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

Features
by Ryan Lattanzio
December 9, 2013 4:25 PM
8 Comments
  • |
Kristin Scott Thomas in "Only God Forgives."

Kristin Scott Thomas, "Only God Forgives" (Netflix)
Best Supporting Actress

Kristin Scott Thomas' bitchy nightmare-of-a-mother Crystal would eat Cate Blanchett's Stoli-loving Jasmine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Clad in a Donatella-inspired wig and a spray tan, Scott Thomas leaps far out of her comfort zone -- going so far as to utter the word "cumdumpster" -- to play a modern day Lady Macbeth, but one who is unmoored from guilt. While the scene-chewing role is mostly her spewing vitriol at dopey son Julian (Ryan Gosling), Scott Thomas has never been better. Had more critics and audiences appreciated Nicholas Winding Refn's unfairly trashed blood ballet, she may have stood a chance in the awards race.

Gaby Hoffmann, "Crystal Fairy" (Netflix)
Best Supporting Actress

Gaby Hoffmann's manic, hallucinogen-addled turn as the radical Crystal Fairy in Chilean director Sebastian Silva's druggy travelogue apparently got some love this weekend among LA Film Critics in the best supporting actress vote. And it's a shame more voters didn't sing her sweetly neurotic tune in favor of this offbeat indie where she leads a bunch of backpackers (Michael Cera, also good, among them) astray in search of the holy grail of psychotropic substances. Naked in many senses of the word, her frazzled, uninhibited performance is reason alone to see this quirky little movie.

Margarete Tiesel, "Paradise: Love" (Netflix)
Best Actress

In "Paradise: Love," low-profile Austrian actress Margarete Tiesel inhabits an adorably clueless, overweight tourist of a sex resort in Kenya. A love-it-or-hate-it Cannes competition film in 2012, Ulrich Seidl's dark comedy devotes every frame to her dowdy character, who Tiesel is bravely up to the task of playing in the nude or in unflattering positions. She has this affable, sweet-old-lady charm that she reveals to be a mere husk for a carnal sexuality begging to get out. And by the time she realizes she's been duped by the seductive Kenyan beach bums -- who trick horny, desperate women out of their cash to feed their village-dwelling families -- Tiesel's despair and disbelief will break your heart.

Olivia Wilde," Drinking Buddies" (iTunes)
Best Actress

Brainy beauty Olivia Wilde delivered the goods this year with her tiny yet winning role in Spike Jonze's "Her," and as Kate, a romantically confused craft brewery worker in Joe Swanberg's career-best "Drinking Buddies." In that film, you simply fall in love with her as she pratfalls from one awkward moment to the next, considering maybe being more than just friends with Luke (a lovable Jake Johnson). It benefits her greatly that Swanberg loses all that Gen-Y angst in this sweet slice-of-life where Wilde plays a real adult with believable human impulses and tousled charm.

8 Comments

  • 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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