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Supporting Actress, My Ballot

With Oscar barrelling towards us (at last) I have no choice but to wrap up my own awards. I don't know where I'll find the time but forward into film bitch awardage...

there's an anchor of grief under those voluminous dresses pulling her down

My Best Supporting Actress Starter Kit, about 20 actresses long, was quite a lot different than the one we heard about all pre-season. For starters Helen Hunt and Ann Dowd, who Oscar season dubbed "supporting", were leading stars for me (Hunt's designation is entirely debatable, Dowd's is not). I am, as ever, more impressed with stylized genre-friendly work than awards bodies, particularly Oscar, ever are. I think Eva Green in a movie that wasn't much good (Dark Shadows), Gina Gershon and Nicole Kidman in movies that might accurately be called "trashy" (Killer Joe and The Paperboy) were all running circles around more respectable names like Maggie Smith or Amy Adams that kept cropping up in "Best of" lists. And though surprise Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver did make my top 12 for her homey egg-shell peace-making in Silver Linings Playbooks, my personal vote for Doing the Most With The Least this year would go to Olivia Munn in Magic Mike... though I didn't go quite so far as to nominate her.

That's all just preface - the point being that I debate this with myself (and with you in the comments) all year long. In the end while Oscar chose an entirely respectable list (save for the exclusion of the incomparable Nicole Kidman which I shall forever deem indefensible) my list has only two women in common with theirs. I had to make room for Diane Kruger (Farewell My Queen) and Lorraine Toussaint (Middle of Nowhere), too.


As always I welcome respectful disagreements, fan mail and counterpoint lists. In Actressland many five-top opinions are welcome in "Best" lists.

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Reader Comments (52)

Yay! I always love looking at your choices, even if we disagree. I can't wait to see Middle of Nowhere.

My picks:

Ann Dowd, Compliance
Gina Gershon, Killer Joe
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy
Naomi Watts, The Impossible

-I consider no one in Compliance a lead, but I can completely accept Dowd as one.
-I keep going back and forth between Gershon and Juno Temple, but I want to give Gina the edge because she's so underrated.
-To me Watts and McGregor are both supporting, Tom Holland is the lead.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

Excellent writeup. Mine would look something like (in alphabetical order-still deciding the ranking):

Amy Adams: I know you're not a fan Nathaniel, but for me she just nailed this Lady Macbeth-ambitious, ruthless, and haunting. Best Scene: Her Final Confrontation with Freddy
Ann Dowd: Like Sad Man, I consider no one lead in Compliance. She makes this potentially villainous role so believable, so full of nerves, self-esteem issues, and ignorance, but so very real. Best Scene: The Interview
Anne Hathaway: I wasn't terribly smitten with the movie as a whole (it never helps a film when you haven't bought into the two leads performances), but she delivers a life force that few movies this year were able to contain. Best Scene: "I Dreamed a Dream"
Emma Watson: Who would have thought that Hermione Granger had this in her? A bundle of insecurities, ethereal beauty, and coming-of-age naivety, she makes Sam worthy of Charlie's boundless love. Best Scene: "Why do I and everyone I love pick people who treat us like we're nothing?"
Rebel Wilson: Yes, it's a silly movie and yes she's likely borrowing from her own standup/personality for the bulk of the movie. However, this is by far the funniest performance I saw all year onscreen, and a delicious comedic star turn. Best Scene: At the Activities Fair with Chloe and Aubrey

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

My choices:

Amy Adams (The master)
Nicole Kidman (The paperboy)
Diane Kruger (Farewell my queen)
Laura Soveral (Tabu)
Dana Tapalaga (Beyond the hills)

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPivo

Just saw The Master last week, have to disagree with your assessment of Adams. She's an a instantly unnerving presence, gives such perfectly chilly line readings, and has a restrained maliciousness in her eyes. I remember you were arguing at one point that the script and direction did the work for her, but I think if anything, the script short shifts her character and she makes it work anyways. Would easily make my top 5.
-Amy Adams (The Master) Silver
-Eva Green (Dark Shawdows)
-Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises) Gold
-Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)
-Nicole Kidman (The Paperboy) Bronze

