Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Top 15 Female Performances of 2014

This was such a strong year for women in cinema. In general, my movie tastes frequently identify with darker material. Films that explore pain and emotional turmoil. Many of the performances below were delivered in such films. Other roles listed here were about discovery and manipulation, anger and comfort. I hope you enjoy my picks, and as always, do feel free to share your favorites as well.

15. Scarlett Johansson – Under the Skin
as The Female
The Scarlett Johansson all of us know and many of us love does not exist in Under the Skin. But her transformation extends far beyond wide eyes and a black wig. The manner in which she moves, the gentle way she speaks – it’s all so… new. You really believe her character is discovering our world for the first time.

14. Felicity Jones – Breathe In
as Sophie
Felicity Jones is one of the most enchanting actresses currently in the game. I’ve been taken with her work since her truthful and devastating turn in Like Crazy. And while Jones is likely to earn an Oscar nomination for playing Jane Hawking in The Theory of Everything, I was personally more drawn to her understated work in Breathe In. Her Sophie was a transfixing figure, a young girl too mature for her own good. She could be evil, she could be innocent. Either way, she’s never really clean.

13. Agata Trzebuchowska & Agata Kulesza – Ida
as Ida & Wanda
You’d be hard pressed to find two women who worked better off each other than Agata Trzebuchowska and Agata Kulesza in Ida. Their characters couldn’t be more different. Ida is a squeaky clean nun in training, and her aunt, Wanda, is a middle-aged firecracker who embraces life by drinking, smoking, and screwing through as much of it as she can. This is a clear example of opposites attracting; two performances that help make Ida one of the year’s best foreign films.

12. Katherine Waterston – Inherent Vice
as Shasta Fay Hepworth
Shasta Fay Hepworth has an intoxicating way about her. A natural charm that will force most any man to do whatever the hell she says. It’s the way her eyes light up and her forehead shifts to convey her precise emotion. I can’t recall seeing Waterson in any of her previous performances, but that shouldn’t matter now. Inherent Vice is destined to make her a star.

11. Rene Russo – Nightcrawler
as Nina Romina
You can tell Nina Romina has worked hard. But although she has clearly taken lessons from the Diana Christensen school of broadcast journalism, her efforts are failing. Her network is low in ratings, and she desperately needs a boost. Enter Lou Bloom, a devilish crime journalist who’ll stop at nothing to get everything he requires. Nightcrawler is one damn thrilling movie. And although the film features exciting car chases and shootouts, rarely is it as alive as when Nina and Lou are negotiating on screen together.

10. Uma Thurman – Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1
as Mrs. H
The award for the best scene stealer of 2014 belongs to Uma Thurman for her maniacal turn in Nymphomaniac. Thurman is in the film for eight minutes, and she completely owns every second she is on screen. “Would it be all right if I show the children the whoring bed?” Bliss.

9. Marion Cotillard – The Immigrant
as Ewa Cybulska
Marion Cotillard has such a presence in everything, but her work in The Immigrant could be her most quietly arresting performance to date. Ewa Cybulska rarely says or does more than is asked of her (and sometimes even less than that), but fear and dread permeate through her every movement. This is a scared woman, lost and on her own. And you can’t possibly take your eyes off her.

8. Emma Stone – Birdman
as Sam
It’s impossible not to like Emma Stone, right? Her tell-it-like-it-is demeanor with the press, her genuine kindness with fans; and she’s a solid actress to boot. But no previous material has come close to challenging Stone as much as Birdman did. Her Sam was alive in all the right ways – tired, pissed off, vengeful, but also capable of true empathy. Plus, her freakout on Michael Keaton will certainly be one of 2014’s most discussed scenes. Cue her Oscar clip.

7. Stacy Martin – Nymphomaniac: Vols. 1 & 2
as Young Joe
Whether or not you liked Lars von Trier’s sexual opus, it’s hard to not appreciate Martin’s fearless work in it, especially considering that Nymphomaniac was her first role. Not first major role, first role period. Martin went all in here, and even if Nymphomaniac strayed at times, her performance was always on point.

6. Jessica Chastain – A Most Violent Year
as Anna Morales
“A lot of people mention Lady Macbeth because she’s the go-to when you think of a strong female character with a husband. But the problem with that is that Lady Macbeth goes crazy. Anna doesn’t. Anna is very comfortable doing what she’s doing.” That’s a pull quote from an interview Jessica Chastain did with Indiewire last month, and truer words couldn’t be spoken. As the wife of a scrambling businessman, Anna Morales is in full control of her actions. She’s flirty when she needs to be flirty, angry when required, conniving when necessary. She’s as mad as hell and not going to take it anymore, while also remaining a loyal wife. At this point, there’s nothing Jessica Chastain can’t do.

5. Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
as Olivia Evans
For the college send-off scene alone. I still can’t watch that scene without getting emotional. Arquette has been in the business for a long time now, and while she’s been lauded for her work in television, I’m so thankful that her film efforts are now being recognized on a mass scale.

4. Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
as Amy Elliott-Dunne
I’m sure I could sit here and list other similar performances worthy of being mentioned alongside Pike’s turn as Amazing Amy. But as of now, I’m at a loss. Pike currently owns this type of character. I loved to hate her and hated to love her. One of the best, most deceitful performances from this or any year. And my god, what a thrill it would be for Pike to win the Oscar.

3. Sienna Miller – American Sniper
as Taya Kyle
I’ve been an admirer of Sienna Miller’s work since her flirty performance in Layer Cake. But it wasn’t until Interview that I knew she was a great actress. Her restrained and frightened performance in American Sniper is, hands down, her finest accomplishment yet. Taya Kyle is one of the best encapsulations of the woman left home that I’ve ever seen. It’s such a shame that Miller isn’t getting more praise for this performance. It’s an absolute stunner.

2. Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night
as Sandra
I know a lot of you haven’t seen Two Days, One Night yet, so I’ll choose my words carefully. There’s a scene in the film in which Marion Cotillard’s Sandra walks downstairs and is greeted by her husband and one of her co-workers. They tell her some good news, and Cotillard pauses, then delivers a bit of information that made me gasp aloud. It wasn’t the dialogue that shocked me, but rather Cotillard’s apathetic delivery of it. It’s a huge admission, and Cotillard says it with the importance of “Oh, I forgot to take out the trash.”

That’s just 10 seconds of Cotillard’s performance in this film. The rest measures up dutifully, and then some. Sandra is full proof that Cotillard is one of our finest living actresses.

1. Jessica Chastain – The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him/Her
as Eleanor Rigby
There was just something about her. It was the way she cut her hair so short, and applied her eyeliner so heavily. The way she had to force a smile, and wore her angst so effortlessly. Whatever it was, I can honestly say that I loved no film character more from 2014 than Eleanor Rigby. She was such an enigma, that Eleanor. A woman capable of great spite, yet we always wanted to follow her. We wanted to love and care for her, to put our arms around her and convince her that everything was going to be all right.

But everything isn’t all right. Sometimes life knocks you down. Eleanor Rigby knows that, and instead of fighting it, she embraces her pain. She slips occasionally – lashing out at those who love her, having too much to drink with strangers around – but don’t we all fall down at some point? The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, which was produced by Chastain, begins with Eleanor at her worst (the Her film, anyway). Flashbacks indicate a happier Eleanor; a more alive and carefree Eleanor. But for the most part, this is a film about emotional anguish. About falling down and just maybe allowing yourself the freedom to get back up again. Walk safely, dear Eleanor. Plenty of us are still thinking about you.


  1. Some amazing performances here and some that we haven't even had in the UK yet, so looking forward to checking them out!

    Also, many congrats on your film exploits Alex, sounds like a bit of a whirlwind for you!

    1. Thanks man! It is a very crazy time right now. I'm still unable to fully process everything that has happened!

  2. Your list has so many magnificent female performances and characters, yet each year, the Academy makes it seem like there are only five. I still need to see some of the films, but I saw Them, and it was great, I can't imagine how good Him & Her must be. I'm ecstatic for double Chastain and Cotillard!

    My favourite female performances, divided into lead and supporting.

    1. Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
    2. Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night & The Immigrant
    3. Julianne Moore, Maps to the Stars & Still Alice
    4. Juliette Binoche, Clouds of Sils Maria
    5. Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Beyond the Lights
    6. Jessica Chastain, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them
    7. Agata Trzebuchowska & Agata Kulesza, Ida
    8. Scarlett Johansson, Under the Skin
    9. Kangana Ranaut, Queen
    10. Hilary Swank, The Homesman
    11. Essie Davis, The Babadook
    12. Jenny Slate, Obvious Child
    13. Tilda Swinton, Only Lovers Left Alive
    14. Keira Knightley, Begin Again
    15. Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything

    1. Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
    2. Kristen Stewart, Clouds of Sils Maria & Still Alice
    3. Imelda Staunton, Pride
    4. Carrie Coon, Gone Girl
    5. Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer
    6. Uma Thurman, Nymphomaniac: Vol 1
    7. Rene Russo, Nightcrawler
    8. Mia Wasikowska, Only Lovers Left Alive
    9. Marisa Tomei, Love is Strange
    10. Kim Dickens, Gone Girl
    11. Rosemarie DeWitt, Men, Women & Children
    12. Jessica Gunning, Pride
    13. Missi Pyle, Gone Girl
    14. Chloe Grace Moretz, Clouds of Sils Maria
    15. Dorothy Atkinson, Mr. Turner

    And I could include many more performances to stand by these 30, and I probably will once I've seen more of the movies on here (Birdman, AMVY and others). Also, once again, congratulations on Wait :)

    1. GREAT lists. My list is a combined total of both supporting and lead, but there were so many solid performances this year, I could’ve easily broken both out as well.

      Mbatha-Raw was this close to making my list. I adored her work in that film. AND she was great in Belle too. Can’t wait to see what she does next.

      Obviously love that Arquette tops supporting for you. I too would’ve included ladies from Maps to the Stars and Clouds of Sils Maria, but those are two weirdly timed films that don’t have an official year, you know? Again, great work!

    2. Finally, I saw Birdman, Selma, The Imitation Game, Into the Woods and Big Eyes. The female performances in all of those films were great, but out of all of those lovely performances, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts and Amy Adams were my favourites. But, big kudos to Keira Knightley for being the best thing about The Imitation Game. This is one of our frontrunners for BP? It's just so... meh.

    3. Just wanted to add, just watched Inherent Vice. It was a mindfuck, but I loved every minute of it. Katherine Waterston ran away with the film, and almost replaced Arquette as my number one. Talk about a star-making performance.

    4. Totally agree about The Imitation Game. I read a post today that said it might win Best Picture - Drama at the Golden Globes. Like... really?

      I really want to see Inherent Vice again. That's definitely one you'd get more out of with repeated viewings. So happy you like Waterston's work in it,

    5. A Most Violent Year is phenomenal. Why is it being ignored?! Oscar Isaac was brilliant, and Jessica Chastain... with every performance she gives, I fall in love with her even more. Spectacular.

    6. Yes! Such a great film. I think people are a little upset that it isn't more "thrilling." Which I suppose I understand. But that was such a smart film, I absolutely adored it.

  3. For supporting, I completely forgot about Viola Davis, who was so wonderful in Them & Get on Up.

    1. She's always a stunner. I love her work so much.

  4. Ooo nice list. I've only seen The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them but I really liked Chastain in it too. Rosamund is by far my favourite performance of the year. Loved Cotillard, Martin, Russo, Arquette and Thurman too. Jones will probably be in my list for Theory of Everything. I really loved her in that. I thought she was by far the best part of that film.
    Among others, Jenny Slate, Essie Davis, Keira Knightley (in Begin Again) and these two Indian actresses, Tabu and Kangana Ranaut were my favs.

    1. Thanks! Slate was priceless in Obvious Child. It really was a solid year for women all told. Love that Knightley made the cut for Begin Again. I thought that movie was so charming. Definitely see Eleanor Rigby: Him/Her when you can!

  5. I'm quite excited now to see Sienna Miller from American Sniper make your top 5...makes me want to see the film even more now! Also stoked to see Felicity Jones on there, and, surprisingly, not for The Theory of Everything! She's brilliant. Excellent post.

    1. Thanks Courtney! Miller literally knocked the wind out of me in American Sniper. It's one of the best soldier's wife performances I've ever seen.

      And Jones... I just love her. Very good in TToE, but something about Sophie in Breathe In captivated me.

  6. Great list! There's a few performances here that I haven't see, but that I'm looking forward to.

  7. Nice list! I really want to see all here that I haven't seen.

  8. The inclusion of Jones' work on Breathe In is soo good. I think that Pike gave us the performance of the year, but I haven't seen Eleanor Rigby yet. And you know what? I think I have a problem with Cotillard. Marion is a great actress but she always plays that.type.of.woman. the suffering one. Always. I would like her to have more "badass" roles, you know, you only see her in dramas and she basically plays always the same role. Great list by the way, and congrats for your movie!

    1. Love any and all praise for Jones' work in Breathe In! I get where you're coming from with Marion. But I think that only applies to her indie/foreign films. Mainstream directors tend to beautify her a little more (which I'm certainly okay with), but I'm so enamored with her performances of tortured souls.

