Now that the crisp winter air has arrived and films are trotted out for Oscar consideration, I highly recommend these spectacular performances by female actors in film.
Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine. Blanchett’s turn as Jasmine, a fictional Ruth Madoff-like character, is virtuosic. She doesn’t shy away from showing us the ugly, manipulative quality to Jasmine’s histrionics, leaving the viewer in awe.
Julie Delpy in Before Midnight. In the third installment of Richard Linklater’s series that started with Before Sunrise, Delpy’s Celine stresses about her relationship with her stepson and childrearing in the face of making a career mark. A true contemporary scene of a Gen X marriage.
Amy Adams in American Hustle. Adams’ Sydney Prosser, Christian Bale’s con artist wingwoman, is all original. Adams sheds her fresh-faced, girl-next-door persona and turns in a career-defining performance.
Kathryn Hahn in Afternoon Delight. Jill Soloway’s film follows the sexual exploration of Rachel, a bored mother in Los Angeles. Hahn skillfully navigates comedic scenes of school fundraisers and heartbreaking drunken revelations. Her frazzled Rachel is a portrait of hipster motherhood.
Danai Gurira in Mother of George. Gurira’s Adenike is a pitch-perfect representation of an African woman in America caught between the reality of her infertility and the expectations of a culture that confers respect to couples able to produce big families.
Lindsay Burdge in A Teacher. Burdge gives a committed performance to the downward spiral of Diana, an emotionally unstable high school teacher who has an affair with a student.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Sally Hawkins in Blue Jasmine. Hawkins turns in a great supporting performance as Ginger, Jasmine’s poorer sister.
Octavia Spencer in Fruitvale Station.The film is based on the last day of Oscar Grant, who was shot by San Francisco BART officers. Spencer portrays Wanda, Oscar’s mother who goes from celebrating her birthday with her son to the hospital where he dies.
Scarlett Johansson in Her. Johansson’s voice artistry should not go unnoticed since her performance (as the Samantha OS) sustains the movie through long talking scenes with only one other character.
From NYWIFT blogger Tammy Reese: Stepping onto the red carpet at The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live premiere at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Los Angeles, California was a surreal moment, one that AMC graciously offered me. As I navigated through the glitz and glamour of the evening, the honor to meet my favorite television actor, Andrew Lincoln as well as the iconic actress Danai Gurira, both beloved actors and executive producers of the new spinoff, became the highlight of an unforgettable experience. Join me as I delve into the heart of this extraordinary journey, weaving together personal and professional reflections from this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.READ MORE
In a time when women’s reproductive rights are at the forefront of the political and cultural conversation, a group of teenage girls gather to assert their power, prepare for their futures, and determine the best way forward together. Following the smash hit success of their documentary Boys State at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, directors Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss returned to Park City in 2024 with the companion piece Girls State. NYWIFT Member Laela Kilbourn was one of seven cinematographers on Girls State, assigned to follow one of the protagonist’s throughout her week-long journey. She spoke to us about her experience working on the documentary.READ MORE
During the 40th edition of The Sundance Film Festival, Tammy Reese interviews fellow NYWIFT member Amanda Culkowski, the Executive Producer of As We Speak, a thought-provoking documentary that delves into the intersection of art and justice. Focusing on Bronx rap artist Kemba, the film sheds light on the alarming trend of rap lyrics being weaponized within the United States criminal justice system and beyond.READ MORE
Let’s say hello to new NYWIFT Member Hannah Xie! After spending her earlier years in China, Hannah now lives in New York City where she dedicates much of her time to cinematography and photography. Her talent for blending and accentuating colors and lighting on film is reflected in projects such as Brief Encounter, Sleepwalker, Epic, and The End of the Affair. To learn more about Hannah’s creative process, check out our interview as we discuss her collaboration style with directors, her approach to cinematography, and the influential role that her childhood viewing experiences contributed towards her future career.READ MORE