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

Ooooh great list, my top 5

Sally Field (Lincoln)
Samantha Barks (Les Miserables)
Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)
Isabelle Huppert (Amour)
Emma Watson (Perks of Being a Wallflower)

(I haven't seen Paperboy yet)

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrami (ramification)

You've previously said that your favourites are either oscar-less (Pfeiffer) or other times they win for the wrong part (The Iron Lady). So, how does it feel when one of your favourites (Hathaway) is going to win for a part you love? Don't you fear the "following day" moment (her post-oscar career choices)?

Woke up inquisitive today :)

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

I disagree on Compliance having a definitive lead. That is a big ensemble picture. Once you get past the first act, Dowd just pops in for a minute here or there to check on what's happening. The fry cooks and register workers might have more screen time in that middle third than Dowd. Compliance is a stubborn film that refuses to play to any expected narrative standards. Why does it have to have a lead at all? Dowd sets the plot in motion and disappears.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

Still seeing things (it's hard for a broke college student to see everything! I've actually done better this year than I ever have, but that's also because I'm getting more into it and finding ways to see things), but so far, my favorite supporting actress performances have been ...

Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Mis
Anne Hathaway, TDKR
Kerry Washington, Django Unchained
Kelly Reilly, Flight

Haven't seen The Sessions or The Master yet, but I could see myself nominating Helen Hunt for sure, and probs not Amy Adams, but who knows. Maybe it would go differently.

Honestly, for a category that is usually my favorite, it heavily bored me this year. Clearly, since I nominated Anne twice, lol.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

Wow! Our list ALMOST overlaps, Nathaniel, so obviously I think you made excellent choices.

My ballot:
1. Anais Demoustier, "Elles"
2. Sally Field, "Lincoln"
3. Nicole Kidman, "The Paperboy"
4. Diane Kruger, "Farewell, My Queen"
5. Lorraine Toussaint, "Middle of Nowhere"

Honorable Mentions: Blythe Danner, "Hello I Must Be Going," Emily Blunt, "Looper," Olivia Munn, "Magic Mike"

And no, I didn't like Hathaway at all (though I'm not a radical hater like the web). "Les Miz" just didn't do anything for me. Hooper's direction was a major reasons why I didn't like the film, but even Hathaway faltered in my eyes. I felt like I was watching an actress that believed she had immersed into a role, but just cried, sang, and died, instead of actually finding a character. I don't know what it was, but I just didn't respond.

Anyway, thanks for this lovely lineup and I look forward for more. :)

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

BVR, I mostly agree with your take on Hathaway's performance in "Les Miserable." I would have rather seen her nominated for "The Dark Knight Rises." Seriously.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

Nathaniel! You only have a Top 11! Who is the 12th?!

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnthony Mai

I think Hunt is leading, but I second the idea that Compliance is an ensemble picture.

I loved Amy Adams in The Master, but only after seeing it again. I love the way she both fierce and loose, not really interested in explaining her part, but playing it to chilling effect. She does'nt care if we don't know her deeply. Her mystery is her main weapon, along with the sense of danger she conjures. She reminded me of Louise Fletcher in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

I love how ennerving Huppert is in Amour. I love the way to Huppert love and concern always mean tension. No feeling is simple enough to her: her mere presence complicates the movie. Why is she so emotional (without crying that much, of course)? How does she feel? Shock, terror, love? It's always a lot of thing simultaneously, and everything is intense and nuanced.

I won't repeat what you said about Hathaway and Kidman. I think these are my nominees, but I haven't seen Middle of Nowhere. I wish I could make room for Gershon.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

@BVR: I completely agree about Hathaway.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

@ Troy H: I also thought she did a much finer job in Nolan's fuzzy film, but I still don't even think she matches up to Pfeiffer's Catwoman. It is, however, an unfair bar for any actor but....what are you going to?

