"Creed II" is an outstanding sequel and one of the year's best films                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"        

Michelle Williams: Top Ten Actresses in line to win an Oscar

The uneducated Oscar follower will think that Michelle Williams big break came in Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain as Alma, the young wife that discovers her husband’s dark secret. The truth is Ms. Williams started gaining independent attention in films like The Station Agent (2003), in which she was nominated along with her co-stars for Cast Ensemble by the Screen Actors Guild Awards; she also captured attention as “Ruby” in Erik Skjoldbjærg’s Prozac Nation (2001) with Christina Ricci and as Lana in Wim Wenders’ Land of Plenty (2004), a performance that netted her a Best Actress nomination from the Independent Spirit Awards.

When Williams was cast as Alma in Lee’s film, in her minimal screen time, Williams was able to make an undeniable impression. As Alma makes her progression from a loving and devoted wife and mother to an enigma of confusion after she witnesses her husband Ennis (Heath Ledger) kissing his fishing buddy Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal), Williams exhibits such control in allowing Alma to undergo the emotional narrative from confusion to regret and eventually to bewilderment and anger. Williams was nominated for Best Supporting Actress and is believed to have been second to Oscar-winner Rachel Weisz in The Constant Gardener (2005).

Following her nomination, she went right back into independent cinema, showcasing her range in I’m Not There (2007), Synecdoche, New York (2008), where she won the Robert Altman Award, and the impeccable performance as Wendy in Wendy & Lucy (2008), another performance nominated for an Indie Spirit.

Her second dance with Oscar would come in Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine (2010) with Ryan Gosling, as Cindy, a young woman trapped in a loveless marriage. What makes her nomination more significant is Williams missed key nominations throughout the awards season including SAG and beating stiff competition from Hilary Swank, Halle Berry, and Noomi Rapace, Williams secured her nomination and become an actor to watch.

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