Backing Michelle?

Lainey Posted by Lainey at January 12, 2012 19:34:05 January 12, 2012 19:34:05

Both My Week With Marilyn and The Iron Lady are Weinstein pictures. Both Meryl Streep and Michelle Williams are considered locks for a Best Actress Oscar nomination. And so, corny corny, you could say that Harvey Weinstein has a SophieΓÇÖs Choice of his own. (Several months ago I overheard a junior publicist at a junket ask WhatΓÇÖs SophieΓÇÖs Choice? She could recite every Bachelor from every season. I went into the bathroom and wept.)

Thing is, I wonder if HarveyΓÇÖs decision was made for him. Meryl, bless her, just doesnΓÇÖt play that game. SheΓÇÖll promote her film, and diligently, but she doesnΓÇÖt hustle the way the others hustle. She doesnΓÇÖt go to every single dinner, party, glad-handing and not-so-subtly securing votes. If she wins, she wins. If she loses, whatever.

So itΓÇÖs been Michelle Williams then whoΓÇÖs benefitting more from WeinsteinΓÇÖs Oscar efforts. Williams has been working it in LA. Dressed beautifully, bright-faced and enthusiastic, hitting up Palm Springs, and a lunch at CecconiΓÇÖs, and even an InStyle party full of C-list attendees, and last night at the Weinstein party at Chateau Marmont, all in service of first a nomination and then, perhaps, a major win.

Strategy aside, having now seen both films, as IΓÇÖve already noted, based on movie merit, my vote goes to Michelle. My Week With Marilyn isnΓÇÖt great, but itΓÇÖs passable. And her performance is unbelievably amazing.

And then thereΓÇÖs The Iron Lady. Meryl is Meryl. Meryl is never going to suck. To me, Her Margaret Thatcher was a caricature, and somewhat overacted, but I mean, weΓÇÖre talking about some awesome talent here. ItΓÇÖs not a downside. The direction on the other hand...

Oh My God, this movie, what a disservice to her skill. At parts I was looking around like, are you kidding me with this montage, here? It would be hard to elevate yourself when whatΓÇÖs surrounding you is so....amateur. I think that limited MerylΓÇÖs abilities. I think she was stuck within the confines of something subpar. ItΓÇÖs not her best work.

Is Meryl Streep on an off day still better than Michelle Williams on her very, very, very best day? If I were the Dean of the Faculty of Celebrity Studies at a liberal arts university somewhere in New England, this would be your debate assignment for next week, to be broadcast closed circuit across campus - two teams throwing down, judged by anyone but James Franco.

My brief thoughts on it? If we were talking about Meryl in Adaptation or Doubt or even The Devil Wears Prada (because I thought she was wonderful in Prada), IΓÇÖd have a harder time deciding.

My personal preference though, between the two then, based on these two particular performances, is Michelle Williams. And, here we go, my prediction also, for the Oscar Best Actress, is Michelle too.

Photos:
Jeff Vespa/Mike Shearer/Getty

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