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Months of Meryl: THE RIVER WILD

"Great post and comments. Yes, Streep had to navigate the rough waters of being in her 40's! I do think she smashed through the glass ceiling for women since she persevered and then became an even bigger star in her 50's." - Sister Rona

"One of my favourite movies from my teen years - I'm shocked at how long ago this was released. It was Meryl that sold this movie for me and is the reason I saw it. At the time, and I still feel this way, she is the reason to watch and believe this film." -Filmboymichael

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The 11th annual FiLM BiTCH Awards celebrating the films of 2010.

see also: Best Picture, Visuals, Aurals, Fun Extras, Best Scenes (in progress)


 Annette Bening
 Nicole Kidman
Natalie Portman
"Nina Sayers"
Paprika Steen
Michelle Williams
A star-turn in the key of life. By showing us the worn autopilot grooves in her marriage, we feel the  drama. Adopting the film's sensibility, new warmth thaws her often cool comedy. Best Scene: "Blue" a two act movie all her own.  Becca only has room for one feeling at a time. Note the prickly shock and effortful recalibration every time she's thrown off her numbing chosen course. Best Scene: Park bench. In compassion for another, serenity comes inching in. Connects the dots between sexual fear, artistic timidity and a hermetic worldview so tiny you can fit it in a music box. She's winning points for physical commitment but the emotional regression is better. Best Scene: "He picked me, mommy" 
Thea is ornery and discomforting but Steen forces you to feel her humanity. Best Scene: "Dog skin". A vicious expose on the actress's self-regard and self loathing and how she weaponizes both. That poor assistant!
Authentically exhausted by Dean's charms both Before & After. Williams clues you in to the During, too. How her own ambivalence has eroded her. How big is the gap between her vague aspirations and what she thinks she's settled for?  Cindy doesn't even know.  Best Scene: The bus.

Finalists: Kim Hye-Ja locks into MOTHER's eccentricities, hysteria and guilt. She lights up in the presence of anything transgressive | Tilda Swinton remains one of cinema's great screen presences, here emptying herself out as vessel for I AM LOVE's auteurial vision | There's carrying a picture, which many stars can do, and then there's absently swinging it around like it's lighter than a clutch, like you forget it's  there; There is no EASY A, there is only Emma Stone. | Lesley Manville is the pitiable aching soul of ANOTHER YEAR, saving it from smug coziness.

Semi-Finalists: Sally Hawkins MADE IN DAGENHAM | Greta Gerwig GREENBERG | Ruth Sheen ANOTHER YEAR



 Christian Bale
"Dickie Eklund"
 Jesse Eisenberg
"Mark Zuckerberg"
 James Franco
"Aron Ralston"
Ryan Gosling
Tahar Rahim
 He's burrowed under the skin so deeply; No wonder Dicky is extra twitchy! He gets at the addiction as well as the impossible friction between naturally high spirits and low down failure. Best Scene: Bargaining with Charlene. Recessive and unshowy and utterly right as the vessel for the film's verbal dexterity, emotional confusion, and immature self-regard.  Best Scene: It's all in those A+ line readings. Here's a longer piece on this performance.
He brings so much emotional variety, spark and (key ingredient) lust for life that they didn't even need the hyper editing to keep you engaged. Best Scene: The gallows humor interview with himself.
Is he the best actor of his generation? Probably. Open hearted impulsiveness and long term future despair are acted with equal skill and magic. Better yet, he connects them. Best Scene: the whole film?
What a find this young French actor was for Audiard. Unguarded emotions (both hard and soft ones) come out of his pores as quickly as blood from battle wounds. Best Scene: that spooky ambush in the car.
Finalists: Colin Firth & Geoffrey Rush sing an entertaining memorably tetchy duet in THE KING'S SPEECH | Aaron Eckhart gives good grief in RABBIT HOLE and plays wonderfully off of each co-star, carefully delineating the relationships

Semi-Finalists: Jeff Bridges TRUE GRIT | Leonardo DiCaprio SHUTTER ISLAND | Mark Wahlberg THE FIGHTER




