As the Oscars approach, awards chatter is coming to a close. We’ve seen mostly the same people win acting awards this whole season, but I think it’s time to give recognition to some performances which have fallen by the wayside at the expense of the favorites.
There were lots of great supporting actress performances this year. You may notice that none of my top 5 were nominated by the Academy. This isn’t because they were bad performances, just that I loved some other ones a lot more!
5. Anna Paquin, The Irishman – Anna Paquin is able to do so much with just her facial expressions. Her performance is at the very center of this movie’s message. Without her obvious disdain for what he father does, the movie wouldn’t hit as hard as it does.
4. Julia Fox, Uncut Gems – What a great out-of-nowhere performance. Adam Sandler obviously gave a great performance here, but Fox is a revelation and perfect for this role. She owns each scene she is in and I’d like to see her in more stuff going forward.
3. Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell – It takes a lot to sell a performance like this. Zhao Shuzhen plays the sun around which the rest of this movie revolves. Her lovability is key to it all working and she provides such a loving masterclass.
2. Billie Lourde, Booksmart – Speaking of actresses who owned every scene they were in, Billie Lourde is absolutely the best part about Booksmart. She randomly shows up everywhere and brings a belly laugh with each of her appearances. Comedy performances aren’t always well-recognized, but this one deserves it.
1. Taylor Russell, Waves – Out of all the amazing performances that came out this year, this is the one that absolutely floored me. I came out of this movie (my favorite of the year) thinking about how Taylor Russell was the reason this movie works at all. She takes what she’s given and soars right to the emotional highs. It’s a beautiful performance, and one that will be looked back on in the future as something very special.
Honorable Mention – Lily James (Yesterday)