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

Here is mine

1 - Sally Field - Linclon - Best scene - THAT confrontation with her husband,collapsing into her dress and her demons

2 - Helen Hunt - The Sessions - Best scene - So open warm and real - Receiving the letter in the car

3 - Ann Dowd - Compliance - Best scene - The interview

4 - Susan Saradon - Arbritage - Best scene - The truth comes out she knew all along

5 - Nicole Kidman - The Paperboy - Best scene - In the car with Zac.

Worst Supporting Actress

Anne Hathaway - Les Misearbles - Worst scene - anything in the workhouse talk about being all wrong,too clean cut and hollywood,i agree with bvr she seems to think she's Maria Falconetti and what she is at best is a limited actress singing well live but never for once making us feel for her.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermark

Too down at the inevitable prospect of Jessica Chastain losing the Oscar to either French Jessica Tandy or Pimp Wienstein's new piece of ---

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Oh, I am in no way saying that she equaled or bested Pfeiffer in her portrayal, but she did give the best performance in the movie, which also happens to be one of my favorites of the year.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

I don't have a problem with the Academy's choices, they all emoted their little hearts out. I do think there are some others who could have been serious contenders. Samatha Barks (I preferred her to Hathaway), Hathaway in TDKR (much better perf than Les Miz), and I haven't seen Middle, Amour or Paperboy yet (or Killer for that matter) but all those actresses give consistent, excellent portrayals. Salma Hayek in Savages could be up there and I wouldn't say no to Judi Dench from Skyfall. If there is a "lesser" role nominated, its Jacki Weaver, but the quality of her perf in the face of nothing to work with is a master class in acting.

I hated The Master as a film. Unpleasant story of unpleasant people being unpleasant. Only thing that made it palatable were the quality of the perfs (JP was the weakest IMO) and the brilliant score. But Adams delivered and deserves her spot. I buy Hunt as supporting. Its Mark's story and she informs it. You could change her character out with someone else and the story remain basically the same, not true of Mark.

My pick has always been Sally Field. In an age when mental illness or even emotional instability of a wife could sink a politician's life (and any of his good work or plans), she rides a knife edge of sanity that slices through every scene. She's sane enough to know she has to keep her public face on for the good of all, but so dark that she is bursting to let the blackness out. Her best scene is the confrontation with Thadeus Stevens where she almost loses it.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Great call on Olivia Munn. She was in my top five for most of the year. I would love to see a whole movie on Joanna and her issues, plus how they will factor into her career.

My five: Emily Blunt for Looper, Field, Hathaway (Les Mis AND TDKR, and she easily wins), Hunt, Kidman. I'm kicking myself for not seeing Middle of Nowhere when it was here, so I'll have to wait and see.

Adams was fine, but the boys in that film were better. I'm a big fan of her work in general, but could we pretend she was nominated for Enchanted and Sunshine Cleaning (which was terrible, but she was fantastic) instead of this and Doubt?

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

Great line up however you didn't choose Amy Adams, which I'm a little surprised at. What a range she has as an actress, and she was fantastic in the film. In my opinion I think she was "The Master." My other disagreement is with Jackie Weaver. Really? She has a mention, and what does she do in the film? Not too much at all. And maybe on the cutting room floor she has scenes that didn't make the final cut, but what did make the cut is terribly minimal at best. Is she good? Yes, but not enough at all to warrent special attention. Chris Tucker does much much more in this film than she does. Her Oscar nomination is a complete bewilderment to me. She doesn't even have an "Oscar clip" worthy scene throughout the entire picture. I'm a fan of hers for sure, but she doesn't really "support" anything in the film. She happens to be playing the mother. LOVE the Olivia Munn mention, she makes a definite impact in Magic Mike (she was the most interesting character in that film in my humble opinion ouside of Matthew, otherwise, the film was kind of dud.)

