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Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger in Terms of Endearment (1983)

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Shirley MacLaine

Shirley MacLaine won her oscar for playing Aurora Greenway in James L. Brooks’ best picture winner Terms of Endearment. This is her fifth acting nomination and I don’t think her win is considered a surprise – she’s a veteran actress who is widely respected and I’m pretty sure she was considered overdue. The fact that she is in the best picture is also to her advantage, I guess.

Terms of Endearment is a good movie, but I’m not that sure whether it is deserving of its best picture Oscar. I am also not entirely sure if James L. Brooks deserved his directing award. I can’t really judge cause I haven’t seen the competition, though I can say I prefer this film slightly more than Tender Mercies. Jack Nicholson won his Oscar for, well, playing himself. I personally felt his character was the weak link of the story (such contrived writing urgh) and I also felt like Nicholson wasn’t really putting that much effort in his performance either. I’d rather he had won for his role in Reds 2 years earlier.

Out of the 2 leading ladies, MacLaine has the lighter storyline and, I suspect, lesser screentime. That being said, I always found her the more interesting character as compared to Winger’s Emma. Aurora is one wacky and eccentric lady who is full of insecurities and neurotic tics, but MacLaine is always truthful in her portrayal, making Aurora entertaining and sympathetic at the same time. She’s scenery chewing a lot here (as she always does) but it just works – I mean, when she screams “GIVE MY DAUGHTER THE SHOT!!!” at the Nurses it could have failed so badly but MacLaine nailed it, making it one of the most memorable scenes in the film.

Beneath all the weirdness of the character, MacLaine allows us to see a vulnerable side of Aurora, mainly through her love for her daughter Emma. Despite her abrasive and straightforward personality, she deeply cares for Emma and I love the scenes where she advises her, and when they share their troubles together. MacLaine is so motherly here in her nagging and chiding, and the excellent chemistry between the 2 actresses is also one of the best aspects of the film.

The Nicolson scenes are my least favourite parts of the film, but I’d admit that Nicolson and MacLaine have great chemistry. I also like how she used the opportunity to create an arc for Aurora, transforming her from a neurotic, insecure widow to a woman who learns to fall in love again, all while learning to be a new grandmother at the same time.

She doesn’t have the melodramatic storyline like Winger but MacLaine’s portrayal of Aurora is colourful, entertaining and moving, making her the best aspect of the film. 4.5/5.

Debra Winger

Although I prefer MacLaine’s performance because of how unique it is, I think Winger holds her own as Aurora’s free spirited, cheerful daughter who is forced to grow up due to her rocky marriage. Winger excels in portraying Emma’s transformation from an immature and naive young lady to a hardened Mother struggling to deal with her cheating husband and troubled children.

Emma is a highly sympathetic character that is typically played for tears, especially since she gets the cancer storyline. I liked how Winger gives her a spunky edge to flavour things up a little, and some of her wisecracks are pretty funny.

Her farewell scene is also fantastically played and I loved how she managed to convey so much emotions within a few seconds without saying a word. But, as mentioned earlier, I have always felt that the best parts of the performance come from her excellent chemistry with MacLaine – it is truly heartwarming to see the 2 women confide in each other during their ups and downs.

Somehow I was less interested in Emma than Aurora – she’s certainly very sympathetic, especially when watching her deal with her struggling marriage and illness. But at the same time, I felt like Aurora had a bit more mystery to her, especially when one tries to understand her eccentricity and insecurities beneath that loud and colourful facade. Emma’s storyline is a bit more straightforward, but I think Winger does a great job nonetheless. 4.5/5.

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Quick thoughts: Elle (2016) and Nocturnal Animals (2016)

*Mildly spoiler-ish*

I haven’t been watching a lot of films recently, mainly because I was occupied with schoolwork, exams, theatre and, well, reading. Still, during my absence from this blog, I did catch some movies, 2 of which I am going to discuss briefly now.

Both movies can be classified as psycho-thrillers in their own rights, with similar elements such as sexual assault and emotionally wounded female protagonists. In general, I would say that I am in no hurry to rewatch both films since they left me feeling kinda “wtf” at the end, but I think there are things worth praising.

Elle (2016) – 3.5/5

Was I super enthusiastic about catching this? No. Somehow, the trailer gave me some Basic Instinct vibes, and that is a movie I absolutely hated and yes, including Sharon Stone’s performance. While I liked Total Recall well enough because of how entertaining it is, let’s just say that I am not a huge fan of  Paul Verhoeven in general.

