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Flix Not To Miss: Oscar-Worthy Performances by an Actress
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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. 

BEST ACTRESS

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 HerJohansson’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.

— M.A. ST JOHN

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nywift New York Women in Film & Television supports women calling the shots in film, television and digital media.

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