      Thanks so much for the kind words about Wait!

  9. Alas, so many of these movies are still on my "Want to See List" (though I think I'll pass on Nymphomaniac -- I am still recovering from PTSD after seeing The Piano Teacher.) Thumbs up for Amazing Amy though!

    1. Ha, I did appreciate Vol. 1 of Nymphomaniac, but by the end of Vol. 2, I had seen enough. I still can't bring myself to watch the full Director's Cut.

  10. Rosamund Pike is definitely my pick for best actress this year. She absolutely dominated that entire movie. Now she will no longer be that girl from the worst Bond movie of all time in my eyes.

    1. Exactly! She really came into her own as Amazing Amy. I'm so hoping she has a fair shot at the Oscar. Though I think it's Moore's to lose.

  11. Very neat list. Here's my top 15:

    1. Rosamund Pike- Gone Girl
    2. Jenny Slate- Obvious Child
    3. Julianne Moore- Maps To The Stars
    4. The Agatas- Ida
    5. Emma Stone- Birdman
    6. Marion Cotillard- Two Days, One Night
    7. Patricia Arquette- Boyhood
    8. Carrie Coon- Gone Girl
    9. Tilda Swinton- Snowpiercer
    10. Reese Witherspoon- Wild
    11. Emily Blunt- Into The Woods
    12. Essie Davis- The Babadook
    13. Gugu Mbatha-Raw- Belle
    14. Laura Dern- Wild
    15. Naomi Watts- Birdman

    1. Great stuff man. So thrilled to see Davis getting so much acclaim. She really gave it her all in that film. And I love that Slate ranks so highly for you.

  12. Amazing post here. There are no words strong enough to describe how excellent your list is. Fantastic picks. This was really a year full of brave and uncompromising work from extremely talented women in movies and my personal Top-15 is the following:

    1) Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
    2) Julianne Moore, Still Alice
    3) Marion Cotillard, The Immigrant
    4) Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
    5) Jessica Chastain, The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby
    6) Julianne Moore, Maps To The Stars
    7) Hilary Swank, The Homesman
    9) Julianne Moore, Maps To The Stars
    10) Amy Adams, Big Eyes
    11) Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer
    12) Scarlett Johansson, Under The Skin
    13) Felicity Jones, The Theory Of Everything
    14) Essie Davis, The Babadook
    15) Emma Stone, Birdman

    I can't praise you enough man for the way you describe those 10 seconds from Dardennes' latest masterpiece and how they reflect Marion Cotillard's raw and painfully honest portrayal of a woman who is determined and defeated at the same time. She wants to fight for her job and her family but she must come in terms with herself first. The role is so demanding that in the hands of a less experienced actress it could look completely caricaturesque (especially the scenes of her frequent breakdowns). Cotillard can look steely or empty with an ease I really find shocking. I remember having a really interesting conversation with you in the past about the way she immerses herself into the role, almost as if the soul of her character has penetrated into every part of her body and really I still can't find a better way to describe it. To say that she has limitless depth as an actress is almost an understatement. She decodes the heart and soul of her character and then she allows her to go under her skin. And as a true perfectionist, she adds so many layers to her performance that every repeated viewing offers so much more for the viewer to discover. For example, notice the scene in The Immigrant where she’s held up in confinement and waiting to be deported. She watches the guard, pricks her thumb and uses the blood in the form of a lipstick and slaps her cheeks until they glow like make-up rouge. Ewa could be portrayed as a naive victim, falling into the hands of a ruthless pimp, but it’s certainly not the case in Gray’s film. Thanks to a notably well-written character and another monumental performance by a genius like Marion Cotillard is, her Ewa is a strong, resourceful and intelligent woman, eager to steal and cheat to survive, always aware of her actions and always struggling with her own inner conflict. She's simply phenomenal and I'm in awe of her groundbreaking achievements this year. The honorable mentions by the way would be so many, from Anne Dorval of Mommy to Jenny Slate of Obvious Child and Uma Thurman who was such an inspired choice of you for Nymphomaniac. Scene-stealer indeed. And what can be said about Rosamund Pike and her virtuoso turn in Gone Girl that hasn't been said already? That's an actress who sinks her teeth to the material and doesn't let go. She creates a psychotically fascinating character, a woman always performative, always in need of controlling everything around her, always possessed by her own internal demons, always a step ahead of the "real Amy". It's a landmark performance that cements her as a previously criminally underrated talent. And my most beloved redheads in Hollywood (haha), both Julianne Moore (who by the way didn't expect not to be included into your list) and Jessica Chastain, have had one of these years that allowed them to display their immense talent full effect. Let's hope 2015 will offer us performances as captivating to talk about and think about long after the credits roll. Exceptional job, Alex. And God, you got me so pumped for American Sniper.

    1. * I accidentally typed Julianne Moore's name for Maps To The Stars two times. My No. 9 would be Jenny Slate for Obvious Child. Spectacular work.

    2. Thanks so much Stergios! You always leave the best, most kind, most epic comments, and I’m so appreciative for them!

      Love that Marion is your top pick. And that Chastain cracked your top 5.

      I could talk about Two Days, One Night all day. That thing really hit me hard. What Marion understood about depression in that role is that a clinically depressed person doesn’t need a reason to cry or breakdown. They just do it because they do. That’s why I loved that she pretty much responded to good news the same way she responded to bad news. That’s what that film got right, and so many others get wrong. Really, an astounding achievement all around.

      Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on American Sniper and A Most Violent Year!

  13. "It wasn’t the dialogue that shocked me, but rather Cotillard’s apathetic delivery of it. It’s a huge admission, and Cotillard says it with the importance of 'Oh, I forgot to take out the trash.'" I am raising my hands and shouting "AMEN!!!!!"

    If Chastain nudges out that performance by Cotillard for #1, well, damn. I need to see "Rigby". (Which, frankly, I should have anyway.) And I can't believe I've never heard of "Breathe In." I'm on the case. Thank you!

    I also love your love of Sienna in that part.

    1. YES! So happy you dig my assessment of that Two Days scene. That thing knocked the wind out of me.

      I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts on Rigby Him/Her.

      And I loved your review of American Sniper. I've tried to comment twice now, but Blogger won't let me!

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. I loved both Maps to the Stars and Clouds of Sils Maria, but I don't believe they had technical 2014 releases in the US, so I didn't count them here. There are always a few films like that every year, great movies that get screwed by weird distribution. But I really did enjoy those four performances you mentioned. Moretz... wow, who knew?

  15. Great stuff from the few I've seen. Pike is my current #1. Can't wait to catch up with the rest of them. Great work, Alex.

    1. Thanks man! Pike was so damn good in that movie.

  16. Wow... I love that scene you mentioned in Two Days, One Night... Marion just raises the standards of what acting is which is why she's my favorite performance this year and Rosamund at #2.

    3. Patricia Arquette-Boyhood
    4. Maggie Gyllenhaal-Frank
    5. Emma Stone-Birdman

    I would mention Scarlett and the women in Ida but they're technically 2013 performances.

    Congrats on Wait getting into the festivals as I read your tweets. Any ideas for the next film if it's going to happen? I should note that I put Wait in my WIP list of the Most Anticipated Films of 2015 in the indies/newbies section that I'm still working on.

    1. There's nothing Marion can't do. She's just that good. That scene slayed me. Wow.

      Hey man, thanks so much for your words about Wait. I really appreciate that. I'm so excited for you to see it!

  17. Bravo, Alex! But Marion topped my female performances list this year, I'm so sad not to see Tilda Swinton and Essie Davis for their works in 'Only Lovers', and 'Babadook'... Julianne Moore isn't there too... But anyhow, I adore Chastain!!! Can't wait for your male performances list.

    1. Thanks! Part of the trouble of these lists is that people from around the world get movies at different times. So, for example, I didn't count Maps to the Stars or, say, Clouds of Sils Maria on my list. But I will next year. Moore wouldn't have made my list for Still Alice. Very fine performance, but not Top 15 worthy to me. Loved Only Lovers and Babadook... those ladies just barely missed the cut.

  18. I saw Two Days, One Night last night and that scene you mentioned was incredible, it was so perfectly in touch with the spirit of the movie were ordinary things were extraordinary and unusual things were handled as if they were a common occurrences. Cotillard was absolutely luminous, but for me no one comes close to Pike. I'm glad not to see Moore here, she is always good but we had so many brave, unique female performances this year and she offered such standard stuff.

    My wins in lead and supporting are Pike and Byrne in Neighbors, most people put her in lead but for me she was supporting, which is good that I feel this way because at least I get to give her the win :)

    1. I knew Pike would top your list :)

      I would love for her to win the Oscar, but it looks like it's Moore all the way. Can't be mad about that, I guess, but she deserves it for a better film. So happy to hear your praise for Marion and Two Days, One Night. That film was such a stunner.

