Another week closer to the Oscars, another set of prestigious Reel World Theology performance awards to hand out. This week on our Top 5 we’re looking at the Top 5 performances by actresses’ in a supporting role. There were some great and dynamic performances this year, as well as some break out performances. Once again, I (Josh) called on the expertise and dynamic opinions of Mikey “Fizz” Fissel in order to tackle out Top 5.
5) Emma Stone, Birdman – Emma Stone and her iconic eyes transform into Sam, Riggan’s (Michael Keaton) daughter in the film Birdman. Sam brings a fury and truth that is counter to the self-placating and over-idealized reality that Riggan is trying to create for himself. Frustration, passion, and tenderness all spew forth from Stone’s performance. It shows that even if she isn’t quite to the top of her craft, she is still on her way and deserves a seat at the table. -Fizz
4) Carrie Coon, Gone Girl – This is not going to be among everyone’s top picks for Supporting Actress, but I was blown away by Coon’s performance as Margo Dunne, Nick Dunne’s (Ben Affleck) sister. She shone in every scene and I thought she was much more interesting than Affleck was. It is encouraging to me that the strongest performances in Gone Girl come from the two lead female actors, as we will see when we get to the Best Actress post in a couple weeks (foreshadowing). Coon had a convincing portrayal of a woman caught up in the midst of her brothers’ scandal. She is incredibly supporting, despite her brother’s stupid foibles and mistakes, and she is equally sarcastic and a bit of a comic relief to her more morose and aloof brother. She is really great in this movie and deserves a lot more attention for her very human portrayal of a family member caught up in a giant media circus. -Josh
3) Kelly Reilly, Calvary – While Kelly Reilly will not be receiving any votes for role as Sonja Burpo in Heaven is For Real, she is much deserved of some recognition for her supporting role in the Irish film, Calvary. This movie consistently made most of our Top 10 Lists of 2014 and Reilly was great as Father James’ slightly estranged daughter, Fiona. Having recently arrived in Father James’ small town after an attempted suicide, she is emotionally fragile and in need of a father’s love. When it becomes apparent that both Father James (Brendan Gleeson) and Fiona are still getting over the same emotional baggage, they share one incredibly memorable scene where Reilly’s performance really shines. Check out the movie if you haven’t already and you can also catch Kelly Reilly on the second season of True Detective. -Josh
2) Patricia Arquette, Boyhood – My personal pick for best supporting actress, I will be rooting with banner and foam finger on Oscar night for Patricia Arquette to take home the hardware. Even more so than Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette as Mason’s mom was a lot of the emotional and relational weight of this film. Arquette is vulnerable, yet strong, and she portrays a woman who is dealing with the choices she has made and trying her best to raise her kids while finding a life for herself. Towards the end of the film she is at her best and has some great moments as the reflective yet regretful mother. It’s a strong performance from her and she is deserving of recognition for her role in Boyhood. -Josh
1) Laura Dern, Wild – Wild has created a lot of buzz as a biopic and for its star, Reese Witherspoon as Cheryl, but honestly, though she does a great job with the material she is given, the heart of this film comes from Laura Dern playing Bobbi, Cheryl’s mother. Her performance gives a backbone to every emotion we see in the film; from joy, to heartache, to loss, to hope, to empathy, to admiration. In a part that could have easily been an eye-rolling “my mom was my inspiration” role, Dern brings an incredible humanness to Bobbi that gives credibility to Cheryl’s eventual life struggles and makes the film work. -Fizz