Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Top 10 Female performances of 2016

I really don't feel like doing too much writing on this post, so I'm going to basically not include much as far as descriptions and reasoning this time around. Call it laziness. Because it is laziness.

Gillian Jacobs - Don't Think Twice

Don't Think Twice was one of the most wonderfully charming and hilarious movies of 2016, and Jacobs was the emotional core of the entire thing. She never had the opportunity to steal the show in Community, but this movie gave her the chance to handle much more than I originally thought her capable of.

Kim Tae-ri - The Handmaiden

As strong as the other lead in this movie was, I think she stood out more due to her emotional range. Though both of the female leads could have easily made the list, that was the deciding factor here. Subdued at the right times, Kim Tae-ri takes a fantastic role and runs with it.

Naomie Harris - Moonlight

Moonlight was a movie filled with great acting, and while Harris doesn't meet the level of Mahershala Ali, she still manages to tie all 3 portions of the movie together thanks to this committed and challenging performance. Being a sympathetic character who is equally as unlikable is tough, but she nailed it.

Lou de Laage - The Innocents

Somehow this movie has slipped through the cracks, with very few people praising it for being as powerful as it is, but that doesn't take away from the overall effect which is made all the more effective thanks to this performance. Though the actress who plays Mother Superior could have easily made it on here, this emotional outsider is what really drew me into the story.

Emma Stone - La La Land

A fairly standard romantic drama performance in many ways, but is ultimately amplified by the singing and dancing, which is an element mostly lost in modern cinema. Though this movie doesn't stand out as being as far removed from traditional screen performance as something like The Artist, this is still a fine example of an essentially non-existent style of classic acting. It also helps that her voice is very expressive.

Molly Shannon - Other People

It was nearly impossible for me to go into this movie without automatically disliking Molly Shannon in it because I have always found her incredibly annoying and never even remotely funny. That being said, this performance really was one of the biggest surprises of the entire year. Not only was she subtly funny, but incredibly emotional and tragic. I became invested in this performance and forgot I was watching an actress I normally hate. Impressive.

Michelle Williams - Manchester By The Sea

Michelle Williams is pretty much always great. As the movie that will give her her 4th Oscar nomination (the Academy Awards announce their nominees in about 6 hours and she's pretty much a lock), this performance is fairly minimal but incredibly powerful and natural. A large part of her performance comes down to one scene near the film's finale that leaves you absolutely devastated. Incredible work from a great actress.

Amy Adams - Nocturnal Animals

I could have just as easily slipped her performance in Arrival into this spot, but for the sake of avoiding redundancy and the sheer fact that I found her performance here more unique than in Arrival, I'm just gonna go with that one. Amy Adams is probably my favorite modern actress (by which I mean OF COURSE SHE'S MY FAVORITE) and seeing her continue to successfully slip into difficult roles and become the characters is always one of the great appeals of her movies. Naturally, this movie is no different.

Viola Davis - Fences

As explosive as Denzel is in this movie, Viola Davis is the emotional core here and manages to steal the show by the film's midway point. There are few actors capable of expressing this much emotion, as she becomes visibly drained throughout the movie. Watching this just makes her performance in Suicide Squad all the more depressing...what a waste of a talented performer. Anyway, this is a powerful play and Davis is the biggest standout. The Oscar she is going to win will be well deserved.

Krisha Fairchild - Krisha

Probably not the performance most people would expect in this position, but if more people watched this movie, I wouldn't have to be alone with this. Watching this movie is like witnessing a trainwreck. Her slow and increasingly intense and vulnerable, spiraling descent is painful and exhausting, making up 90% of the appeal of this fantastic drama. The entire movie is already gripping and emotional, but without this key central performance it all would have amounted to nothing. As it stands, I can't think of a more powerful performance that could top this, as I feel this will go down as a huge misstep by nearly all major awards for not showing it enough love (much like James White from last year). One of the best performances of the decade so far and one that deserves to be seen by fans of great family drama.

No comments: