Best Supporting Actress of 2015
(SoN = Streaming on Netflix // SoA = Streaming on Amazon // SoH = Streaming on HBO)
In the Running...
(in alphabetical order)
Jane Fonda - Youth (SoH)
Ana Mulvoy-Ten - The Girl in the Book (SoN)
Phyllis Smith (plus animators) - Inside Out
Katherine Waterston - Steve Jobs (SoH)
And the Top Ten...
#10 - Annette Bening - Danny Collins
#10 - Annette Bening - Danny Collins
Annette Bening brings an irresistible charm to her character of hotel manager Mary Sinclair. Her chemistry with Al Pacino's title character is palpable and always enjoyable. (SoA)
#9 - Elizabeth Debicki - The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
#8 - Joan Allen - Room
#7 - Cate Blanchett - Cinderella
#6 - Cynthia Nixon - James White
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. isn't very good, but Elizabeth Debicki snidely plays the dastardly villainess, without chewing up the scenery which she easily could've done. (SoH)
Tender and caring, Joan Allen makes her appearance an hour into Room after a huge switch in the direction of the plot. She helps to anchor the film's second half. I wish she had a few more "moments" because I'd love to have pushed her higher up on this list. (SoA)
While I still don't understand Disney's insistence on remaking their animated films in a live-action format, Cinderella was the best incarnation yet and a huge reason for that is Cate Blanchett's on-point scenery chewing as the title character's stepmother. Cloaked in some elegant garb, Blanchett snarls and jabs at Cinderella, yet manages to avoid ever being cartoonish.
Creating quite the realistic portrayal, Cynthia Nixon proves heartbreaking as a mom whose only son is forced to be her caretaker when cancer causes her body and mind to deteriorate. (SoN)
#5 - Kate Winslet - Steve Jobs
#4 - Jennifer Jason Leigh - The Hateful Eight
#3 - Alicia Vikander - Ex Machina
#2 - Julie Walters - Brooklyn
#1 - Elizabeth Banks - Love & Mercy
The interesting thing about Kate Winslet's role in Steve Jobs is that it's much more about her reactions to her surroundings than anything else. Sure, she's not afraid to tell her boss her true feelings about his attitude and demeanor, but even moreso than the actual dialog she utters, it's about her looks of anticipation or dread or encouragement that speak louder than many of the words she says. And while the script certainly gives her a lot of words to speak, Winslet makes the moments she doesn't speak have just as great an impact. (SoH)
This couldn't have been an easy role to undertake for Jennifer Jason Leigh. As essentially the only women in the small cast, her brash, ballsy, and tough as nails prisoner Daisy Domergue is the subject of an inordinate amount of abuse. However, rather pleasantly (if such a descriptor could be used when describing this dark and violent film), Daisy doesn't take her abuse lightly. She's unafraid to dole out the name-calling and physical attacks. And she's kind of a hoot.
2016 was the Year of Vikander and Ex Machina was certainly the high point (for this reviewer, anyway). One may think that playing an emotionless robot wouldn't garner such an enthusiastic response from me, but Vikander's Ava is an emotionless robot attempting to be anything but an emotionless robot. This search for humanism is depicted so well by Vikander as the film progresses that her character becomes the one we relate to almost more than the humans in the piece. (SoA)
Following this film's release, there was talk of crafting a whole tv series around the character of Mrs. Kehoe, the head of a women's boarding home in NYC, portrayed so warmly and hilariously by Julie Walters. I would be so utterly ecstatic would that come true. Mrs. Kehoe isn't particularly vital to the overarching story of Brooklyn, but she adds such realism and life to the proceedings that it's impossible not to fall in love with her sweet, though slightly irascible nature. The dinner table scenes in Brooklyn are some of the finest moments depicted on film in 2015 and Julie Walters was at the center of them. I found myself wanting her to come back for more scenes and there's no greater compliment than that. (SoH)
Even though her role as Beach Boys star Brian Wilson's girlfriend-turned-wife is oftentimes forced to be reactionary, Elizabeth Banks imbues so much intelligence behind Melinda's eyes. Banks - in a break-out role for her - takes what could've been a throwaway role and gives Melinda depth, strength, and conviction that I wasn't expecting in the slightest. She takes what could've been overly mushy sentimentality and tell us more in heartfelt, nervous, and contemplative gazes than I've seen from many other roles in 2015. It's a stellar performance and one that captivated me from the moment she stepped onto the screen. (SoA)
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