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For Your Streaming Consideration: Eight Scene-Stealing and Overlooked Female Performances from 2013 (CLIPS)

by Ryan Lattanzio
December 9, 2013 4:25 PM
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Emma Watson in 'The Bling Ring'

With many of the major critics' groups nominees and winners landing, and with a Best Actress Oscar race that's virtually locked-and-loaded at this point, there is little hope for any of the year's fine yet overlooked female to squeeze in. 

But the following eight actresses -- which you can see in films now available to stream -- deserve kudos even if their films were relegated to the festival circuit or played too early in the year to be remembered now. Clips after the jump.

And check out Anne Thompson's feature on eight other best actress underdogs who deserve awards attention.

Emma Watson"The Bling Ring" (Amazon, iTunes)
Best Supporting Actress

While Ms. Watson freed herself from the shackles of Hogwarts last year in "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," she rules the screen as coquettish teen queen Nicki Moore in Sofia Coppola's underrated "The Bling Ring" -- which you'll see high on my top 10 very soon. All valley girl bemusement and waspy entitlement, Watson steals every scene she's in as a flippant fame-mongerer who becomes the center of the Hollywood Hills burglary scandal covered closely by Vanity Fair writer Nancy Jo Sales. Droll delivery of lines like "I wanna rob" should secure her status as an inimitable icon in what will likely go down as a cult movie. Nicki Moore forever.

Olga Kurylenko, "To the Wonder" (Netflix)
Best Actress

Ukrainian actress Olga Kurylenko's performance in Terrence Malick's unsung "To the Wonder" is a thing of gossamer -- and like this unfairly spat-upon film, otherworldly -- beauty. Malick's lollygagging lens focuses most of its time on Kurylenko's haunted Marina, a divorced emigre living in Paris who's swept up by a dapper American (Ben Affleck) who brings her back to America and to the desolate plains of a small Oklahoma town. As her quixotic idea of love fizzles and their relationship disintegrates, so does Marina, tumbling into random acts of deceit and betrayal. The graceful Kurylenko becomes the heart of this problematic movie, and is way too good for all that twirling she is asked to do.

Onata Aprile, "What Maisie Knew" (Netflix)
Best Actress

Millennium should have pushed this season for seven-year-old Onata Aprile's miraculous performance as Maisie in the summer release "What Maisie Knew." Directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel's modern-day Henry James adaptation is shot almost entirely from her POV as she tries to make sense of the mixed-up world of selfish adults around her. Caught in the eye of a marital storm between Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan, Aprile conveys sweet, untouched innocence but also a wise sense of knowing. 

Suzanne Clement, "Laurence Anyways" (iTunes)
Best Supporting Actress

In Canadian director Xavier Dolan's "Laurence Anyways," Suzanne Clement -- who won an Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes 2012 -- anchors the Manic Pixie Dream Girl archetype in a constant state of believable emotional flitter as a larger-than-life personality whose lover slips out of her grasp and into transsexuality. Her frizzy, fire-engine red hair only adds to the chaos as she tumbles through meltdown after meltdown. And while she is mostly a supporting player to Melvil Poupaud's devastating, handsome Laurence, the almost insufferably talented young Dolan's camera falls in love with Clement above all, as magnetized by her screen presence as we are.


  • JC | December 10, 2013 7:12 PMReply

    Unfortunately, I didn't appreciate the film but Kristin Scott Thomas KILLED it in, Only God Forgives. Her performance was one of the best I've seen in a long time. She's my favorite actress and simply brilliant. She can speak English (American or British accents) just as well as French... I read this article hoping she'd be included and I'm so pleased she was!

  • Rina Zara | December 10, 2013 8:36 AMReply

    Emma Watson? People should stop comparing her every post-HP role with Hermione. Just because the two characters are so different, does not make Emma Watson a good actress. I rather think her performance is worth a Razzie, but definitely not Best Supporting Actress.

  • Summer | June 17, 2014 5:58 AM

    Jennifer: Do people who praise this performance not see her use of eyebrows to convey emotion (really bad during HP films) or the damn head shaking and the breaths and pauses she would take between each sentences?! "You must be referring to Kristen Stewart. And Emma didn't move her eyebrow that much in The Bling Ring. LOL.

  • Anna | December 12, 2013 3:13 AM

    Just check out how the girl ,that Emma's character is based on,talks and acts in real life and you will realise that her performance was terrific.It's not just "we persume that she was good because the character is so different from Hermione"...Watson became the character.It was like watching the real girl with different looks.How she talks,moves,looks at people...everything is there.Even her accent wss spot-on(it was a valley accent).In my books,this is s great performance.

  • Jennifer | December 11, 2013 1:24 AM

    You're not the only one who thinks Emma Watson and her so called talents are over-rated. Any character remotely different from Hermione equals "OMG, she's so talented and versatile!" The only reason some people think she stole the movie was because she is the most famous and they like seeing Emma being a naughty girl in skimpy outfits because Emmione is the "good girl". Do people who praise this performance not see her use of eyebrows to convey emotion (really bad during HP films) or the damn head shaking and the breaths and pauses she would take between each sentences?! You can SEE her acting and therefore she's not natural, which means she's not a good actress. Same thing in Perks of Being a Wallflower. You can see her carefully speaking in an American accent and emotions seemed forced.

  • Nancy Nigrosh | December 9, 2013 10:56 PMReply

    Great article! It's easy to miss gems like these in the ever swirling sea of privileged, media-centric frontrunners.

  • bernie rose | December 9, 2013 9:18 PMReply

    Vithaya Pansringarm was the best performance in OGF

  • Mehrine | December 10, 2013 7:35 AM

    Yeah, a totally underrated female performance.

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