2016: The Best Female Performances of the Year

By Livia Peterson

I am discussing the best female performances, featured in the films during the 2016. The following actresses fully embodied the characters depicted in a particular film. Without further ado, the best female performances of the year, in no particular order.
 
Isabelle Huppert (“Elle”) – Michele is a resilient businesswoman and thus, understands how to stand up for herself. No man appears to rescue her in the midst of the rape. Huppert suddenly surprises and subsequently, your mind is blown, rinse and repeat. “Elle” is just incredible (get over your subtitle phobia) and Huppert’s performance is even better. By the way, Huppert’s performance is my absolute favorite of the year, no ifs ands, or buts. (I mean, don’t argue with me, haha.)
 
Natalie Portman (“Jackie”) – Ms. Kennedy-Onassis is a historical figure (defines the U.S. history) and Portman respects and honors the first lady with grace and poignancy. You may swear she is the first lady. But once the credits roll, you realize it is Ms. Portman.
 
Rebecca Hall (“Christine”) – The news reporter Christine Chubbuck faced depression and lofty expectations in the journalism industry. Hall respectfully manifests the character and advocates depression is real through the perfect mannerisms and facial expressions. “Christine” easily could be told through nonverbal communication and remain the brilliant film. Just devastated that Ms. Hall will be ignored, regarding the Awards consideration.
 
Michelle Williams (“Manchester by the Sea”) – Williams depicts Randi, Lee Chandler’s (Casey Affleck) ex wife. Most of Williams’ scenes are told through flashbacks and thus, lacks the sufficient quota of screen time. However, Williams dominates the screen with abundant emotion that you may desire to hug her through the screen.
 
Emma Stone (“La La Land”) – Stone personifies the aspiring actress Mia, but happens to be a successful actress herself (the ideal combination). “La La Land” is why we visit the cinema, let alone why the cinema exists. Ms. Stone is magical – dancing, singing and you might as well be dreaming, too.
 
Ruth Negga (“Loving”) – Mildred and Richard Loving were unlawfully married; however, the couple altered the Constitution in the process. The interracial marriage is allowed today. No one cannot deny love is love. Negga provides the most restrained performance – but be patient, digs under your skin causing you to ponder “Loving” several days following the screening.
 
Naomie Harris (“Moonlight”) – Harris portrays Chiron’s abusive mother Paula. “Moonlight” did not sneak up on me; however, Harris’ performance remained with me following the screening. Abusive mothers are depicted stereotypically and yet, Paula is far from the stereotype.
 
Viola Davis (“Fences”) – “Fences” is the actor and character driven film and here, Davis just nails it, portraying Rose Maxson. You’ll gasp with joy. Adios to #OscarsSoWhite.
 
Amy Adams (“Arrival”) – “Arrival” examines the language and how we interact. Adams is flawless, depicting the expert linguist deciphering the alien language. Powerful and resonant, Ms. Adams will most likely receive the Academy Award nomination – but will lose to Viola Davis (“Fences”). Your time will come soon, girlfriend.
 
Hailee Steinfeld (“The Edge of Seventeen”) – Nadine is my girl – almost behaves similar to me, shy and fussy in terms of friends. The Best Actress category is crowded and hence, Ms. Steinfeld’s performance may be ignored.
 
Kate McKinnon (“Ghostbusters”) – Geez, we may have not requested the female “Ghostbusters” – regardless, the film is pretty awesome in terms of female empowerment (we need more of that in movies). McKinnon consistently steals the show. Sassy and cool, don’t you just want to hang out with Jillian Holtzmann?
 
Honorable Mentions
~Lupita Nyong’o (Nakku Harriet, “Queen of Katwe”)
~Alicia Vikander (Isabel Graysmark-Sherbourne, “The Light Between Oceans”)
~Tika Sumpter (Michelle Robinson, “Southside with You”)
~Helen Mirren (Colonel Katherine Powell, “Eye in the Sky”)
~Susan Sarandon (Marnie Minervini, “The Meddler”)
~Rachel Weisz (Deborah E. Lipstadt, “Denial”)

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