Oscar History

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C O N S I D E R - Favorite Actresses of 2017, 1st Qtr

With the year's first quarter over, here's a listicle of noteworthy performances we'll eventually compare to what's to come. We've already listed fav male performances and favtechnical achievements thus far - from screenings and releases as of March 31st. Herewith the 17 best female performances from the year's first quarter, divvied up into three categories. Did these women speak to you?

Disclaimer: I missed The Last Word, United Kingdom, and Wilson  which all have prominent female roles for talented actors. If you've seen them give their MVPs a shout-out in the comments. 


Paula Beer as "Anna" in Frantz

16 more talented women after the jump...

Jessica Chastain as "Antonina Zabinski" in The Zookeeper's Wife

Trine Dyrholm as "Anna" in The Commune
She won Best Actress in Berlinale a year ago for this new film from Thomas Vinterberg (The Celebration, The Hunt, Far From the Madding Crowd). The Commune will supposedly open in May this year in the States but it's been delayed before so who knows.

Anne Hathaway as "Gloria" in Colossal
Also: Best Supporting Wig. Despite mixed feelings about this movie the only word I can use to describe the return of Anne Hathaway is "bliss." She's been greatly missed. 

Kristen Stewart as "Maureen Cartwright" in Personal Shopper 

Anya Taylor-Joy as "Casey" in Split
What a made-for-the-movies face that girl has. See also: The Witch. We hope to be looking at it for a long time on the big screen.  



Betty Buckley as "Dr. Fletcher" in Split
(I wanna kiss the casting director Douglas Aibel for this. There are so many fine and famous sixty-to-seventy-something actresses in the world that we never get to see anymore so it's always a treat when someone not named Meryl, Glenn, Judi, Maggie or Helen is gifted one of those older lady parts. Variety is the spice of life so let's see some faces we haven't seen for awhile in 2018 films please, Hollywood!)

Betty Gabriel as "Georgina" in Get Out
I know it's a horror movie but they really should campaign her for an Oscar nod. Get started early and push hard.

 Shira Haas as "Urszula" in The Zookeeper's Wife

Amy Hill as "Aunt Charlie" in Catfight

Catherine Keener as "Missy Armitrage" in Get Out
Confession: I've been so burnt out on her (because each performance has felt the same for about 10 years now) but this is a much-needed recharge. Wonderful.

Helene Reingaard Neumann as "Emma" in The Commune 

Harriett Walter as "Margaret Webster" in The Sense of an Ending


Erika Alexander as "Detective Latoya" in Get Out

Kaori Momoi as "Hairi" in Ghost in the Shell

Elizabeth Rodriguez as "Gabriela" in Logan 

And finally...

Unknown as the arranged date in Menashe
(Possibly not a professional actor, and I haven't seen any cast list but her justifiably combative but also obnoxiously shaming confrontation with the lead is a wonderfully tetchy moment in the film; it's impossible to root for either of them, and they really don't like each other!). Menashe, reviewed at New Directors / New Films will be released by A24 eventually.

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Reader Comments (21)

You've covered all of mine, except the astonishing Dafne Keen in 'Logan' -- what a debut!

April 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNicolas Mancuso

Rodriguez did great work in Logan. Am I the only one who thinks the supporting acting in Get Out was not Oscar-worthy?

April 3, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterbeyaccount

YES! Thank you for singling out Elizabeth Rodriguez. She was so arresting in those scenes.

April 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

I agree with the Oscar push for Betty Gabriel. Stand out work, both embracing and elevating the genre.

April 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKJ

Catherine Keener has an oscar performance in her still. Let's hope the right material comes along. Also can someone diagnose me? What is wrong with me that I enjoyed Chastain much more when she wasn't headlining.

April 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTony T

I can't believe you left out Dafne Keen - what an omission!

But you included Anya Taylor-Joy as you should - she's so good it's not even funny!
love her so much!
And don't you worry, we'll be looking at her face for years and years to come - she's not going anywhere!
I just pray she's smart about her career and chooses projects based on the directors and the scripts and the characters - and not money!

April 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterUlrich

So glad Paula Beer is included in this list. Saw 'Frantz' at a festival on Saturday and she was PHENOMENAL.
These lists have also made me jealous at how long it takes indies to expand anywhere near me. I need to see Personal Shopper and Colossal, but it's gonna be a looonng time.

April 3, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterchasm301

Let's not forget Betty has already worked with M. Night...she was in The Happening.

April 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterStritch Bankhead

Kirin Kiki in After the Storm! I hope you get around to seeing it. And I know it's opening this month but Cynthia Nixon is astounding in A Quiet Passion, as is Anne Dorval in Heal the Living.

April 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Can I ask who exactly are you referring to about missing Anne Hathaway besides yourself.

April 3, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordon

Mark-Me! I miss Hathaway!

April 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

I miss Anne Hathaway too. Never understood the hate which seems to be overwhelming.

April 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDave in Hollywood

I'm going to be really boring and also put in a vote for Dafne Keen in Logan. A ferocious, feral and ultimately heart-breaking performance

April 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterIanO

I miss Anne Hathaway the talented actress who takes risks and acts in Rachel Getting Married. I do NOT miss award hungry Anne Hathaway with her cringe worthy speeches. I mean the oscar is a big deal. It s good to be excited but some people navigate that success in a terrible way.

April 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTony T

You hit the nail on the head with Betty Buckley! Well deserved mention, and I pray there are awards in her future for this film. Outstanding work by Ms. Buckley!

April 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrian Del Piano

You hit the nail on the head with Betty Gabriel! She's so fantastic! And nice shout out to Elizabeth Rodriguez. Personal Shopper gets to me at the end of the month, I'll be first in line when it shows up! Have you seen Raw yet? Now that sounds like it has the meat to let a great lead actress performance to chew on.

April 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNick T

I watched Personal Shopper last night at the IFC. What a strange 'ghost' story that goes on its own way in delivering the multi-stranded narrative all centering on Maureen Cartwright (played with mesmerising intensity by Kristen Stewart). I am not sure people will warm up to the genre-deconstruction of Personal Shopper but Stewart's performance in this film solidifies her already impressive resume of acting and her collaborations with gifted filmmakers from Olivier Assayas to Kelly Reichardt.

Speaking of Reichardt, Stewart was also good in Certain Women playing opposite the luminous Lily Gladstone.

So this is just a vote for Kristen Stewart -- may she receive an Academy nomination someday soon.

April 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterOwl

LET'S GET AWARDS CAMPAIGNS GOING FOR BETTY BUCKLEY, BETTY GABRIEL, AND HELL EVEN CATHERINE KEENER! Let's see a more diverse selection of actresses get awards buzz this year.

Betty Buckley and Betty Gabriel need to have more chances at good roles.

April 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJ

Kristen Stewart was just brilliant in Personal Shopper.
Catherine Keener was great in Get Out.

I also liked Rosamund Pike in A United Kingdom.
I thought Allison Williams was great in Get Out too.

April 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRod


April 4, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterty

Elizabeth Rodriguez was earth shattering in Logan!!!! Ahhhhhh

April 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterT

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