Monday, 12 April 2010

Wrapping Up: Performances of the Decade (Females)

So I’ve finished with the men, and on to the women. Even though there will always be complaints about the few female roles available it’s always difficult compiling a list of great female performances, because they’re always on top of their game. The Schlegel sisters are here to watch over the events., my favourite sister sister screne pairing. You know Emma and Helena were on fire in the nineties. If I had my way they'd have three Oscars a piece, but I have no discretion.
*Abbie Cornish in Bright Star
Adriana Bazzara in Babel
Amy Adams in Doubt
*Annette Bening in Running With Scissors
Cate Blanchett in Notes on A Scandal
*Cate Blanchett in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Charlize Theron in Monster
*Helena Bonham Carter in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Imelda Staunton in Vera Drake
Judi Dench in Notes on A Scandal
*Julia Roberts in Closer
Julianne Moore in Far From Heaven
Juliette Binoche in Chocolat
Kate Winslet in The Reader
*Keira Knightley in Atonement
Keira Knightley in Pride & Prejudice
*Kristin Scott Thomas in Gosford Park
*Kristin Scott Thomas in I’ve Loved You So Long
Laura Linney in You Can Count On Me
Marcia Gay Harden in Pollock
Marion Cotillard in La Vie En Rose
*Marion Cotillard in Nine
*Marisa Tomei in Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
Natalie Portman in Closer
*Nicole Kidman in Cold Mountain
*Nicole Kidman in Margot at the Wedding
Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge!
*Nicole Kidman in The Others
Patricia Clarkson in Pieces of the April
Renee Zellweger in Chicago
*Romola Garai in Atonement
Saoirse Ronan in Atonement
*Scarlett Johansson in Match Point
Sissy Spaceck in In the Bedroom
Musings on the List:
- Only 19 of the 50 women I pinpointed went un-nominated by Oscar.
- The Australian women really had it made in the last decade. Nicole appears five times (frice?) on the list, and I didn’t even note her good performances in Birth or Dogville. What a roll she’s been on (even if Oscar chooses to ignore). She ruled the decade. My darling Cate shows up thrice, it was a bit difficult leaving off her take on Bob Dylan, but as much as I appreciate it’s excellence, I don’t love it.
- I never realise I like Keira Knightley so much until I think about and notice that she’s given two performances I adore. I know she’s not wholly loved, but when she’s good she’s excellent. Hopefully her trimester this year brings at least one exceptional piece – my money’s on Never Let Me Go.
- Speaking of Keira, a number of ingénues make my list. I wonder what the new decade will say for Abbie, Carey, Natalie, Scarlett, Romola and Saiorse. I still think of Amy Adams as part of the twentysomethings, even if she’s well into her thirties…
- Helena Bonham Carter was on quite a high in the nineties, but she didn’t quite take off as well in the aughts (although she was exceptional in Live From Baghdad). She started off well this decade with Alice in Wonderland (or so I’ve heard) and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for The King’s Speech.
I'm sure I'm missing someone....but who...? What do you think of these 50? Who'd you bring in; who'd you kick out? Was Nicole really the greatest this decade, or is it just nepotism?


Robert said...

This list makes me so happy - especially Marion Cotillard, Helena Bonham Carter, Amy Adams, Kristen Scott Thomas (especially I've Loved You) and like, everybody else on here. You have amazing taste. Haha

Luke said...

Holy Nicole Kidman! Good list - I'm pleased to see Laura here - and she even got a photo shout out! :)

As far as some additional performances, you know what I'm going to say - Meryl in Adaptation... but beyond the obvious, my write-in vote is for Amy Adams in Junebug!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for including Marion Cotillard twice here. She surely will have many nominations to come, but this early -- two years from her 2008 Oscar win -- it's gratifying to know others are noticing what she can do (anything).

Jude said...

Nicole Kidman is definitely the actress of the last decade (hopefully of the next one, also!).

Only person you seem to be missing is Penelope Cruz (Volver, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Nine.. and probably Broken Embraces but I haven't seen that one yet!)

anahita said...

love keira, love marion (her performance in jeux d'enfants is amazing!) love kate, love julia, love carey - argh so much love :D although I would have included anne hathaway, although I know you don't like her :P xx

Simon said...

Marion Cotillard! Helena Bonham Carter! Hazzah!

Castor said...

Good list! A lot of repeat names and I would add Amy Adams for Junebug as well as Ellen Burstyn for Requiem for a Dream.

Jose said...

Nah, Nicole did rule the decade.
Spot on choices although I'd put Birth and Dogville over Margot and Mountain.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

jude holy christ! i missed pe. yikes. her volver performance should definitely be here. she could easily knock of a whole a number of the others. apologies jose i know she's your girl.

robert thank you. glad you like the HBC inclusion.

luke laura is so good in you can count on me. 2000 was a good year.

anon she really does seem able to do much.

anahita re anne, i'm such a killjoy that way.

simon i take it you're pleased with the choices :)

castor burstyn came close, but requiem doesn't improve on repeat viewing for me.

jose the cold mountain love could easily be replaced by birth, but i'm a minghella apologist.

M. Carter @ the Movies said...

How about Tilda Swinton "Julia" (2008)? She just plain rocked it. I love that she is so fearless in the parts she takes, and this one is a humdinger -- an unrepentant alcoholic who's mean and hateful and uses people and never apologizes for any of it. How she didn't win the Oscar I'll never know.

Laura Linney's turn in "Jindabyne" was quite good as well.