The image: Indie darling Michelle Williams, on the Oscar campaign trail for her turn as Marilyn Monroe in My Week With Marilyn, poses seductively in barely-there lingerie for this month's GQ. (See the image below.) The "sexy" and uncharacteristically risque cover photo — paired with the objectifying headline "Who knew Michelle Williams had this body?" — will surely raise the actress' profile in the run-up to the Oscars, and is reminding pundits of Kate Winslet's nearly-nude 2009 Vanity Fair cover, which some consider a factor in her narrow win over Meryl Streep in a tight Best Actress race that year. This year, the category is once again neck and neck. At last week's Golden Globes, both Streep and Williams took home trophies: Streep for Best Actress in a Drama (The Iron Lady), Williams for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy (Marilyn).
The reaction: Sadly, when it comes to the Best Actress Oscar, you can often boost your chances by titillating voters with a sexy photo, says Sasha Stone at Awards Daily. The typically demure Williams is wise to fire up her sexuality — she "might pull off an upset after all." She's certainly garnering "attention at just the right time," says Guy Lodge at HitFix. But keep in mind: Williams not only looks unexpectedly sexy, she comes off as "smart and engaging" in the interview, too. In the end, though, this shoot may be too much of a "far cry from Williams' perpetual pixie-mom persona," says Jen Yamato at Movieline, and backfire. Check out the cover: