10 Underrated Michelle Williams Movies You've Probably Missed
Though she's garnered praise for blockbusters and Oscar-nominated films, there's a vast collection of her work that hasn't quite seen the limelight.
1. Wendy and Lucy (2008)
A film as simple as it is heart-wrenching. Wendy, played by Williams, is on a road trip to Alaska in search of work, with her trusty dog Lucy. She's living on a shoestring budget, I mean counting every penny. Disaster strikes when her car breaks down in Oregon and she gets arrested for shoplifting dog food. Lucy disappears, and Wendy spends the rest of the film looking for her.
2. Meek's Cutoff (2010)
In this tension-filled Western, Williams plays Emily Tetherow, part of a group of settlers lost in the Oregon desert in 1845. They're following Stephen Meek, a self-proclaimed expert guide. Emily is deeply skeptical of Meek and starts questioning his leadership as the group runs low on water and morale. When they capture a Native American man, Emily advocates for treating him as an equal. The film was a box office flop but seriously, don't let that deter you.
3. Take This Waltz (2011)
Williams stars as Margot, a happily married freelance writer. Or at least, she thinks she's happy. Things take a turn when she meets Daniel, an artist who lives across the street. They share an electrifying but platonic connection. Margot grapples with the excitement she feels with Daniel and the comfortable love she has with her husband, Lou. It's the kind of adult romantic dilemma that doesn't make it to the screen often enough.
4. Certain Women (2016)
An anthology film where Williams plays Gina Lewis in one of three stories. Gina is a wife and mother keen on building a dream home in rural Montana. She focuses her energy on acquiring a pile of sandstone from an elderly neighbor. As Gina negotiates with him, it becomes clear she's not just negotiating for rocks, but for something way more important.
5. The Station Agent (2003)
Michelle Williams isn't the lead here, but she steals the show. She plays Emily, a librarian living in a sleepy New Jersey town. When Finbar, a man with dwarfism, moves into an abandoned train depot, Emily's curiosity gets the better of her. She becomes friends with Finbar and Joe, a chatty food truck owner. Williams adds a quirky but heartfelt touch to a film that's all about how the most random encounters can reshape our lives.
6. Blue Valentine (2010)
This is a heavy one. Williams plays Cindy, a woman trapped in a loveless marriage with Dean, played by Ryan Gosling. The film flip-flops between their courtship and the crumbling present day. From spontaneous dances to volatile arguments, it's an emotional rollercoaster. Cindy's a nurse with dreams that extend far beyond her domestic life, and Williams captures this trapped sensation with chilling accuracy.
7. Synecdoche, New York (2008)
In this mind-bender, Williams plays Claire Keen, an actress involved with Caden Cotard, a theatre director. The plot centers around Caden creating a detailed replica of New York City inside a warehouse. Claire, at first, is an enthusiastic participant in the project but slowly becomes disillusioned as the boundaries between reality and art blur.
8. Suite Française (2014)
Based on the unfinished novel by Irène Némirovsky, this WWII romance stars Williams as Lucille, a French woman whose husband is a prisoner of war. When German soldiers occupy her village and her home, she's initially resistant. However, she finds herself falling for Bruno, a German officer who is more sensitive than he seems. Torn between love and loyalty, Lucille navigates dangerous waters.
9. I'm Not There (2007)
Ever wanted to see six actors play different versions of Bob Dylan? No? Well, you'll want to for Michelle Williams. She plays Coco Rivington, a character based on Edie Sedgwick and a love interest to one of the Dylans.
10. Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)
Maybe not the indie darling like the others, but still criminally underrated. Williams plays Glinda the Good Witch in this prequel to The Wizard of Oz. The plot focuses on how Oz, a small-time magician, ends up in the fantastical world and rises to become the "wizard". Glinda, in Williams' hands, is not just a beacon of goodness but also a clever and strategic leader.