Elle is, simply put, a movie about crazy people. Of course, it digs deeper into the different kinds of crazy since every character (no kidding) is pretty much nuts in some way. It was entertaining enough with its vulgar and violent content, but I really just saw it as a big ball of camp. There is also this discussion ongoing about whether the film glorifies rape; in my opinion, it doesn’t because it does a rather decent job in distinguising “sexual assault” from “violent sexual fantasies”. A lot of it is also due to Isabelle Huppert’s strong leading performance as the emotionally damaged, unpredictable and calculative Elle. It is not a performance played for tears – more along the line of Rosamund Pike’s Amy Dunne – but she does a great job in capturing your attention as a viewer and making you interested in her batshit crazy character. For me, she is the mvp of this movie, portraying the complexity of Elle as a character without succumbing to the film’s campiness. Her performance really elevated the film from “average” to “good”, accounting for that 0.5 point.

Nocturnal Animals (2016) – 2.5/5.

Didn’t like, didn’t get it, and certainly don’t get the hype. Or from the critics at least – it seems like many others disliked it too, I guess making it THE divisive movie of this year Conincidentally, another such movie was The Master (2012), which also starred Amy Adams.

Visually, Nocturnal Animals is a gorgeous and stylish film, creating a certain energy and atmosphere that draws you in. It also features strong performances from Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Michael Shannon. But honestly, that’s all I have to praise about it. I found this movie kinda pretentious in its way of trying to be deeper than it actually is. A jaded art gallery owner Susan Morrow (Amy Adams) feels threatened by the manuscript written by her ex-husband, Edward Sheffield (Jake Gyllenhaal). I am not going to spoil too much here, but honestly, the whole “story in a story” concept was pointless to me (The French Lieutenant’s Woman all over again, albeit differently). If you are looking to examine the
complex relationship between ex-husband and wife, you are probably not going to find it here. The whole thing just came across as Edward screwing around with Susan’s head through writing a stupid and distasteful story that makes Elle look like a masterpiece.

I get that Susan’s storyline is supposed to be about how empty and artificial her life is, but man, her conversations with the various characters also come across as really plastic and artificial. It is like a textbook/stereotypical portrayal of empty people, if you get what I mean. I happen to like Amy Adams as an actress, and I think she does a decent job here despite the artificiality of her lines, but she is also given painfully little to do. To her credit, I felt more interested in her than Edward’s stupid story – too bad Susan’s life is only examined in bits and pieces, never properly explored. Jake Gyllenhaal had the actor’s dream of playing 2 characters, but I thought he was just okay. I didn’t particularly like his performance as Tony, the character in Edward’s book. His earlier nervousness and fear was well played, but the subsequent parts, like his character’s inner conflict about revenge, just fell flat to me.

Nocturnal Animals is certainly stylish and has good atmosphere, but other than that, I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. It feels a bit unfinished to me, frankly, like it could have been a real masterpiece had it dug deeper into the characters’ issues and tidied up the sloppy writing. Might be blasphemous to some that I gave Elle one point higher than this, but in all honesty, I preferred that film.

Geneviève Bujold in Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

Geneviève Bujold received her first and only Oscar nomination till date for playing Anne Boleyn in Anne of the Thousand Days. I always thought that the 1969 best actress race was an incredibly strong and fascinating one. Dame Maggie Smith was crowned the winner of that race, but was she the obvious choice then? Bujold won the Golden Globe, but unlike now, I don’t think the Golden Globes was as influential then. Still, what fascinated me about that race was that all 5 nominees gave tremendous performances (Tough between Fonda and Smith especially), and their characters were pretty unconventional by Oscars standards.

It might come across as a surprise to many, but I actually quite enjoyed Anne of the Thousand Days. I expected to hate it, because I really hate Mary, Queen of Scots now, but this one was actually not that bad. Personally, I always find Anne Boleyn fascinating and after watching that Natalie Portman monstrosity (oh god why), anything else seems brilliant in comparison. I agree that like Mary, Queen of Scots, the movie can be pretty theatrical and over-the-top, but for some reason I could accept it better here. I just think everything flowed better and the story is more interesting. That being said, I would have found Richard Burton’s performance captivating if this was a live theatre performance but it is just way too much here. He certainly had presence, but his line deliveries and mannerisms are a bit funny because of his overacting. He certainly loved to emphasize the last word of all his lines (“Since you have decided, then so have IIIII!”, “You leave me no CHOICE!”, “I am ACCURSED!”)

Right from the start, I was captivated by Bujold’s beauty and graceful presence. In the beginning, she portrays Anne in a cheeky, mischievous, yet slightly naive way that makes her the shining light of the scenes. However, she is never one-note, always hinting a slightly manipulative and cunning side of the character (which we will see in full force later). Bujold always suggests that Boleyn is a very complex character that you can never fully comprehend, despite her playful demeanor. The aggressive side of Boleyn is revealed in full force when Henry starts preying on her, and she starts insulting him and declaring that she will never fall for his trap. I was impressed by how naturally Bujold showed this transition of the character, balancing the aggressiveness and delicateness perfectly. There is also a certain arrogance and stubborness to the character that I found charming, and her playing “hard to get” certainly achieved the intended effect on me as a viewer. She plays the manipulative side of Anne very well, such as when she tries to find a way to legitimize her marriage to Henry.

Her crumbling marriage to Henry dominates the second half of her performance. While I found Bujold entertaining in these scenes, it does become a bit static after a while. Her anger towards Henry is well played, especially when he starts eyeing Jane Seymour. There are a few flashes of brilliance here and there; her devastation at losing her baby was superbly acted, and her determination to maintain her crown was well-done too. However, the highlight is her “thousand days monologue”, where she reflects upon her life and questions her love for Henry. It was very moving, despite how theatrical the text was.

There are a few moments here and there where the movie drags her down, mainly because the scenes are so over-the-top. The “Bastards. They will be bastards” scene comes across as really unnatural because of the way it is written, and it doesn’t help that Burton is really fake there too. Yet strangely enough, I think Bujold holds her own. She handles those scenes well, but I do think they hold her back a little too. The same goes for the final “MY Elizabeth shall be queen” confrontation towards the end – the lines are so over-the-top that any actor would have failed, but I think Bujold gives them a lot of force and power, making them work instead (unlike Burton).

All in all, I actually really enjoyed this performance. I know it is not a popular one among bloggers nowadays, and while I don’t think it is a masterpiece, I find it very interesting. Well done would be the best way to describe it. 4/5.

 

2015 Best Actress thoughts

While I should probably rewatch all of the past nominees to have a better opinion, I honestly think 2015 is my favourite best actress year for this decade so far, followed by 2013 and then 2010. This category has been going strong for me, and even 2012/2011 were pretty unique years despite being the weak links so far.

The performances are all so different and varied, and yet each of them evoked such strong feelings within me at certain points that I feel my ratings are perfectly justified. I had my issues with #5 but her strong moments were brilliant and I think she deserved her score. #4 is the pick of many people, and while I said that I was going to upgrade her score a while back, I decided to stick with the original rating I gave her. I can see why some would give her a 5 and pick her, but I (highly) respect more than love the performance.

I should also clarify that #1, #2 and #3 are equal to me, and I won’t even deny that their rankings are highly tentative. I literally just switched the positions of #2 and #3 in my head while typing this sentence. I picked #1 to be my winner because she has the freshest impression in my head so far, but I know that the moment I re-watch any of the other 2, there is a very high chance I would make that performance my pick instead. Their performance are just that brilliant to me in their own unique ways, and they would have made worthy winners. Even #4 and #5 winning wouldn’t have been that bad too.

5. Jennifer Lawrence in Joy – 4.5/5

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I agree that the writing pulls her down at times, especially when she has to act like Don Corleone (the final moment where she dealt back was brilliant though). However, she has so many great moments throughout her performance that I feel perfectly justified with my 4.5. When she blanked out in front of the camera, I was rooting for her to start speaking again. When she broke the mop in tears, she broke my heart. Can’t believe I just typed the previous sentence, but whatever. Lawrence might technically not be the greatest actress, but the rawness and imperfections in her performances always get to me, and the same can be said here. Sorry haters.

Favourite moment: The breakdown scene/the first time she sold the mop on live TV.

4. Charlotte Rampling in 45 Years – 4.5/5

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It is a very quiet performance that is much more complex than I initially realised, which explains why I considered giving her a 5. It is a bit too quiet for my taste, but the performance is supposed to be like that, and I can’t really find anything to fault. She slowly allows us to enter Kate’s mind through subtle and effective moments, and I understand why she is a winner for so many.