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTory Smith

Speaking of overlooked performances in genre films: I'm genuinely confused that no one anywhere has mentioned Elizabeth Banks in The Hunger Games. Sure, the movie's far from perfect, but Banks acting like a bloodthirsty Johnny Carson during the reaping is worth the price of admission alone, right?

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoe K

1. Anne in "Les Miserables": so Oscar-y but I am and forever will be a sucker for it.
2. Sally in "Lincoln": It the performance that has grown on me the most this year.
3. Sarah Silverman "Take This Waltz" & "Wreck-It Ralph": what a double-bill!
4. Helen Hunt in "The Sessions": great performance and I like it when actresses over forty are willing to bare it all, especially scenes of warmth and levity.
5. Macy Gray in "The Paperboy": The Kidman is good but exhibits the tonal extremes that doom the film while Gray's more grounded performance fights for a genuine character against the apeshit crazy of the movie around her and comes off all the more effective for it.

Also my pick for the Doing the Most with the Least Award is Susan Sarandon in "Arbitrage". And in my opinion she dominated that award for the last decade: see "Solitary Man", "In the Valley of Elah", "The Lovely Bones", "Alfie", "Igby Goes Down", etc.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJJ'sDiner

Agreed she keeps giving these gr8 small cameo/supporting roles and simply nails them,i would ahve nominated her for her 7 minute role itvoe and i lover her in arbitrage,she reminded me of olivia willaims in ghost writer.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermark

Nicole Kidman in The Paperboy. Best scene: Meeting Hillary out of prison.
Diane Kruger in Farewell My Queen. Best scene: Packing for Metz.
Emma Watson in Perks Of Being a Wallflower. Best scene: First kiss.
Cecile de France in The Kid With A Bike. Best scene: Calling the counseling services.
Lea Seydoux in Sister. Best scene: Bonding with Simon after the fight in the car.

Runners up: Sarah Silverman in Take This Waltz, Alicia Vikander in Anna Karenina,
Scarlett Johansson in The Avengers, Emma Thompson in Brave

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTB

Eeeek, our picks are rather similar. I went with Gershon, Kruger, Gina Montana, Maggie Smith, Rebel Wilson, and Anjelica Huston from 50/50 (only got to see it this year).

My semi-finalists were Oliva Munn, Eva Green and Charlize Theron :D

THANK YOU for this at last, as well thought out as ever.

(I consider Kidman a lead, hence she's not here ;) )

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermorganisaqt

Troy Smith - My biggest complaint in all awards seasons is that people think an actor needs an Oscar clip to have had a great performance. The beauty of a performance is not in just one scene.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

I know we can't stop talking about category fraud, but...

You couldn't replace Hunt's part in The Sessions, sorry. There is a lot of stuff in the movie that is unique about her, her reactions, her feelings, her life. It's mainly Mark's story, but it is also her story. If you cut all the scenes about her only, the movie will lose more than 20 minutes of screentime, I think. And their scenes together, contextualized by the scenes of her alone, make this scenes together scenes about their relationship, and not about how she supports him. She cums too, it's about her, too.

It's a very leading role in my book.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

I love the mix of establishment favorites with outside choices here - gives a nice impression of the year in full.

I thought Hathaway, Fields, Hunt and Adams all did fine work in their nominated roles, but none of the name brand supporting actress performances really blew my mind, and I found myself having to dig a lot deeper than I did for the supporting actor category. My five:

*Gina Gershon, the real Queen of Trash this year in Killer Joe (with apologies to Kidman)
*Juliette Binoche, whizzing in and out of Cosmopolis in under ten minutes but leaving a big impression
*Analeigh Tipton, an ideal audience surrogate for the bizarro world of Whit Stillman's Damsels in Distress
*Donna Murphy as the office mate/fantasy figure trying to shake the main character out of his self imposed stupor in Dark Horse
*Frances McDormand, for drawing out the heartbreak lightly sketched around the edges of Moonrise Kingdom.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

And please, how wrong is to compare Riva to Tandy?

Have you seen Amour, 3rt? Jesus!

