Quite often, roles for women are quite weak. This is a sad fact in Hollywood. Men just get the juicier roles. Now, while I think that this has been one of the weaker years for movies in recent history overall, a few categories differ. One of those would be roles for actresses. This has actually been one of the better years for actresses. So, I’m happy to share a list of some of the actresses that delivered stellar work in 2016!
12. Kristen Stewart, Cafe Society & Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Certain Women
Three distinctly different roles and one actress who continues to stomp on the notion she is a one trick pony. She is especially charming in ‘Cafe Society’.
11. Kate McKinnon, Ghostbusters
The new it girl of comedy has earned her place in the spotlight. She may have won much of America over as Hillary Clinton, but her Holtzman was one of the coolest and funniest characters of the year. Did I mention she’s also a bad ass? She is.
10. Hailee Steinfeld, The Edge of Seventeen
This young woman continues to impress more with each outing. Here she delivers a coming of age performance for the ages by delivering laughs and tears through a confused teenager who is struggling with everything after she loses her father.
9. Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea
There is a deep loss that Williams must get across here and she truly delivers. It is only one scene where she has to muster the depths of true pain, but when she does it is unforgettable.
8. Ruth Negga, Loving
The role of an ordinary woman wrapped up in a monumental situation is expertly played here. Negga plays her with a sense of conviction and shy reserve that many might not have been able to pull off.
7. Naomie Harris, Moonlight
This role is truly transformative. Harris begins as a selfish and often monstrous woman, but later must express deeply profound regret. When you see her in this film you won’t soon forget.
6. Nicole Kidman, Lion
She only gets a handful of sequences, but the one where she delves into her history is one of the most deeply moving scenes in the film and will likely earn her an Oscar nomination.
5. Viola Davis, Fences
Every time she is in a movie it is special, but this one might finally win her the Oscar. She shows the most sacred of suffering and the deepest of love in just a few scenes. It’s a masterful performance.
4. Felicity Jones, Rogue One, A Monster Calls, Inferno
She totally carries the new ‘Star Wars’ on the weight of her shoulders and that’s no small feat. Couple that with her heartbreaking work in ‘A Monster Calls’ and this one hell of a year for the young British thespian.
3. Amy Adams, Arrival, Nocturnal Animals, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Edition
Amy Adams was all over the map this year. She was the best Lois Lane we could ask for, a troubled art dealer with a dark past in ‘Nocturnal Animals’, but she will get her Oscar nomination for her deeply moving performance as a brilliant linguist in ‘Arrival’.
2. Emma Stone, La La Land
She sings, she dances, she acts, she acts like she is acting, she makes us laugh, and she makes us cry. This is as versatile a performance as you can get. Which is why any other year she would be the shoe in for the Oscar, but not this year.
1. Natalie Portman, Jackie
Portman delivers such an outstanding performance as Jackie Kennedy that you almost forget it’s Portman. She sinks into the mannerisms and that difficult vocal cadence with ease. These are the kind of roles actors covet, but rarely deliver the way they hope. Portman delivers 110% and it is quite possibly the best performance by anybody this year!