Michelle Williams Channels Marilyn Monroe on and off Screen

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Michelle Williams dazzles in Dior

Williams resurrects Monroe's sexy style at the New York Film Fest.

It's official: Michelle Williams is no longer Miss Prim. After seasons of demure dresses, the star of My Week with Marilyn revealed some decidedly Monroe-esque cleavage in a dazzling Dior gown at the New York Film Festival afterparty for her new film. The actress tackles the daunting role of the iconic sex symbol, Marilyn Monroe, alongside Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, Derek Jacobi and Harry Potter star Emma Watson. My Week with Marilyn hits theatres on Nov. 4.

Michelle also wore Dior at last year's NYFF screening of Blue Valentine, a role that earned her an Oscar nomination. Will this be the year she gets more than just a nomination?

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Critics are already raving over the film and her delicately introspective interpretation of the real woman inside the silver screen star, who struggled with insecurity, men, alcohol and drugs until her death from an overdose in 1962. The film is certainly enviably timed for a high profile since next year is the 50th anniversary of Monroe’s mysterious death. Talk about a built in Oscar awareness campaign. And her image is already experiencing a cultural renewal.

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For starters, there's the October cover of Vogue which features Michelle Williams photographed by Annie Leibovitz. Then there's a book "Intimate Exposures" by Susan Bernard which features unpublished photos by her father, Bruno Bernard, the photog behind that iconic upskirt on the subway grate shot. And a new NBC series Smash, about a Monroe-themed Broadway musical, will air in February.

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Marilyn will also invade the retail marketplace. The Authentic Brands Group recently acquired the rights to Monroe’s likeness, image, estate and several photographic portfolios, including Bernard’s.They also plan upscale Marilyn Monroe lines of Nova Wines, Dreamwear lingerie, even Monroe merch for a skateboard company called Alien Workshop. The company has also licensed the new Christian Dior ad campaign and the commercial starring Charlize Theron — who bumps into Monroe in a dressing room — that first aired during the primetime Emmys.

We're gonna go out a limb and predict that 2012 will also be a very good year for Marilyn impersonators.

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