Favourite moment: The final shot, when she realises that the future of her marriage is never going to be the same again

3. Cate Blanchett in Carol – 5/5

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It is another performance that showcases what a master actress Cate Blanchett is, and I felt like I just sat through a highly insightful acting class when watching her. There is so much class, elegance and seductiveness on the surface of the performance, but Blanchett slowly peels away these layers to reveal the depressed and lonely character that Carol actually is.

Favourite moment: The final smile/”We are not ugly people Hodge”

2. Brie Larson in Room – 5/5

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Man I saw this soooo long ago as compared to the other performances, which is why her ranking as of now is probably the most inaccurately placed in my mind. I recalled finding her gutwrenching, intense, realistic and raw. Her fierce protectiveness of her son and her chemistry with Jacob Tremblay are some of the most brilliant aspects of her performance. Her struggle to adapt back to the real world was excellently portrayed too.

Favourite moment: Her explaining the reality of the room to Jack/the silent goodbye at the end.

1. Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn – 5/5

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She is absolutely charming, radiant and heartbreaking here, showing off her immense acting capabilities and maturity despite being the youngest nominee in this category. Every aspect of Eilis’ life can be felt, thanks to her – heartbreak, loneliness, grieve, falling in love, etc. It also reminds me a little of classical Hollywood, except with better acting and realism.

Favourite moment: When she says that she is truly happy/the final reunion with Tony. But the performance is best appreciated as a whole, as you follow through Eilis’ development and changes.

I have no personal lineup as I haven’t seen enough performances so far =( I guess Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road would be #6, but I am fine with this lineup as it is.

Up next: Stop procrastinating with 1977 best picture and finish up Star Wars and The Goodbye Girl. Unfortunately, due to the incredibly long time I took to complete this year, I don’t think I am able to give my definite thoughts on who my pick is. I will just complete this year, and see whether I want to continue with this project. I most likely will, since any excuse to re-watch The Godfather I and II works for me. However, I will definitely be focusing on film performances first before resuming this project.

 

2015 Best Actor Thoughts

For this decade so far, I daresay that 2015 is one of my favourite years for the best actress and best picture categories. Unfortunately, I wish I could say the same for the best actor lineup for this year. I thought 2014 was pretty underwhelming after the brilliance of 2013, but 2015 might even be…worse.

I never considered myself a profession and qualified film critic/reviewer, which is why I never do a full technical breakdown/analysis of films and performances. Instead, I often choose to focus on the kind of emotions the film or performance evokes within me. I guess that’s why I am always so generous with my scores, giving out 4.5s and 5s like crazy. These scores are arbitrary anyway. The important thing is, I always find something to like within a performance and film, even those that people tend to put down. Last year, I thought Steve Carell had some chillingly good moments as John du Pont, even though I agree with the criticisms. I thought Eddie Redmayne’s physical transformation as Hawking was amazing, even though his characterization was a bit boring.

This year, however, was just kinda dull for me, with 3 of the performances scoring below 4 points. Placements of 4 and 5 were straightforward. Number 3 grew on me slightly, and his score is more of a 4 for me now, frankly. I have always liked 2, but I did overrate him initially. This makes my 1 the obvious winner, but that’s only because he is the shining light out of this group for me.

5. Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl – 2.5/5

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Eddie Redmayne seems like a really nice, friendly and warm guy in real life. I really like his real-life personality when I watch him in interviews. That being said, I wish he would stop transforming his characters into these kind, eternally good and flawless souls who are victims of the circumstances they are in. Einar/Lili is an extremely one-dimensional character, who barely struggles with her own identity and only exists to want to be a woman. It is a boring characterisation and Redmayne doesn’t really add anything exciting to this role. He is also a bit mannered and unbelievable, though not a terrible as some say.

Favourite moment: When he first attends the party as Lili, wonderfully capturing the awkward fish-out-of-water sensation.

4. Bryan Cranston in Trumbo – 3/5

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This one, to be honest, was the most disappointing for me. I had really high hopes and I actually expected him to be my personal pick. After watching Trumbo, however…I don’t know man, the whole thing is just really artificial and I feel the same way about Cranston’s performance. He is also really mannered, but I actually thought he was pretty convincing in this area. I have no emotional attachment to this performance, and at the end of the day, it was just okay for me.

Favourite moment: The final speech

3. Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant – 3.5/5

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His portrayal of physical agony is great, and his fight for survival is also terrific. That being said, something is just holding me back from loving this performance like the whole world does. I don’t find him a very convincing father in the beginning, and I am not entirely sold on the main motivation for the character’s journey – revenge. Still, a solid and perfectly fine performance from a good actor.

