My 2021 Year in Review series continues today by taking a look at the best actress performances of the year.
I like full transparency in my ballots that I turn into the Music City Film Critic Association and the North American Film Critic Association. I get three picks per category, so my top three are the ones I submitted and the other two are the rest of my list for the year.
- Kristen Stewart, Spencer
Stewart gives one of the most haunting performances of the year within the role of Princess Diana. She completely transformed herself into this role in one of the decade’s best performances.
- Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
The movie doesn’t work without Chastain’s brilliant performance as Tammy Faye. It was in the moments that didn’t seem as big where Chastain ripped our heart out.
- Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter
Leda is a deeply troubled mother still battling her demons of motherhood. I was blown aways by writer/director Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut in which she was able to bring this grief of life in front of our eyes. Colman reminded us why she is to be considered one of (if not) the best working actress right now with her incredibly deep performance in The Lost Daughter.
- Rachel Sennott, Shiva Baby
Emma Seligman’s Shiva Baby is a film that will not get enough credit for how intense it was. An intense, awkward edge of your seat ride that a remarkable performance by Rachel Sennott caps off. Cast Sennott in everything, please.
- Jodie Comer, The Last Duel
In a film that is not an easy watch as we see Marguerite de Carrouges painfully relive a disgusting moment three times. What Comer does in each of these sequences is different and yet powerful. I am not sure why she is not getting more love for this role.
Honorable Mentions: Frances McDormand (The Tragedy of Macbeth), Jasmin Savoy Brown (Sound of Violence) and Rachel Zegler (West Side Story)