The Best Supporting Actress category is always a great category. Every year we get a great mix of veterans, past winners, and newbies and this year is no different. The eclectic group of actresses includes two past winners, two newcomers, one of which I had never heard of before, and one of the most overdue actresses in the business. Here are my picks for the best performances from this year’s Best Supporting Actress nominees.
Nominated for – Vice
Best Performance – The Fighter
- Up until The Fighter, Adams had a wholesome, sweet persona in every movie. That all changed in David O. Russell’s crowd pleasing true story. She plays Charlene, the tough talking, “MTV Girl”, girlfriend of Boston boxer Mickey Ward (Mark Wahlberg). She is the one who pushed Mickey to greatness, helping him become the best boxer he can be. Even when going toe-to-toe with Mickey’s hard nosed mother (Melissa Leo) and brilliant, yet troublesome brother, Dickey (Christian Bale), Charlene stands strong, knowing what is best for Mickey to be a champion. Adams criminally lost her Oscar to co-star Melissa Leo, and that’s a shame, because this tough, gritty, motivational performance is the best of her career.
Nominated for – If Beale Street Could Talk
Best Performance – Jerry Maguire
- If you are just realizing how good of an actress Regina King is, you need to do some research. King has been putting in work in T.V. and movies for decades, utilizing her talents in every genre from drama, to action, to romantic comedies. But the first time I saw King was in Cameron Crowe’s Jerry Maguire and she left quite the impression. King is dynamite as the no-bullshit wife to loud-mouth wide receiver Rod Tidwell (Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr.) pushing Rod’s agent Jerry (Tom Cruise) to get Rod the deal he deserves, yet also being the brains of the couple in understanding how this game works. Overshadowed by Gooding’s rambunctious performance and Tom Cruise’s star-power, this was a performance that should have earned King an Oscar nomination. Yet, here we are, over twenty years later, and King is just getting her first nomination, and likely, a win.
Nominated For – The Favourite
Best Performance – Easy A
- Easy A is the movie that really made me fall in love with Emma Stone. Sure, her introduction in Superbad (2007) showed her charm and her Oscar nominated performances in Birdman (2014) and this year’s La La Land, showed us new talents we hadn’t seen before. But Easy A is where Emma Stone became a star. All of her charm and comedic timing is at its highest level, and Stone adds new depth and layers to a performance that has been done hundreds of times. This is a star-making performance and one that showed what Stone was capable of as an actress.
MARINA de TARIVA
Nominated For – Roma
Best Performance – Roma
- I know absolutely nothing about de Tariva except for Roma. However, her performance is far and away the best in Roma. Her co-star, Oscar nominee Yalitza Aparicio, is the character the film is centered around, but it is de Tariva who I was most engaged by. Playing Sofia, an upper-middle class wife with a few children, we slowly watch as her marriage crumbles throughout the film. Yet being the strong mother that she is, Sofia can’t break in front of her children, which is what makes de Tariva’s performance so powerful. This was the biggest surprise for me on Oscar morning, yet it is a worthy nomination and hopefully the beginning of a new name in Hollywood.
Nominated for – The Favourite
Best Performance – Youth
- Of all the actresses in this category, Rachel Weisz was the hardest to choose for her best performance. On any given day, my choice could change because she has so many. But today, I chose her performance in Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth, a somber three-quarter-life crises movie about two best friends (Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel) on holiday in the Alps. Weisz plays Lena, that daughter of Michael Caine’s Fred, who is world renowned composer. Fred was not a good husband or father and Lena makes sure he knows that. Weisz is steely cold in this movie, conflicted with how terrible her father was to her and her mother and struggling with forgiveness. The monolog in the massage parlor is the best scene in the movie. Again, this choice could change tomorrow, but for now, Youth is Weisz’s best performance.
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