Michelle Williams' transformation from indie Brooklynite to Hollywood's beloved bombshell is the most notable movie makeover in a year when biopic metamorphoses were abundant. From Leo's J. Edgar and Meryl's Iron Lady, to Glenn Close in drag and Rooney Mara's gothic undertaking, we've compiled the 10 Best Movie Makeovers you'll be hearing about through awards season.
Glenn Close has already garnered Oscar buzz and a Golden Globe nod for her portrayal of Albert Nobbs, a woman living as a man in 19th century Ireland. Close tried to bring the character, originally born in short story, to the big screen for almost 30 years but worried that close-ups and HD would make it more difficult than a stage production. Judging by previews (the film hits theaters in January) Close has nothing to fear, except maybe a poorly written acceptance speech.
This award-season veteran may finally get his golden statue thanks to an Eastwood-directed makeover that spans decades, not to mention Whitehouse cabinets. While J. Edgar moved slowly through 2 hours, Leo aged quickly from a twenty-something law student to the first director of the FBI. While his performance is impressive, if this is what Leo's going to look like in 20 years all those VS models should jump ship.
An actress's worst nightmare goes beyond Page Six scandals and duplicate dresses. A SAG member's greatest horror is finding out she's nominated in the same category as Meryl Streep. First Anna Wintour and now Margaret Thatcher, the screen legend takes on another infamously accomplished (and notoriously tough) cultural icon to the pleasure of film critics everywhere and the dismay of Oscar hopefuls.
Talk about method acting: Rooney Mara lives with her raven-hued faux hawk and nipple piercing, both required of her stint as Lisbeth Salander. Mara's role in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo earned the actress her first Golden Globe nomination and the privilege of being director David Fincher's muse. Oh yea... and she got to role around naked with Daniel Craig. Some Goths have all the luck.
We've seen actresses get award-winning reverse makeovers (Clarlize Theron, Salma Hayek, Nicole Kidman), but none so funny as Melissa McCarthy's Guy Fieri-inspired character in Bridesmaids. Megan, advertised as "The Wild Card," is a rough talking, sex- obsessed sister-in-law who has brought McCarthy a breakout year and SAG nomination. While a bowling shirt and driving cap made her famous, we expect McCarthy to wear her signature floor-length evening gowns on this year's red carpets.
JGL made aliens adorable (3rd Rock From The Sun) and sleep interesting (Inception) but his greatest feat came in 2011 when the actor made cancer funny. Playing a 27-year-old journalist diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, Levitt shaved his head and quipped with Seth Rogan to deliver a touchingly tragic, yet hilarious performance. Too bad Oprah went off the air because this is a film custom tailored for her off-white couches.
Jessica Chastain has joined Hollywood's in-crowd by playing a Jackson, Mississippi outsider. As the voluptuous and blonde Celia Foote, Chastain secured herself a spot in one of 2011's biggest blockbusters, and a viable contender for Best Picture honors across the board. The real-life redhead also scored her own Best Supporting Actress nomination from the Hollywood Foreign Press.
The actor has spent most of his career playing sexy, danger-prone leading men, but his 2012 Golden Globe nod recognizes a character that is far more brain than brawn. In A Dangerous Method, Mortensen outshined Oscar-nominee Keira Knightley as Sigmund Freud, father of psychoanalysis. While the doctor is commonly thought of in his later, frail and failing state, director David Cronenberg sought to cast the 50-year-old "handsome, masculine, and humorous" Freud. Well played, director.
Emma Stone's personal style has evolved over the past year from carrot-topped class clown to blonde bombshell, and back again. But as the star of The Help, Stone displayed her acting chops as well as her natural propensity for awkwardness. Freckles, kinky ginger hair, and her signature throaty voice that makes an audience wonder if she's about to laugh or just has a sinus infection. Either way, the starlet shined as Skeeter Phelan and taught a generation of young viewers to appreciate their personal quirks.