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

My 5: Samantha Barks - Les Miserables, Anne Hathaway - Les Miserables, Helen Hunt - The Sessions, Isabelle Huppert - Amour, Kristen Scott Thomas - Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. I would give the beautiful gold statue to Barks, I am biased as I adore Eponine but I thought she was perfect and her performance of my fave song On My Own was timeless.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChrisD

I am hoping to see Les Mis this week. But just from the short clips I've seen, Hathaway is mesmerizing and I don't believe she'll disappoint. I haven't seen The Sessions, but Adams and Weaver don't deserve nominations. Walking into the theater, I was expecting to see the nice and reliable Sally Field performance. Nothing prepared me for what she pulled off in that role. She blew me away. I totally forgot she was Sally Field, and when you're Sally Field, that's pretty damn hard to do. I might be rooting for her except I just don't think she deserves a third Oscar. But OMG, terrific work and she deserves each and every accolade.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

My Top 5:

1. Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)
2. Helen Hunt (The Sessions)
3. Nicole Kidman (The Paperboy)
4. Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises)
5. Susan Sarandon (Arbitrage)

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSquasher88

Oh wow, I love these other Susan Sarandon mentions! I thought I was going out on a limb.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSquasher88

I honestly think Mary Todd Lincoln was a role Sally Field was born to play, but not one that forced her to stretch very far (or at all). The role is well-suited to the tics and mannerisms that Field has already demonstrated (watching Lincoln, I was reminded of that scene in Mrs. Doubtfire where Field seems to have a psychotic break over a barnyard animal). It's a fun and admirable piece of casting, but I don't think it's an award-worthy performance by any stretch.

To be fair, I feel the same way about Christoph Waltz's presence in the awards discussion this year.

Otherwise, I can appreciate your choices. I'm definitely looking forward to catching up with Farewell My Queen and Middle of Nowhere (the latter will be up for 2013 consideration for me).

Here were my choices for 2012:

Gina Gershon (Killer Joe)
Macy Gray (The Paperboy)
Salma Hayek (Savages)
Nicole Kidman (The Paperboy)
Carey Mulligan (Shame)

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterW.J.

I've only seen the Oscar nominees of your line-up, Nat - the other three films are yet to open here (I'm starting to wonder if Farewell, My Queen ever will!) - but it's still a shame Eva Green couldn't sneak into the top five.

My five:

Anais Demoustier, Elles, for her vivacious energy in the face of a moral quandry;
Sally Field, Lincoln, for lighting a fire at the heart of her film, and being uncompromisingly committed;
Eva Green, Dark Shadows, for a gleeful star turn;
Emmanuelle Seigner, Dans la maison, for finding variations in her detached ennui;
and Alicia Vikander, Anna Karenina, for grounding her film in plainer but equally beautiful emotions than the eponymous heroine.

With apologies to Demoustier's co-star Joanna Kulig, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Moon Bloodgood (Helen Hunt is a lead in my book), Juno Temple, and Jennifer Ehle.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

I haven´t seen "The Sessions" and "Compliance" yet, so my top five are :( in alphabetical order)
1) Amy Adams in "The Master" - she understood the role completely, and played it with such intensity!
2) Jennifer Ehle in "Zero Dark Thirty" - what an actress! Definitely a SUPPORTING role, that she plays with intelligence and energy.
3 ) Sally Field in "Lincoln" - well, she was born to play Mary Todd Lincoln, and she finally receiver her third nomination after 28 years!
4 ) Anne Hathaway in "The Dark Knight Rises" - as Catwoman she is sexy, funny, dangerous. I prefer Anne in this picture (she is heartbreaking singing "I dreamed a dream " in "Les Miserables", but basic is just one scene.)
5 ) Isabelle Huppert im "Amour" - a fantastic actress with a magnetic presence!
Also great:Nicole Kidman in "The Paperboy", Judi Dench in "Skyfall", Maggie Smith in "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel", Susan Sarandon in "Arbitrage", Gina Gershon in "Killer Joe", Emma Watson in "The Perks of Being a Wallflower".

