Supporting Actress Smackdown 2018

Amy Adams, Vice: Hard to love, since I didn’t buy her first big scene and cuz McKay never gives her a scene that big ever after. One wonders why no one went full Nixon and let Lynne be just as scheming and stiffed as her husband. Still, she’s compelling with Bale, interesting to watch, and gives the part as much of her own touch as she can. (Two Hearts)

Marina de Tavira, ROMA: My favorite surprise nomination of the broadcast, and one I’ve appreciated more ever since. Her warm embrace of Cleo after the latter reveals her pregnancy is the moment that opens up ROMA emotionally for me. Accesses a wide range of feelings scaled to the size of a real woman inside a film so gargantuan that such an achievement seems impossible to imagine. (Three Hearts)

Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk: I’m not sure King takes as many opportunities to specify Sharon as she might, but this is still gorgeous, textured emotional fulfillment of a very moving character, exemplifying Beale Street’s ideas about love and families and what one does to keep them together as powerfully as Henry embodies its political ones. (Three Hearts, and my winner of this lineup)

Emma Stone, The Favourite: The most freewheeling performance in a Lanthimos film, feeling spontaneous and improvisational in a film whose tone might not seem to accommodate such an approach. Admittedly, Stone sometimes comes off as too uncontrolled or uneven, but she largely nails the film’s biggest arc. (Three Hearts)

Rachel Weisz, The Favourite: A more intentionally limited range than Stone’s approach, though I’m not sure The Favourite exploits and merges the contradiction of her romanticism and remove as well as The Lobster. Still, Weisz is delicious and versatile with her line readings, displaying a remarkable amount of color and depth without breaking from key she chooses to play. (Three Hearts)

I’m trying to find time for my own write-ups, in the middle of midterm season, but until I post my own ballot, I’ll say that the fourteen women in this category I’m most excited by are:

  • Sakura Andô, Shoplifters
  • Mackenzie Davis, Tully
  • Elizabeth Debicki, The Tale
  • Frances Conroy, The Tale
  • Danai Gurira, Black Panther
  • Miranda July, Madeline’s Madeline
  • Jong-seo Jun, Burning
  • Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Blake Lively, A Simple Favor
  • Bahar Noohian, Ava
  • Molly Parker, Madeline’s Madeline
  • Amanda Seyfried, First Reformed
  • Alexandra Shipp, Love, Simon
  • Dolly Wells, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

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