Will This Sexy Magazine Cover Land Michelle Williams an Oscar?

Over at Awards Daily, Sasha Stone forwards an interesting theory: "There is a school of thought where Oscar is concerned that goes like this: You can win if you can give them rock hard erections." The latest in said awards trend, it would seem, is the February cover spread in GQ in which My Week with Marilyn's Michelle Williams poses in lingerie as the magazine's headline screams "Who Knew Michelle Williams Had This Body?" It's a far cry from Williams' perpetual pixie-mom persona, the one she broke out in her Golden Globe acceptance speech last weekend. But is her skin-baring the key to getting that coveted Oscar nomination/win?

Behold the press-shy Williams with a pseudo-Marilyn bedroom coif, selling sex with the vulnerable eyes of a deer. A very sexy deer, mind you (images via Just Jared):

Now, the PR move prompts a few questions: Is this really a historic, proven trend among female Oscar nominees? (See: Kate Winslet's nude Vanity Fair spread, evidence in Stone's theory, which may or may not have helped convince Oscar voters that her turn in The Reader was worth honoring.) Why won't Meryl Streep (or Viola Davis, as Stone notes) take the same tack? And how far does a spread focusing on Williams' sexiness and bare body help further the sentiment that she's a great actress who turned in one of the best performances of the year? (Have the GQ readers who'd bite at this headline even seen My Week with Marilyn?)

I'm partly skeptical because the GQ cover isn't particularly great, taking nothing away from Williams' loveliness. My favorite image of the bunch above is the mirror shot, which allows that great face to convey real vulnerability and fragility -- as if Williams had a moment of clarity, standing in front of a photographer in her see-through nightie, realizing that life as a would-be Oscar honoree on the campaign trail isn't so wildly different from that of the doomed Monroe, compulsively and self-consciously putting on a pout for the cameras. Yes, sex sells. But does it really win Oscars? We shall see...

[To clarify: The Oscar nominations are announced Jan. 24; member voting closes Feb. 21.]

[Awards Daily, Just Jared]