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Why Don’t You Stop and Look Me Over

January 8, 2010

My previous post featured my top five overlooked best supporting actor worthy performances by male. Here are the ladies.

Eileen Atkins as Judith Starkadder in Cold Comfort Farm (1995)

Atkins is spectacular as the eccentric Judith Starkadder who spends much of her time as Cold Comfort Farm’s resident prognosticator of doom. Her chemistry with Kate Beckingsale (who is well cast as Flora) is wonderful. Atkins is doing some of her best work in this unglamorous role.

Diane Venora as Mama Capulet in Romeo and Juliet

and

in Heat.

The mid 90s were so very good for Ms. Venora in terms of snagging substantial supporting roles in high profile films. I think her performances in Heat and Romeo and Juliet are excellent examples of her range. She is compelling and engaging in two very different roles and deserved serious Oscar gold for both.

Queen Latifah in Set It Off

Queen Latifah give a performance much better than her Oscar nominated turn in Chicago. Set It Off was generally an uneven film with clunky plotting and too many characters, but Queen Latifah as Cleo stood apart and I really feel her work here was pretty much the best thing she’s done. The only thing approaching this emotional range is her bit part in The Bone Collector.

Ellen Pompeo as Birdie in Moonlight Mile

It took me about three years to figure out the wonderful actress in this movie was the same actress doing shittastic work on Grey’s Anatomy. Granted, Pompeo’s role on GA doesn’t require the nuance needed for her performance in Moonlight Mile, but man, I miss that chick. She was totally fierce. I just loved watching her move across the screen. It was understated and soulful, but not in a tacky way.

Charlotte Rampling in The Verdict

I’m on the fence regarding whether or not this would actually qualify as a supporting actress performance. No matter, she’s on the list. It was a toss up between this and her quirky turn in Angel Heart. I opted for The Verdict instead because I think this performance affected me more.

Honorable Mentions

Sandra Oh – Under The Tuscan Sun
Ashley Judd – A Time to Kill, Heat, Frida
Lisa Nicole Carson – Love Jones
Amanda Plummer – The Fisher King
Vanessa Redgrave – Mission Impossible
Salma Hayak – Traffic
Melora Walters – Boogie Nights, Magnolia
Lisa Bonet – Enemy of the State
Winona Ryder – Beetlejuice
Alfre Woodard – Little Miss Firecracker, Passion Fish
Mary Louise Parker – Boys on the Side

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