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErick Loggia

I love the Lorraine Toussaint nomination. She's incredible in 'Middle of Nowhere,' and easily my winner.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike M.

Of what I've seen (no Paperboy, Sessions, Amour... the list goes on...)

Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)
Gina Montana (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Charlize Theron (Snow White and the Huntsman)
Alicia Vikander (Anna Karenina)
Emma Watson (Perks of Being A Wallflower)

Charlize might be category fraud, but I don't care. Snow White is the lead, everyone else is supporting.

Honorable Mention: Sally Field (Lincoln), Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect), Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games), Olivia Munn (Magic Mike) and Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises)

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

Gold: Nicole Kidman (The Paperboy) for giving Charlotte Bless as much intelligence and complexity as Virginia Woolf. For committing to the crazy things Lee Daniels asked without ever seeming like she is "slumming" or condescending to the character.

Silver: Diane Kruger (Farewell My Queen) for letting Marie Antoinette be both a victim and a monster, and for understanding that those qualities come from the same place.

Bronze: Emma Watson (Perks Of Being A Wallflower) for taking a manic pixie dream girl and refusing to let her descend into trope. For making Sam's kindness her most desirable quality, rather than her pretty face.

Cecile de France (The Kid With A Bike) for telling us everything we need to know about Samantha and her relationship with Cyril without actually speaking all that much.

Alicia Vikander (Anna Karenina) for sticking in my head three months later, despite having no big scenes, no speeches, a part that was significantly cut down from the book, and bigger names all around her.

Finalists: Lea Seydoux (Sister), Macy Grey (The Paperboy), Sarah Silverman (Take This Waltz)
Semi-finalists: Scarlett Johansson (The Avengers), Emma Thompson (Brave), Olivia Munn (Magic Mike)

On Oscar's picks:
Anne Hathaway: Second viewing confirmed my reservations about her performance. Some nice moments ("Don't you know you're making love to one already dead?") but ultimately too florid, too self-conscious, and completely unwilling to engage with her scene partners.
Sally Field: As fun as she is, I never bought her as anything besides Sally Field doing her Sally Field thing.
Helen Hunt: Lovely, but definitely a lead performance.
Jackie Weaver: Nice in what we see of her, but there's really nothing for her to do.

Missed: Middle Of Nowhere, The Master, and Compliance.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTB

1. Sally Field (Lincoln)
2. Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)
3. Nicole Kidman (The Paperboy)
4. Maggie Smith (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)
5. Berenice Marlohe (Skyfall)

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

My favorite five: Nicole, Anne x 2, Samantha Barks, and Doona Bae, in roughly that order. Honorable mention to Rebel Wilson, Brit Marling, and Juno Temple.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

Susan Sarandon was wonderful this year not only in Arbitrage but also in Jeff, Who Lives At Home!

My choices are:
1. Hathaway (Les Mis)
2. Kidman (The Paperboy)
3. Sarandon (Jeff)
4. Adams (The Master)
5. Ehle (Zero Dark Thirty) or Doona Bae (Cloud Atlas)... can't decide.

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterferdi

Re: Amy Adams, the performance is a fine against type role and was likely better than originally cast Reese Witherspoon but I cannot help think that Laura Dern's presence in the film. They should've switched parts.

1.) Ann Dowd, Compliance- I know, I know.....
2.) Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy
3.) Jennifer Ehle, ZD30- Her whole story sets off a mixed message for the characters. For colleagues it is a cautionary tale. For Maya it is another driving force for revenge and when you see Jessica, you can understand that.
4.) Isabelle Huppert, Amour- She has a role that could be a thankless one in lesser hands and serves as an audience surrogate.
5.) Juno Temple, Killer Joe- I know Gina gets the big scene but her scenes with McConaughey light the fuse that this is a dangerous yet seductive man.

