Manchester by the Sea opens this week. You can buy tickets here.
Dear Michelle Williams,
The first fan letter I ever wrote was when I was 8 years old and thought The Backstreet Boys would be appreciative of my crayon drawing of the “Backstreet’s Back (Alright)” music video. They didn’t respond. I don’t expect you to respond to this either, but the impending release of Manchester by the Sea inspired me to write to you…on a public forum for the world to see.
When I was a junior high school punk, armed with a Blockbuster membership card, I sought out any and every movie my friends wouldn’t give a passing glance. Between Dick, Prozac Nation, and But I'm a Cheerleader, your constant appearance in these indie flicks not only felt like a familiar friend, but also served as my standard bar of “is this movie worth a shit?” Films like The Station Agent, Me Without You, and Land of Plenty were all flicks that I was skeptical about, but seeing your name on the cast list assured me that I would love the films.
In all honesty, you’ve yet to act in a film I didn’t love. The first date I went on in college was to see a screening of Synecdoche, New York, and you cemented yourself as a forever favorite. Wendy and Lucy gave me misty eyes for weeks, and Blue Valentine breaks my heart more than any real-life failed relationship ever could. Sure, you’re stunning in My Week with Marilyn and Brokeback Mountain and deserve all of the award nominations possible, but this isn’t why I love you as much as I do. I would have given any money to see you in the Broadway revival of Cabaret and Blackbird, but wholeheartedly believe that you brought your A-Game every single night. I don’t care what anyone says, you are the QUEEN of independent fare.
The film industry, to be blunt, is a fickle bitch. Your career may not be as profitable as some of your other brethren, but you have consistently picked the smartest roles to showcase your talents. In an industry that has begun looking towards Twitter followers and fan base outreach to dictate whether or not someone is cast in a film, you have never sacrificed your talents or standards to play in something that you didn’t wholeheartedly believe in. Every performance you give is dripping with the passion of an actor, because you’re not just trying to take home a paycheck, you’re trying to breathe life into the script you’ve been given.
I can’t wait for Manchester by the Sea. You better get an Oscar nom.