The year is over and we can’t help but look back over the course of the past 12 months and wonder which movies will be the best of the year, which actresses and actors will find themselves being nominated for Oscars and which movies will find themselves among the best of the best. We certainly won’t be surprised to see certain names on that list, and some of them are on this list. There were some great movies in 2014 and there were some movies that were not great. But what there really was, however, were a lot of actresses that made otherwise boring and awful movies great. And that’s what makes us want to talk about the 10 women who really did a remarkable job playing characters that almost seem as if they were created just for them.
Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
The story of a wife who goes missing and a husband who seems to be the man who did it, both Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck play remarkable characters in this film. But it’s her ability to make the crowd love her and then hate her and then think she’s a raging lunatic is what makes her so successful in this role. It’s worth seeing because not only is the film good, the acting is amazing on both parts.
Felicity Jones – Theory of Everything
She is not the main character in this biopic, but she is the one to watch if you do see this particular movie. She’s been said to give one of the most passionate performances of the year playing the role of Jane Wilde Hawking, wife of Stephen Hawking. And even though her role is inspired and her acting skills are shown off in the most favorable light in this film, it’s really not interesting to watch the other characters in the movie as they really do not do any justice to the film. It is all Felicity Jones in this film.
Scarlett Johansson – Under the Skin
She’s usually a pretty girl playing a pretty part or a superhero in an action film. What she is typically not is a girl who plays a role so confusing that most people simply do not understand it. This role, however, is genius. She plays an alien come to earth to take over the planet, but first she must appear in a body so that she can do that. She’s just light and sound and some other theatrics no one recognizes until she is provided with a body, that of herself, and watching her as she behaves as if her body is foreign to her is just plain interesting, and we aren’t certain many actresses have this ability.
Tilda Swinton – Only Lovers Left Alive
She’s calm and she’s cool and we absolutely love her. In fact, there are few roles in life in which we don’t actually love Tilda Swinton and that’s what makes her so unique and wonderful. She is a character that is actually one of a kind and brilliant in front of the camera. No matter what she does, she does with success and with an apparent ease the rest of us only wish we could possess.
Elisabeth Moss – Listen Up Philip
An actress who can convey exactly what it is she is thinking and feeling without actually making a sound or moving her body is one worth watching. She is able to do just that in this film, and that’s what makes this role of Elisabeth Moss’ so worthwhile and so profound. Expect to see her on the red carpet this award season.
Emma Stone – Birdman
She’s amazing in just about everything she does, and there is no doubt that this young actress will go on to become one of the most revered, most famous actresses of our time. She is a genius in front of the camera, and this role is no exception to that rule. She is the mascot of the film, the voice of reason and the person that everyone is destined to watch when she is onscreen. She seems almost a bit unreal, a bit like someone who is the conscious we all need, and her role is completely wonderful. She’s never been better at her job than she is in this film.
Vanessa Paradis – Fading Gigolo
The overall consensus is that this movie is largely ridiculous and that it makes very little sense. However, critics have hailed Paradis as the person to watch in this movie. It’s been said that without her in the movie, it wouldn’t be worth two cents. Critics are hailing her the only reason that the movie is worth seeing, saying she has brought about a sense of comfort and genius skill to a film that is seriously lacking in any of the above. If you’re not planning on seeing this film, fine, but we hear that seeing Paradis play the role of a widow still grieving the loss of her husband as she embarks on a life with a male escort is worth it.
Luminita Gheorghiu – Child’s Pose
She’s a woman on a mission in this movie, and while she’s doing something that we know is against the law, we can’t help but to understand where it is she is coming from. We can’t help but understand her driving need to protect her son even though another family loses theirs. We can’t help but feel she does this role so much justice that it’s worth seeing, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see her awarded some more roles this year.
Julianne Moore – Maps to the Stars
It’s been said by critics that this is one of Moore’s best roles of her entire career. Considering she’s had plenty of roles in her life, that’s an impressive compliment. It’s true, too. In this role she plays a star whose fame is slipping away from her as she grows older. She is a bitter, hateful woman who carefully covers up that reality with fake faces and a pretend persona. She does an amazing job of it until one poor decision shows her for who she really is; a hateful and awful women who no one cares for. The role is one that she should be very proud of.
Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
There are few roles in which Patricia Arquette is not amazing. She is a professional if ever there was one. According to critics, this film could have been something easily forgettable. Something easily ignored and passed on by people who are in the mood to watch something good, but Arquette’s character makes this impossible. She makes the film a success, and she is the reason for its depth and its interest.
Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images