Amy Adams – Nocturnal Animals
Wonderful, minimal & powerful as the haunted main character . . . far better performance than her work in Arrival.
Lily Gladstone – Certain Women
Amazing naturalistic, beautifully insular performance by Lily Gladstone . . . Gladstone has now shot to the top of my list of actresses to keep an eye on . . . unbelievably moving.
Rebecca Hall – Christine
Finally the performance I’ve been waiting for from her. With this turn, she enters the ranks of giants . . . depression, paranoia, rage, social anxiety . . . I felt absolute truth in Hall’s performance.
Agata Kulesza – The Innocents
Kulesza is brilliant as the haunted Mother Abbess of the convent . . . you might remember her as the atheistic aunt in the Oscar winning Ida . . . she’s even better here.
Jane Levy – Don’t Breathe
Levy is brilliant here . . . she’s able to access a deep, deep vein of terror that puts the ‘scared’ acting most actors do to shame.
Kim Min-hee – The Handmaiden
Superb . . . as the elegant lady . . . incredible precision.
Natalie Portman – Jackie
Portman manages to dig below the façade to give a genuinely great performance . . . the performance of a lifetime.
Kim Tae-ri – The Handmaiden
Performances within performances . . . never puts a foot wrong.
Michelle Williams – Manchester by the Sea
Williams is nothing short of brilliant . . . her final appearance in the film is . . . anguished and the acting is almost unbearable.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead – 10 Cloverfield Lane
She’s front and center and her performance holds the audience spellbound. Hang a movie on her; she’s up to the task.
Blake Lively – The Shallows
She really owns this role and this film; she’s charismatic enough to carry the film and her performance is genuinely great.
Emma Stone – La La Land
Stone isn’t just good; she’s great. She saves an underwritten part . . . a performance of such sincerity I was transfixed . . .
Hailee Steinfeld – The Edge of Seventeen
Nothing short of wonderful . . . Steinfeld imbues the film with a wonderful dose of realism.
Rima Te Wiata – Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Maybe best of all is Rima Te Wiata . . . fifteen minutes of screen time, but . . . nothing short of blisteringly hilarious . . . something to behold.
Madison Wolfe – The Conjuring 2
A genuinely star-making performance as . . . the girl at the center of the evil forces.