I held off a bit, thinking I might finally catch Joy or 45 Years, since there are two nominated performances. I haven’t seen either. So, with that in mind, here are my top 10 Actress performances. There were some that got shifted off this list at one point or another, notably Helen Mirren (Woman In Gold), Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Amy Schumer (Trainwreck), and Lake Bell (No Escape). There need to be more good roles offered to black actresses. I couldn’t think of even one this year for the lead actress category to even really consider.
10) Kristin Wiig (Welcome To Me)
It’s the kind of zany off the wall role that Wiig excels at. But it’s also got a ton of heart in it too. I think Wiig is constantly proving herself, first with The Skeleton Twins and now Welcome To Me. She should be taken seriously.
9) Blythe Danner (I’ll See You In My Dreams)
An easy role, but she basically carried the whole film. The scenes with Elliot, and near the end of the film were what sold her for me. It’s nice to see women of her age still anchoring films.
8) Meryl Streep (Ricki and the Flash)
Easily the better of her performances this year. She was so grungy, and believably rock. I never cease to be amazed by the talent of Meryl Streep. Sometimes, it’s easy to take it for granted, but she’s always incredible.
7) Carey Mulligan (Suffragette)
Basically the only reason to even watch Suffragette. Mulligan is going to give us an incredible performance in the next few years, I can feel it. Oscar will call her name one day, you can bet on it.
6) Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road)
I’ll admit that I’m fairly surprised she wasn’t nominated for an Oscar, but not too surprised. Sometimes its hard to recognize really good performances in action films, but her Furiosa had so much soul, so much honesty, she didn’t need to do all that. She didn’t need to be that good. It’s an action movie. But, I think the strength of the cast is one of the reasons everyone is going crazy for Mad Max this year.
5) Juliette Binoche (Clouds Of Sils Maria)
Under the radar performance, but truly a great performance of an aging actress struggling to find and maintain her place in Hollywood. I wish more Oscar voters had seen this film.
4) Cate Blanchett (Carol)
It was a good performance, but I can’t help but feel that Blanchett has been better. Blue Jasmine, for example. But, in what was kind of a weaker year for women, she ends up in my top 5.
3) Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)
Come on now, that was a lead performance. She’s clearly a lead in this film. She shouldn’t have been in the supporting category. She was great in this film, and showed a lot of promise for the future.
2) Saorise Ronan (Brooklyn)
She absolutely killed it this year. A great performance. Easily her best performance. Like Mulligan, I think Oscar will one day reward Ronan with a trophy all her own.
1) Brie Larson (Room)
My favorite performance of the year. Incredible. She was great in Short Term 12, and I really hope she wins the whole thing this year. Honestly, by far the best performance by an actress this year. The other 9 were really good, but Brie Larson was just on a different level. If you haven’t seen Room, watch it. Now.