As countdown the end of the year, it amazes me what a whirlwind of a year it has been, especially in the world of film. For the majority of 2020, movie theaters have been closed, streaming has become the new king, and we have witnessed a pandemic as this generation has yet to see. 2021 looks bleak as far as when movies will be back out again for the norm. Still, today, I continue my series of best of which will last over a multitude of pieces that will include my top 10 films, tackling all four acting categories, most disappointed, and whatever other I muster up.
Today, after watching close to 300 2020 releases, I turn my attention to the Best Actress performances of the year.
5. Frances McDormand – Nomadland (Coming out in Feb.)
Chloe Zhao had in mind when she adapted Jessica Bruder’s play for Fern’s role was knocked out of the ballpark by Frances McDormand. It was raw, personal, and full of this beautiful nuance that made you feel empathy with what Fern was going through. McDormand is excellent at her craft, and it shows here.
4. Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)
Chadwick Boseman is getting all the headlines for Ma Rainey, but Viola Davis gives just as good a performance in this film. She was hardly recognizable within the role of Ma Rainey. She had this sass about her that oozed this swag that commanded your attention.
3. Haley Bennett – Swallow (Hulu)
Swallow is one of the most underrated films of 2020. I can’t talk enough about the layers that Bennett provides in the performance. The little things matter in this movie and Bennett showcased why she should be amongst the next generation of big-time actresses. I loved this performance and highly recommend checking this movie out.
2. Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman (Netflix Jan. 7th)
From my review: Speaking of Vanessa Kirby, she gives hands down the best performance from a woman this year. The emotional story that she portrays throughout this journey is perfection. Kirby has the way of making you feel things with more than her words. The power she showed within Martha’s silence was impeccable. From her body language to the way she took a breath to the way the words came off her mouth, she fully captured a broken woman suffering from her loss.
1. Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman
From my review: To say I was impressed with the range of Carey Mulligan (Cassie) would be an understatement. Ideally, you need perfect casting for this type of film to work with this story and Mulligan is the perfect casting. Cassandra is a good person filled with a lot of hate because of what happened to her friend. She also has these unique character traits that Mulligan enhances with perfection. From the way she talks and the ability to change her tone of voice depending on the circumstances to the way she carries herself, Mulligan fully embodies this role. She manages to deliver everything that Fennell wanted from the character. And she’s a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination.