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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

The 2014 RyMickey Awards - Best Supporting Actress

As I've mentioned in previous RyMickey Award posts, the quality of characters written for women in 2014 movies was a letdown.  (In 2013, I was disappointed with male roles...can't we have a year that's bountiful for both sexes?)  As an example, while I enjoyed Carrie Coon and Kim Dickens in Gone Girl, in the end I didn't find myself longing to award them a top five spot..  Were I an Academy member, I'd admittedly have a difficult task of finding women to nominate beyond my top three in terms of being really fervently behind anyone.  You'll notice that my list below varies greatly from the Academy's nominees which I found oddly uninspiring.  There's no Emma Stone from Birdman, Laura Dern from Wild, or winner Patricia Arquette from Boyhood.  That said, my top two have their films streaming on Netflix and they are certainly worth checking out.

Best Supporting Actress of 2014
(SoN = Streaming on Netflix / SoA = Streaming on Amazon Prime)

Also in the running...
(in alphabetical order)
Carrie Coon - Gone Girl
Laura Dern - The Fault in Our Stars
Kim Dickens - Gone Girl
Keira Knightley - The Imitation Game

Honorable Mentions

#8 - Teyonah Parris - Dear White People
As a black college student who feels more motivated by white culture than her own, Parris takes a tricky role and makes it the most compelling in the film. (SoN)

#7 - Stacy Martin - Nymphomaniac
A very complex role for Martin's debut acting performance as a girl of few words who is addicted to sex yet emotionless when undertaking the sexual activities. (SoN)

#6 - Meryl Streep - Into the Woods
Another year, another Meryl Streep role makes the shortlist for a RyMickey Award (previous nominations came in 2013, 2011, and 2010)...I'm just as bad as the Oscars when it comes to praising this lady, but she deserves it.  While not even the best supporting actress in the film, Streep still amusingly embodies the role of a wicked witch with perhaps a little heart of gold inside.

And the Top Five...

#5 - Minnie Driver - Beyond the Lights
An underrated film which gives Driver a chance to shine a bit in a role as a smart stage mom who knows what it takes to make it in the music industry.  The drive that her character possesses is palpable and intriguing in that although she never meant for it to be destructive to her daughter, it may well be just that. (SoN)

#4 - Anna Kendrick - Into the Woods
As Cinderella, Kendrick gets one of the film's best moments as she flees the palace from her Prince Charming, pondering whether royal life is really her cup of tea.  That moment, however, would've been a failure had she not been able to sing Stephen Sondheim's tricky melodies, but Kendrick is more than capable and continues to prove to be one of the best modern-day movie musical actresses.

#3 - Jessica Chastain - A Most Violent Year
In a little bit of a Lady Macbeth role, Chastain's character here will do nearly whatever is necessary for her family to survive although her bark is a little worse than her bite.  Chastain is proving to be such a versatile actress since her explosion on the scene in 2011 and A Most Violent Year is her best performance out of her whopping four 2014 roles.

#2 - Tilda Swinton - Snowpiercer
Tilda Swinton isn't particularly known for being a comedienne, but in Snowpiercer she gets an opportunity to showcase her comedic chops.  She hams it up, but her political mouthpiece character exudes an extremely nasty, amusingly arrogant, and horrifically authoritative demeanor that's thoroughly captivating. (SoN)

#1 - Agata Kulesza - Ida
As a character with many secrets, Agata Kulesza's Wanda is perhaps the most complex female role of 2014.  Her character's pain and anguish slowly reveals secrets from her past, leading to a jaw-dropping moment that while surprising is also fully understandable thanks to everything we've seen Kulesza take her character through.  It's a lovely, rich portrait of a WWII survivor from a difficult era. (SoN)

Previous RyMickey Award Winners
2013    --    2012
2011    --    2010

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