10) Kim Dickens (Gone Girl)
Kim Dickens whip smart cop investigating the disappearance/murder of a housewife is one of the best things about Gone Girl. She could have easily been overshadowed by Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck, and Carrie Coon, but I still remembered her at the end of the day.
9) Jessica Chastain (A Most Violent Year)
For me, I’ve seen Chastain do more memorable roles, but she was the best thing about A Most Violent Year. Without her, I’m not sure I would have enjoyed the film nearly as much. She saved the film.
8) Julianne Moore (Maps To The Stars)
I thought Moore was fantastic in Maps To The Stars, then I saw Still Alice. I think Maps To The Stars still impresses me, because she’s so damn crazy, but Still Alice is the one that’s truly heartbreaking, and the one she’ll be remembered for.
7) Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game)
I thought she did a good job of playing an intelligent, independent woman at a time when women were not expected to be either. She holds her own against Benedict Cumberbatch.
6) Adriana Barazza (Cake)
As the long suffering maid to Jennifer Aniston’s long suffering character, Barazza reminds us why we loved her years ago in Babel. She’s an underrated talent, and while the film may belong to Aniston, Barazza is fantastic.
5) Anna Kendrick (Into The Woods)
I liked her even more than I did Meryl Streep in the film. I thought her interpretation of On The Steps Of The Palace was my favorite version of that song ever. She brought a different depth and understanding to Cinderella. She wasn’t just cute and perky. She was a thinking person.
4) Melissa McCarthy (St Vincent)
That was a real performance. That wasn’t a silly slapstick performance. That was a woman, whose husband left her for someone younger and prettier, and who is trying to put her life back together. Melissa McCarthy is a fantastic actress, and I’m glad we’re really starting to see that.
3) Carrie Coon (Gone Girl)
As Ben Affleck’s smartass sister, Coon is the dark horse of the film. She has real brother/sister chemistry with Ben Affleck. She definitely should be one to watch as she gets offered more roles. She reminds me a lot of the first time I saw Amy Ryan in Gone Baby Gone. It’s like it all just clicked.
2) Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
She is quite spectacular in Boyhood. It’s the performance of her career and she did everything right. But, in my book, she got upstaged by one very special performance.
1) Tilda Swinton (Snowpiercer)
WOW. If you’ve seen Snowpiercer, then this is a no brainer for you. She plays an androgynous leader. It’s bizarre. It’s funny. It’s even a little scary. She completely lost herself in the role. I honestly didn’t even recognize her at first. IT’s the performance I’ll remember for a long time.