnage.”

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