Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Vive la femme: The best female performances of 2010

Though it would be hard to call 2010 a banner year for great female movie roles, there have still been some great performances this year from actresses young and old.

So, with the caveat that I have yet to see some potentially great work from Amy Adams in "The Fighter," Natalie Portman in "Black Swan" and newcomer Hailee Steinfeld in "True Grit," here are my picks for the best female performances of 2010. As always, please feel free to sound off in the comments with anyone I may have snubbed.

Noomi Rapace: "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"/ "The Girl Who Played With Fire": Though she is almost a complete mismatch with the picture of Lizbeth Salander you get in the wildly popular books by the late Stieg Larsson, you won't soon forget how tough and yet vulnerable Rapace is in the role of the talented hacker. Take a weekend and watch these back to back for two of the best thrillers of the year.

Helen Mirren, "The Last Station": The most surprising thing about this movie about the last days of Leo Tolstoy, which was screened by the Macon Film Guild, is just how much fun it is, due in large part to the the interplay of Dame Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer.

Chloe Moretz: "Kick-Ass"/"Let Me In": With her work in these two movies, one I love ("Kick-Ass") and one I pretty much despise ("Let Me In"), I'd say the young Georgian Moretz had the best year of any actress in 2010, and probably had the most fun too as the extremely lethal Hit-Girl in "Kick-Ass." Keep an eye out for her next year in Martin Scorsese's "Hugo Cabret."

Jennifer Lawrence: "Winter's Bone": Lawrence's performance as Rhee Dolly, the young woman forced to enter the seamy world of her tangled relations to search for her deadbeat (and possibly just dead) father was the best of 2010, and her reward: She gets to play Raven/Mystique in "Kick-Ass" director Matthew Vaughn's "X-Men: First Class." Bully.

Annette Bening: "The Kids Are All Right": I'd have to say she's the odds-on favorite for the Oscar for Best Actress, and why not? Though I found the movie itself to be pretty pedestrian, her performance as one half of a lesbian couple (with Julianne Moore) is fantastic.

Jacki Weaver: "Animal Kingdom": Weaver gets the nod for the scariest character of the year as the matriarch of the Cody clan in this extremely unglamorous Australian gangster flick, and once you see it, she will be burned on your brain (and quite possibly your nightmares). Coming to DVD on Jan. 18.

Emma Stone: "Easy A": A silly movie? Sure. But also extremely funny, and at the center of it, Stone is a bundle of comedic energy that never stops running through it. Expect her to make a big breakthrough next year in something more serious, as Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan in the movie based on Kathyrn Stockett's entertaining bestseller "The Help."

Ensemble award: "For Colored Girls": Tyler Perry's movie based on the play by Ntozake Shange is more than a bit of a muddled mess, but his love for black women still shines through in the performances he managed to pull from his large ensemble cast of talented women. Best are Kimberly Elise, Tessa Thompson and Phylicia Rashad as the busybody at the center who ties it all together.

And there you have it. Like I said, please feel free to add anyone I unintentionally snubbed, and have a passable Tuesday. Peace out.


Tom Clift said...

I haven't seen it, but I've heard Helena Bonham Carter is really great in THE KINGS SPEECH.

Also, it's good to see a fellow Aussie in Jackie Weaver getting some love from the blogosphere!

Reel Fanatic said...

She's amazing in that movie, Tom ... "The King's Speech" looks like a lot of fun, and since Colin Firth is virtually guaranteed an Oscar nomination, I'd say the chances are good for Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush too

Anonymous said...

The most amazing post I have read this month :)


Anonymous said...

Chloe Moretz is really good for her age, what is she like 13? I really like her in Let Me In altough i preferred the original Swedish version : - )

Reel Fanatic said...

I thought both she and Kodi Smit-McPhee were as good, if not better, than the kids in the original movie, but overall the movie just felt so much like a thoroughly unnecessary, almost shot-for-shot remake that it just left me cold .. And amazingly, enough, I think she is indeed only 13 or so

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