  19. Love this list! Dig all of the double dipping. Can't wait to see your top 3, as well as A Most Violent Year and Inherent Vice.

    I have over 20 films I'd like to see before I post my CinSpecs, but my current favorites are:


    1. Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Beyond the Lights
    2. Marion Cotillard, The Immigrant
    3. Marine Vacth, Young & Beautiful
    4. Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
    5. Keira Knightley, Laggies
    6. Isabelle Huppert, Abuse of Weakness
    7. Scarlett Johansson, Under the Skin
    8. Keira Knightley, Begin Again
    9. Lindsay Duncan, Le Week-End
    10. Emmanuelle Seigner, Venus in Fur


    1. Emma Stone, Birdman
    2. Mia Wasikowska, Only Lovers Left Alive
    3. Agata Kulesza, Ida
    4. Uma Thurman, Nymphomaniac
    5. Rose Byrne, Neighbors
    6. Alison Pill, Snowpiercer
    7. Kelly Reilly, Calvary
    8. Melanie Lynskey, Happy Christmas
    9. Naomi Watts, Birdman
    10. Jessica Chastain, Interstellar

    1. So COOL that Mbatha-Raw tops your Lead. I really enjoyed that movie and her work in it. A fearless turn. Also great to see double Knightley, and, of course, any list that mentions Melanie Lynskey is a good list to me. I adore that woman.

    2. Honestly, the only performances I can see passing Mbatha-Raw are Anne Dorval for Mommy, Cotillard for Two Days, or Chastain for Eleanor Rigby. The karaoke scene alone gives Mbatha-Raw a huge leg up. Knightley had a great year, and she just missed my supporting list. Melanie Lynskey is so great in Happy Christmas. Really enjoyed that film.

    3. I can't wait to see Mommy. Not sure when it's officially being released her. Excited for your thoughts on Two Days and Eleanor Rigby.

  20. My favorite female performance of 2014 is Rosamund Pike's prefect performance in Gone Girl, but... Jessica Chastain IS the best actress of the year. Because she played very well in three (3!) great films in 2014. And now I can forgive her for playing in The Help. Such a messy film.
    Did you saw Liv Ullmann's Miss Julie? Wonder if it's good.

    1. Nice man, happy to hear the praise for Pike and Chastain. I did see Miss Julie, and I quite enjoyed it. I'd say her performance came in fourth behind her others this year, but it was still a really powerful turn.

  21. Hi Alex! I just posted mine too and we share some names here, though some from different films. That proves how great these actresses are that they churn out multiple great works in the same year. I LOVE your #1 pick, been a fan of Chastain for some time. I also have Marion in The Immigrant on my top 10.

    1. Can't wait to read your list! And I agree, I love how this year proved the true range of so many great actresses. Thanks so much for the comment!

    2. Hey thanks for your comment, too Alex! Glad to see Felicity Jones in Breathe In, she makes my Honorable Mention list, too. She seems to specialize in unconventional love stories, as she did in Like Crazy. I haven't seen Theory of Everything yet but I bet she's good in that too.

    3. You're welcome! She's so good in everything. Definitely one of my favorite actresses right now.

  22. Love the list, especially the double Jessica Chastain. She is just killing it these past few years, I'm loving it.

    And with Sienna Miller, really her in American Sniper has made me want to watch the film just that much more.

    And Rosamund Pike, everyone knows she just killed it, and you're right, it would be awesome for her to win the Oscar (assuming she gets nominated of course).

    Also, where I haven't seen Nymphomaniac Vol. 1 or 2, I knew of it and the nature of it, and had no idea it was Stacy Martin's first role. If she was a dude, I'd say what balls on him, but she isn't a dude so I'm not quite sure what to say but she looks like she does really good in it.

    Rene Russo, one of my personal favorites of the year, loved her back and forth with Jake Gyllenhaal, just so good.

    And then Ida, Ida is one of my favorites of last year, and the Agatas were probably my two favorite female performances of last year, they just worked so good with one another I loved it. Anyway, great job, and love the list.

    1. Thanks man! Martin is excellent in Nymphomaniac. I'm not sure where the hell von Trier found her, but she really goes all in in that film. So happy you like so many of my picks. Sienna Miller, man, I can't speak highly enough of her work in that film. So powerful.

  23. Aw, really happy to see Sienna Miller make your list. I thought she did the best with what she was given. She's certainly got some exciting upcoming projects.

    Very happy that Rosamund Pike made the list too.

    1. Happy to hear that you liked Miller in that film as well. She really blew me away.