 Amy Adams
"Charlene Fleming"
Kimberly Elise
"Crystal / Brown"
Melissa Leo
"Alice Ward"
Jacki Weaver
Olivia Williams
"Ruth Lang"
She's a tough cookie but the magic is in the eyes. Watch as she weighs the pros and cons of softening. Best Scene: "I drank too much. I wasted a lot of opportunities." That porch scene returns her to Junebug level glory.
 A gutting portrait of enabling martyrdom and self-negation. Best Scene: An early sequence taming the roaring violence within her man. She's all studied calm and metered vocalizations; she's been on tiptoes for years.
Showboating is appropriate when your character is a character. Her nervous energy brilliantly mirrors Bale's. Best Scene: Bossy Alice reeling as she finally faces the new dynamic. "I don't understand what's happening here?"
Those line readings, soothing gestures, curdled affections, and huge eyes build an insanely memorable monster. Full piece on this turn and interview  Best Scene: Detective at the door, an infuriating invasion.
Her capacity for turning on a dime without losing her character to incohesion (see also: Dollhouse) serves her expertly as this unknowable woman. Best Scene: Mixed message intro. She's playing contradictory notes.
Finalists: Barbara Hershey is all tight-faced and emptied out as "Erica Sayers." Her eyes, thoughts and heart are always fixated on Nina, Nina, Nina. Does she ever leave that apartment? I bet she had that cake delivered. | Dale Dickey puts the hurt on you in WINTER'S BONE. You can't say you weren't warned. "Merab", with that stony mask of grim living, proves a fascinating counterpoint to Teardrop (John Hawkes), her motives also murky.

Semi-Finalists: Kirsten Dunst ALL GOOD THINGS (interview)  | Rosamund Pike MADE IN DAGENHAM | Mia Wasikowska THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT | Anne Marie Duff NOWHERE BOY | Ann Guilbert PLEASE GIVE 



 Michael Fassbender
 Andrew Garfield
"Eduardo Saverin"
John Hawkes
Jeremy Renner
"James Coughlin"
 Mark Ruffalo
A tricky task: You can't know too much about him but you have to get a sense of his transgressive carelessness. You have to know he's slumming it. Best Scene: That queasily authentic drunken seduction. Two* stellar disparate takes on naive young men who wounded by betrayal and their own failures of imagination. Best moment: Love the way he dances up to Zuckerberg at the Carribean night or "Lawyer up asshole!"  Think of how chilling he is (friend? foe? just kin?) and then compare it with his actual actions; doesn't quite line up. He continually surprises. Best Scene: The standoff(s). He's a psychic warrior always implying violence So very different than he was in The Hurt Locker, save the death wish. Here he's all thuggish easy-trigger . He's not diffusing bombs; he is one. Best Scene: Impromptu lunch with his friends new mystery girlfriend. Uh-oh.
He elevates this Peter Pan with deep specificity. We get his humor, talent, lopsided ambitions and the limitations of his easygoing approach. We know they won't prepare him for... Best Scene: that phone call from his... daughter?

Finalists: Miles Teller gifts RABBIT HOLE with the perfect measured curiousity and companion grief to augment and open up new avenues of feeling for the lead performance by Nicole Kidman. Exactly what a great supporting character should do. | Sam Rockwell gives off enough hard to stay mad at him charisma and personality to show why his loved ones stick by him so tearfully in CONVICTION.

Semi-Finalists: Ben Mendehlson ANIMAL KINGDOM | Pierce Brosnan THE GHOST WRITER |  Jack McGee THE FIGHTER | Guy Pearce THE KING'S SPEECH Ewan McGregor I LOVE YOU PHILLIP MORRIS

*the nomination is for THE SOCIAL NETWORK since I don't allow two nominations in a category from the same performer (Oscar also doesn't) but if I did he would have two nominations.


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see also: Pictures, Visuals, Aurals, Special ActingFun Extras, Best Scenes (in progress)