ANNETTE BENING in 20th Century Women
A daughter of the Depression struggling to raise a son in an era of sex, drugs and rock n' roll; Bening suggests a sea of contradictions gently waltzing around beneath this lived-in performance (you never see her ACTING) with a fluent frown-smile and active eyes.
Huppert is at her frosty, acerbic best. Michele is an impossible anti-heroine to understand, but Huppert's gifts for channeling the enigmatic (to say nothing of sly, twisted comedy) also make her impossible not to watch.
“Low-key” is almost an understatement, but Negga's portrayal of mousy Mildred Loving is nevertheless very expressive in its own quiet way. She does more emoting with her eyes than anything else, and through them we see a star turn that – while demure – is deeply felt.
A wrought iron interpretation of mourning and myth-making. The affectations take some getting used to (perhaps more so for those familiar with the real Jackie's public persona), but it's Portman's brittle conviction that registers loudest.
Steinfeld finds fresh shades of emotional complexity and corrosive humour inside a stock character, knowing exactly when to play for tears, laughs, or both. This is what a movie-elevating performance looks like.
Amy Adams in Arrival
Emma Stone in La La Land
Sandra Huller in Toni Erdmann
Blake Lively in The Shallows
Meryl Streep in Florence Foster Jenkins