Actresses showed impressive range in a variety of roles at this year’s TIFF. Sure, people were talking about the incredible performance of Gary Oldman in The Darkest Hour as Winston Churchill during during the festival. After all that’s what one does during a 10 day long festival – talk movies and performances. We can all agree more or less that we can mark a big X in the yet to be released Oscar nominations for Best Actor Oldman. But more often than not, the true rage at TIFF 17 was about great Oscar buzz-generating performances by women in a wide variety of movies. Continue reading…
One woman who will play a big role during the award season will be Frances McDormand. In Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri she delivers the exquisite dialogue (by writer-director Martin McDonagh) so fiercely and passionate;y that it is a pleasure to watch her. It also elevates the movie to something better than it already is.
Jessica Chastain on the other hand impresses in two vastly different roles: In Molly’s Game she is a modern day woman who used to be a Olympic skier but starts to run a high stakes poker ring. Chastain fires the Aaron Sorkin dialogue like gunfire. On the other hand she plays an almost naive but courageous woman who sets out from New York to North Dakota in 1889 to paint Sioux chief Sitting Bull in Woman Walks Ahead. Both roles are equally impressive for different reasons.
In Disobedience, we get the two Rachel’s in a way that we have not seen either actress before: Rachel Weisz plays an Orthodox Jewish woman who comes home for her estranged father’s funeral – and she realizes that she still has feelings for her friend played by Rachel McAdams. Both actresses surprised viewers with their candid performances.
A huge hit with the TIFF audience was also I, Tonya. The movie depicts the story of disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding. Margot Robbie plays her with frizzy hair and great comedic timing. But the true breakout performance is delivered by Allison Janney who plays her viciously mean mother.
Sally Hawkins on the other hand plays her role without any dialogue to perfection – as a mute cleaning lady who meets an amphibian creature in The Shape of Water is heartwarming and beautiful.
And the list goes on and on: In Downsizing, Asian-American actress Hong Chau literally steals the show from Matt Damon. Elle Fanning delivers it in the title role of Mary Shelley. Emma Stone was talked about because of Battle of the Sexes. As was Saoirse Ronan in the Greta Gerwig-directed Lady Bird. Emma Thompson excels in the somewhat mediocre movie The Children Act. Meanwhile Annette Bening kills it in Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool as does Judi Dench in Victoria & Abdul. And even if Mother! got divided audience response as a movie, Jennifer Lawrence’s performance was still lauded.
Overall, not bad for a movie year and prelude to the awards season. Not bad at all.