Back to Best Performances of 2011
7. Michelle Williams, 'My Week With Marilyn'
'My Week With Marilyn' might not be the slam-dunk that The Weinstein Company was hoping for, but the 'King's Speech'-lite film does have one component nearly unmatched in cinemas this year: Michelle Williams. The luminous Williams plays Marilyn Monroe with a three-pronged attack: she's Norma Jean, public Marilyn and private Marilyn. The results are fascinating -- a complete portrait of an unknowable movie star, from an indie star slowly becoming a movie star. Williams nails the role of her lifetime, and makes Marilyn more than an impression. Her only mistake? Doing this kind of work in a year when Meryl Streep played Margaret Thatcher and Viola Davis stole hearts and minds in 'The Help.' Do they give Oscars for third-place Best Actress contenders? In this case, they should.