Other contenders: Alicia Vikander, Anna Karenina
Frances McDormand, Moonrise Kingdom
Gina Gershon, Killer Joe
Annne Hathaway, Les Miz & TDKR
Megalyn Echinkunwoke, Damsels in Distress
Emily Blunt, Looper
Donna Murphy, Dark Horse
Olivia Munn- Magic Mike (put her into the Cody Horn role and a good film becomes a great one)

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Sarah Silverman (Take this Waltz)
Gina Gershaw (Killer Joe)
Nicole Kidman (The Paperboy)*
Amy Adams (The Master)
Catherine O'hara (Frankenweenie)


February 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterstjeans

Yay for posts on Susan Sarandon and Frances McDormand. And the previous posts about Dianne Wiest. Those three are fantastic in almost any role, big or small, although I would love to see them in starrings vehicles some day soon.

I cast my votes for:
Amy Adams (despite what some naysayers believe, she has longevity in the biz in mostly supporting roles as long as she can deal with the media and the haters)
Jennifer Ehle (really good in ZD30 and everything else I've seen her in)
Penelope Wilton (over Maggie Smith in BEMH; her character had the most to lose and gain, plus I kind of love her in DA)
Emily Blunt (I may be one of the few but I really enjoyed Looper and Blunt's performance certainly had a lot to do with it)
Helen Hunt (though I would agree that her role feels more like a lead)

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Sally Field, Lincoln
Eva Green, Dark Shadows
Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables
Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy
Diane Kruger, Farewell, My Queen

February 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

Man, I haven't seen anything this year. Of Nathaniel's ballot, I've only seen Eva Green (who was quite enjoyable). Anyway, my #1 choice at the moment is Sarah Gadon in "Cosmopolis," for brilliantly mirroring Eric Packer/Robert Pattinson's robotic coldness with surgeon-like precision. Like I said, I've seen very little from 2012, but I'd be surprised if Gadon were to drop off my list. I also liked Anne Hathaway in "The Dark Knight Rises" and Kerry Washington in "Django Unchained." The former was her film's best asset, and the latter did more than the script allowed.

February 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterm83

m83: The more I think (and overthink) things about The Dark Knight Rises, the more I think "hey, that doesn't make ANY sort of logical world sense." The political debates over "Nolan's really acting right wing here, isn't he" or "he actually is criticizing the idly rich right wingers" ignore the three most basic questions: 1. "How the bleep does the Dent Act even last eight years" (all we get on what it does heavily implies it's a municipal law, meaning it's probably blatantly overstepping their legal power base. (I only know Canadian law.) ONE mob boss in a city outside of Gotham hearing about it and it's going to wind up repealed, possibly with the people who approved it winding up in jail). 2. "Why does John Blake get to be Batman" (even though all we see in the movie indicates he is nowhere NEAR skilled enough in hand to hand combat to actually replace Batman). 3. This one is great, by the way "why does Batman set up his will to lock John Blake in the Batcave during the day" (Yeah, that's a GREAT way to ensure your replacement's mental health that certainly won't result in him going stir crazy. Idiot.)

February 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

m83: And that's before we get into the facets that ignore things (plot and thematics) set up by the previous film (Coleman Reese is completely ignored, "they'll be doubling up the cells at the rate this city's inhabitants are losing their minds" (which isn't as simple a statement as "escalation" at the end of the first film, but you'd think they'd, maybe, want to follow up on it), the bizarre visual framing (pay close attention to scene framing in The Dark Knight if you don't believe me) of never seeing the face of Gordon's daughter in the last film is pointless because they don't try a stab at Batgirl).

February 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

01. Léa Seydoux, "Sister"
02. Nicole Kidman, "The Paperboy"
03. Isabelle Huppert, "Amour"
04. Diane Kruger, "Farewell, My Queen"
05. Edith Scob, "Holy Motors"

06. Laura Soveral, "Tabu"
07. Amy Adams, "The Master"
08. Gina Gershon, "Killer Joe"
09. Nathalie Baye, "Laurence Anyways"
10. Doona Bae, "Cloud Atlas"

February 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterD.P.

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