Favourite moment: The final stare

2. Matt Damon in The Martian – 4/5

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It has been a long while since I watched this, so my impression is admittedly a bit vague. He makes Watney a very likable, witty, sarcastic and funny character and that is the best part of his performance for me. I rooted for Watney throughout the whole film, and I found Damon’s presence to be very charismatic.

Favourite moment: When he thought he was going to die, and his goodbye speech to his family.

1. Michael Fassbender in Steve Jobs – 4.5/5

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I knew he was going to be my pick right from the beginning, when I saw him verbally humiliate and tear down the other guy. Fassbender does not look like Steve Jobs at all – in fact, Ashton Kutcher might actually have a stronger physical resemblance LOL. However, Fassbender doesn’t go for an impersonation of Jobs, choosing instead to create a complex, fascinating and layered portrayal of an undoubtedly talented guy with major issues. It’s a three-dimensional performance that I really enjoyed.

Favourite moment: A couple of scenes, like the opening scene, or the various moments where he tries to reconnect with his daughter.

My personal lineup: Samuel L. Jackson in The Hateful Eight (5), Jacob Tremblay in Room (5), Michael Fassbender in Macbeth (5), Tom Hardy in Mad Max: Fury Road (5), Michael Fassbender in Steve Jobs. #1 and #5 are clear to me, while Tremblay, Fassbender and Hardy are pretty interchangeable. I know some people might find Hardy nothing special in Mad Max but I really loved his work there. Haven’t watched Legend. Alright, if I were to follow the academy’s style of one performance per actor I would replace Fassbender in Jobs with Tom Courtenay in 45 Years (4.5). Borderline supporting, but still a fine performance.

Charlotte Rampling in 45 Years (2015)

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I am not familiar with Charlotte Rampling at all. I don’t even recall watching any of her films before, and when I look through her IMDB profile, they don’t exactly appeal to me either. My impression, based on what people are saying, is that she is a talented, underrated veteran actress who was considered long overdue for an Oscar nomination. And in the role of Kate Mercer, it shows.

I found 45 Years to be a bit dull and not very engaging, to be honest. I can see what it is going for and why some may love it – a low-key, realistic, character driven drama about an elderly couple who realise that their marriage may not have been as perfect as it seemed. The film is beautiful to look at, with a strong performance by Tom Courtenay (Would have nominated him), but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t bored. The whole thing just felt a bit flat and one-note to me, and I didn’t think the story was super interesting.

Charlotte Rampling received her first Oscar nomination after years of being in this industry. It’s nice to see veteran performers, such as Jennifer Jason Leigh, finally being recognised for their talents. Rampling has a very natural and realistic acting style here that I fully appreciated. She turns Kate into a breathing, living and completely believable human being, making us relate to her worries, insecurities and anxieties. Like Cate Blanchett in Carol, she slowly peels away the layers of Kate, showing how she is becoming more and more doubtful about her husband and the authenticity of their marriage.

The performance is quiet, but packed with very nice moments here and there that allows us to get into Kate’s mind. One particularly memorable scene was the way she wordlessly glared at her husband through the car’s rear view mirror after she caught him smoking – brief, but brilliantly intense. I also liked the small quiet moments of sadness and exhaustion that she portrays (“I don’t think I can talk about her anymore”).

Rampling’s performance never feels one-note, even though Kate Mercer is not a very complex character. She is in total control, gradually revealing her character’s disillusionment and doubts more and more to the audience. She also makes the character’s emotions very subtle but realistic, and she becomes very sympathetic.

It is a bit hard to explain why I felt so much for this performance – it can definitely be too quiet for some, like how the movie is to me. And yet, Rampling’s performance left a deep impression, and I was pretty impressed. Another worthy addition to a strong best actress line-up. 4.5/5.

 

2015 Supporting Actress Thoughts

Hey hey it is one of the few times where I have watched all of the best supporting actress nominees! I didn’t even intend to cover this category, mind you, it just so happened that all of these women appeared in films that I was curious in/had performances that I wanted to watch. Still, I thought I should quickly write this post before these performances fade from my memory.

