2010 Addict Awards
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Juliette Binoche, "Certified Copy"
Binoche gives Elle startling complexity, flirting with the active courage of a teenager, and cunningly baying James to play along in her playground fantasy. She colours her impassioned silent hope with bitter self-realised existential crisis, painfully unable to quash the mentality that keeps her family in a tentatively ephemeral state.
A re-watch proved even more beneficial in terms of assessing the performance, since there is a shift in dynamic midway through the film. Particularly in the scenes where she's driving, Binoche shows an increasing lack of tolerance (probably born out of the fact that she is essentially in control of where they're going for once) and her inflections match the tension of the exchange, while remaining inherently joyous about the promise of the day ahead. It's a beautifully-acted segment.
* Jeong-hie Yun, “Poetry” *
The very idea of somebody's desire to write poetry co-inciding with a devolved act by a member of their family feels a bit contrived, but Lee Chang-dong's film manages to say an awful lot through this technique that it becomes a bit of a moot point. Yun, the Twiggy of the older generation (in agelessness if not stature), festers gladly upon the many compliments to her cutesy appearance with unmistakable pride — she knows her own strengths and limitations. When she finds out what has been going on under her nose she grows ever more bemused with her role; unsure of herself, angry with life and literature, and as she charts the inner struggle between her moral and familial responsibilities Yun displays a revelatory burden of composed, introspective grief.
Nicole Kidman, "Rabbit Hole"
Nicole Kidman, and to an extent, "Rabbit Hole" itself, is much more cynical about grief than one would expect. This helps to make her character Becca more accessible, in the sense that she has a faux-objective impression of her plight, casting judgements on couples at her counselling group for using religion as a coping mechanism. There's an element of elitism in the inhibited self-importance Kidman brings to Becca; the 'victim' that nobody can ever relate to. While Kidman telegraphs the aloof, partitioned rigidity of Becca, she also carves a personality for this woman, impulsively open to avenues that feel instinctive to her; following them with the pepetually aimless nature of a woman with little decision left.
Yahima Torres, "Black Venus"
Yahima Torres gives a display that is so introspectively devastating that it defies belief. Often an escalating vessel for the film’s thematic presentation, rather than an active proponent within the narrative study, her moves to suggest Saartije’s ideological shifts (both past and present) add valuable substance to the character. As she gives a personal account to a packed courtroom she states, “I am an Actress,” with such an inflected sense of motioned duty, realising just as she utters the words that they are ridiculous. Torres reveals Saartije’s sense of performance, ensconced in a culture that shuns any real esteem, her bemusement with science reflecting that, on some level, she has accepted what she has become.
Michelle Williams, "Blue Valentine"
While Ryan Gosling's character most radically alters through the course of the film, Michelle Williams' Cindy has an altogether more curious arc. One of Williams' best assets as an Actress is in her absence of belonging; how she manages to cast bursts of fierce emotion unnervingly off-the cuff, and yet also make them seem like a deceptively natural progression. Her style of acting is very understated (some suggest too so) but she remains able to register with the intricacies of Cindy's initial cautious approach to her relationship with Dean, and the later realisation that she took the easy option (if not necessarily the wrong one) in accepting his advances in the first place.
Exceptional Runners Up: Natalie Portman, "Black Swan"; Isabelle Carre, "The Refuge"; Emma Stone, "Easy A"; Catherine Deneuve, "Potiche"; Sally Hawkins, "Made in Dagenham"; Greta Gerwig, "Greenberg"; Annette Bening, "The Kids Are All Right"
Worthy of Note: Lesley Manville, "Another Year"; Jennifer Lawrence, "Winter's Bone"; Irene de Angelis, "Dark Love"; Tilda Swinton, "I Am Love"; Rinko Kikuchi, "Norwegian Wood"; Julianne Moore, "The Kids Are All Right"; Rebecca Hall, "Please Give"