I’m happy to say that this list contains 20 performances, which is five more than my list of my favorite male performances from 2015. The reason is simple: I saw a lot more great roles by women than I did by men, of which I have no complaints. So instead of limiting this list to 15, I thought I’d open it up and let a few more in. Enjoy!
20. Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl
as Gerda Wegener
19. Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight
as Daisy Domergue
18. Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years
as Kate Mercer
17. Nina Hoss – Phoenix
as Nelly Lenz
16. Elisabeth Moss – Queen of Earth
15. Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn
And from that moment on, she had me.
14. Olivia Wilde – Meadowland
13/12. Kristen Stewart & Chloë Grace Moretz – Clouds of Sils Maria
as Valentine & Jo-Ann Ellis
Moretz is a performer I’ve long since loved, but nothing prepared me for her work as troubled movie star, Jo-Ann Ellis. Her gleeful coldness in her final scene literally made me gasp out loud. And that never happens.
11. Cate Blanchett – Carol
as Carol Aird
10. Laia Costa – Victoria
9. Marion Cotillard – Macbeth
as Lady MacbethTop 15 Male Performances post, if any two people can make me appreciate Shakespeare’s vernacular it’s Marion Cotillard and Michael Fassbender. Her Lady Macbeth is the best of what we expect that character to me. Like Blanchett, I’m convinced that Cotillard is capable of anything.
8. Aomi Muyock – Love
7. Emily Blunt – Sicario
as Kate Macer
6. Juilette Binoche – Clouds of Sils Maria
Again, like Cate Blanchett and Marion Cotillard, Juilette Binoche is an actor who can do anything, and, as a result, we (perhaps unfairly) expect more from her than other performers. And as famed actress, Maria Enders, Binoche certainly did not disappoint. As, Binoche Maria tapped into the thing she does best, that sort of unique, hopeful despondency. I’ve seen Clouds of Sils Maria a number of times now, and I am just beginning to understand what makes Maria tick.
5. Sarah Silverman – I Smile Back
as Laney Brooks
4. Rooney Mara – Carol
as Therese Belivet
3/2. Joséphine Japy & Lou de Laâge – Breathe (Respire)
1. Brie Larson – Room
2015 in Review