Reason being, I found most of these performances not particularly memorable or refreshing. That being said. I found this year better than last year, where I literally struggle to even recall who the nominees are. My number 1 is the clear winner, and had she won, she might have been one of my favourite winners this decade. I am going to be honest and say that my number 2 got her ranking because I was largely influenced by the overwhelming love everybody has for her. Objectively speaking, she gives a great performance, but I always felt that she was overshadowed by her co-star and also, she’s not really a favourite actress of mine. 3 and 4 are pretty equal, although I prefer 3 because she added more with how little she had, while 4 is just consistently good. 5 gives a perfectly fine performance, but nothing overly special in my opinion. As a celebrity, I love her the most out of all 5 nominees though – I happen to enjoy the glorious cheesiness of The Time Traveler’s Wife, and Regina George is one awesome bitch.

5. Rachel Mcadams in Spotlight – 3/5

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Regina George is now an Oscar nominee! Hurray! That being said, I have to admit I struggle to find things to really rave about McAdams work here. Don’t get me wrong, I love subtle and realistic acting, but McAdam’s Sacha Pfeiffer is merely a piece of the overall masterpiece that Spotlight is. I have nothing to fault with her acting here, and I actually think she fared better than Ruffalo’s scenery chewing, but like I said in my post, why nominate her out of the entire cast? Some nice moments with her nana and Ruffalo’s Rezendes, but nothing outstanding.

Favourite scene: We are going to tell this story

4. Alicia Vikander in The Danish Girl – 4/5

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She is the best part of her boring film, and there are a lot of nice emotional moments she gets to play. She manages to successfully convey the pain of losing her husband, her struggles as an artist, and her journey in recovering. That being said, I felt like, it could have been, I don’t know, more? I appreciate it from a technical standpoint.

Favourite scene: Saying she wants her husband bacl

3. Kate Winslet in Steve Jobs – 4/5

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She actually gives the kind of supporting performance that I enjoy even though people usually dismiss it as underwhelming. Her material is thin, and yet she manages to develop Joanna fully as a person, allowing us to fully understand what goes through her head. The main highlight of her performance is her relationship with Fassbender’s Steve Jobs. She shows so many sides of the character – the friend, the partner, the assistant, the moral compass.

Favourite scene: The big emotional moment, which she managed to pull off although it was awkwardly written imo. So sudden?

2. Rooney Mara in Carol – 4.5/5 

rooney mara carolI usually find Rooney Mara’s “understated” acting style more boring and vacuous than anything, but over here it fits the role of Therese Belivet perfectly. I admit she handles the character’s development beautifully, and it was great to watch Therese finding herself. That being said, I never really felt…I don’t know, supportive of the character? Like I ended up feeling so damn sorry for Carol throughout this whole movie that I kinda forget about Therese a little. I may sound critical, but I assure you, I am not. At the end of the day, I still think this is a beautiful performance with many wonderfully acted moments, but I just don’t love it as much as so many do.

Favourite moment: The breakdown in the car with Carol, where she expresses her guilt.

1 Jennifer Jason Leigh in The Hateful Eight – 5/5

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I love The Hateful Eight. It’s not perfect, and I know people often complain about it being slow and boring but I was thoroughly hooked from beginning to end. I might even go as far to say that I prefer this to Django Unchained and Inglourious Basterds. I also thought Samuel L. Jackson should have been nominated and won for best actor, and a few of the supporting casts are equally deserving of noms as well, like Kurt Russell. The funny thing is, I have the least impression of what the film actually won for – its score. Like, I really can’t remember it. I feel Carol should have taken that one.

At the end of the day, Jennifer Jason Leigh gives the kind of supporting performance that I love and haven’t seen in a while in this category. I can only compare her to Ruth Gordon in Rosemary’s Baby and Dianne Wiest in Bullets Over Broadway. Is it the most complex and important role in the entire film? No. But she is entertaining as hell with a one-of-a-kind presence, and you cannot take your eyes off her the moment she is on screen. I wouldn’t even say it is easy…I mean look at how JLaw tried in American Hustle and…oh wait, many people love her there.

Jennifer Jason Leigh doesn’t have that many lines in the beginning, but she always captures your attention with small, distinct mannerisms to suggest something “off” about Daisy. And then when it comes to the final “negotiation” scene, you really get to see her sink her teeth into this role and show all the different sides of the character – menacing, authoritative, frightening and pathetic at the same time. She was like a crazy dog (bitch, haha) without any dignity or shame, and it is bloody (literally) awesome! It is the kind of performance this category needs more, and I really miss them. Sighs.

Favourite moment: The negotiation scene, and “when you get to hell John, tell them Daisy sent ya”