Monday, 3 January 2011

2010 in Review - Best Supporting Actress

Of the categories this will, I expect, bring the most comments. Last year when I excluded a particular performance (because it hadn't come out yet) I got a number of comments asking me why. This year I have seen that performance and she wasn't my favourite - can't wait to hear what you have to say.

1. Vera Farmiga as Alex Goran in Up in the Air. Vera walks a tightrope in Jason Reitman's corporate satire, projecting an yearning behind the held together exterior and her final scene on the telephone shows an awareness of the characters strengths and weaknesses few others have matched.

2. Olivia Williams as Ruth Lang in The Ghost. There's a cat-like intensity to the role as portrayed by Olivia Williams, alternately preening over her husband an purring to induce sympathy from Ewan MacGregor's hapless ghost writer. When the final act reveal comes about you can see the tension in every movement.

3. Mo'Nique as Mary in Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire. She's the villain of the year, certainly, a performance that over powers the film with dread and menace as well as a knock out monologue explaining her own private fears at the end.

4. Julianne Moore as Charley in A Single Man. It's wildly over the top, but I think that's what makes Moore's Charley so likeable, a prototype fag-hag unable to break away from her reliance on Colin Firth's George and gripped by an unbreakable desire to win him back.

5. Marion Cotillard as Mal in Inception. It's hard to imagine a year when Marion fails to achieve a nod from me for her performances. Given she's purely a construct of Leonardo DiCaprio's fevered mind she manages to give the most consistent performance in the film, always deadly. I really want to see her as a proper femme fatale.


Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Nice batch, I love the diversity. I sort of loathed Up in the Air, but Vera was the strong point for me. Love the mention of Williams (but is it wrong I love Cattrall just as much?) and especially YAY for Moore who made my top 5 last year. The moments with Charley in A Single Man are the most beautiful for me. I want Moore and Firth in another film together.

And yes, Marion rules Inception.

Alex in Movieland said...

You always have some interesting choices. Vera Farmiga? I think she charmed you with those legs of hers :P

Mo'Nique for the clear 2009 winner for me and the best performance of her year.

I'm quite sure Marion won't be making my Top 5 for 2010, maybe not even Top 10... seen lots of interesting supporting performance and I'm still anxious for Melissa Leo.

Runs Like A Gay said...


If you loathed Up in the Air, I'd avoid looking at my top ten films on Friday! Cattrall was pretty good in Ghost, but I felt Williams had more to do and did it extremely well.


It's good to see some healthy debate about Marion's inclusion. The Fighter cast will be eligible for next years countdown as the film opens in February - that's assuming I see it...

I really liked Mo'Nique, hence I included her, but try this exercise. Write down what she says in the final monolgue and then read it out aloud. Don't go mad on the acting just pauise where you think it's dramatic. Afterwards tell me if you woyuldn't nominate yourself in the category. In short Mo'Nique is great, but she's great with a great script. Vera brings so much more to the table in her role.

Alex in Movieland said...

Do I think the writing in Precious is very good? Hell yes, Precious was my favorite film of 2009 and I wanted it to win Adapted Screenplay over Up in the Air (really!) and it happened :P

But there is SO much in that last scene that it can't all be on the writing: the face expressions, the voice, the crying, it all seemed perfect to me. And it's not just that one scene that justifies the performance.

When she comes to see Precious wearing the black dress, to her that her father died of AIDS, that scene is subtly & fabulously played. and so many more.

Runs Like A Gay said...


I'm facetious for effect - it was a fantastic performance from Mo'Nique throughout the movie and I will watch it again.

My point is it's so much easer to do a good performance with great writing.