Best Supporting Actress of 2016

And now the best acting category, the one that is both the most fun and painful to assemble: Best Supporting Actress. Olivia Colman’s dryly hilarious world-building in The Lobster is the most painful omission, but others I almost included were Dakota Johnson’s lying sexpot in A Bigger Splash, Lily Gladstone’s open-hearted minimalism in Certain Women, and Janelle Monáe’s one-two punch of Moonlight and Hidden Figures. Don’t expect much overlap between my list and tomorrow’s Oscar nominated bunch.

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Kate Dickie – The Witch
Dickie makes the horrors of The Witch all the more impactful thanks to her layered portrayal of religious zealotry and immigrant yourning. In her hands, the film turns from psychological horror to American tragedy. Quick: name a recent horror performance with this much humanity.

Paulina Garcia – Little Men
Her Leonor is maybe the most guarded of Ira Sachs’s Little ensemble, but Garcia has her filled with secrets. At once too private to share with even the audience and yet has the most clearly drawn pain. She’s a mixture of stubbornness and futility, a woman of warmth stifled into the cold.

Greta Gerwig – 20th Century Women
At once a quintessential Gerwig performance, but she has never been so emotionally accessible. The most outspoken of 20th Century‘s women, Gerwig’s naturalism is well used for a character that could have been its most cartoonish. Her most physically expressive performance, with dance moves that rival Ralph Fiennes.

Naomie Harris – Moonlight
Moonlight is rightfully praised for building its central character’s lifetime of pain, but Harris is just as revelatory for connecting the threads of Paula’s transition with far less material. Harris’s restraint is crucial in allowing us to see how addiction alters Paula’s true personality. Her ultimate humility is heartbreaking before she even apologizes.

Riley Keough – American Honey
The embodiment of the unfeeling corporate machine event to this crew of damaged goods. What first plays as a hard line of trust and expectation is complicated by hidden understanding and disappointment. She stifles herself in the sing-along, maybe she’s a believer herself under all that armor.

And the Winner Is…

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filmmixtape’s Best Supporting Actress of 2015

Here’s the start of filmmixtape’s first Best of the Year superlatives. Yes, some things will be coming at their own pace – I have a few major things to see. It may be late, but I’m a completist, dammit. I’m starting off with what is always my favorite category: Best Supporting Actress.

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Rose Byrne – Spy

  • Every withering word out of her mouth in etched in marble. Byrne’s comedic gifts are absurdly under-valued against larger comedy names, and she’s been found unexpected honesty in hilarious performances in Neighbors and Bridesmaids. But she’s never been this uproariously precise or taken given broad humor this much brains.

Nihal G. Koldas – Mustang

  • Her grandmother is as both funny and urgent as the film needs her to be, but she’s never as anonymous as her character’s standing in the film’s patriachy. An extension of the film’s quintet of girls, she’s terrified, passionate, and loving in her own way. So much of the danger we feel for the girls come from the equal mix of fear and compassion on her face.

Sarah Paulson – Carol

  • Suggesting a complete life sideways of the love story at the film’s center, Paulson is dynamically present in every one of her few scenes. The Abby she creates is never the expected stock friend role in a love story – she shares a deeper connection to Carol and grants more kindness in Therese than some throwaway. She finds variety and range, crafting an Abby that is randy, defiant, and devoted.

Alicia Vikander – Ex Machina

  • She aces the high degree of difficulty: compellingly human beyond even sexual intrigue, but never humanly articulated. Like the film, she maintains tension by never overplaying her hand into outright menace or innocence. Still fascinating on multiple viewings, it’s a uniquely physical performance though she’s often perfectly still.

Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs

  • Verbally dexterous as necessary to Aaron Sorkin’s relentless screenplay, you can clearly sense the actress energized by the challenges she aces along the way. She fleshes out Joanna Hoffman as more of a complete person than the rest of the ensemble floating in Jobs’s orbit, every bit believably disarming Jobs in the final act by digging deep and finding the film’s emotional core.

See who almost made the cut and filmmixtape’s winner after the jump!

Continue reading “filmmixtape’s Best Supporting Actress of 2015”