Today: May 29, 2024

FilmJuice’s Five Favourite Actresses 2014

This year has seen all manner of jaw-dropping performances from those thespian types so to celebrate join Editor Alex Moss as he runs down FilmJuice’s Top Five Favourite Actresses 2014.

5. Scarlett Johansson: Her, Under The Skin, Lucy, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Chef.

What a busy year it’s been for Scarlett Johansson, it started with her lending her husky, seductive vocals to the AI voice in Spike Jonze’s Her, managing, even in post-production where she replaced Samantha Morton, to create huge chemistry with Joaquin Phoenix. Then she got all deadly and silent with Jonathan Glazer’s Under The Skin, went existential superhero for Luc Besson on Lucy, turned up the heat in Jon Favreau’s Chef and finally managed to give Captain America a run for his money in The Winter Soldier. Johansson is always a dependable performer but this year has shown such a broad spectrum of performances it’s nothing short of breathtaking.

4. Keira Knightley: Begin Again, The Imitation Game, Say When

Last year was a relatively quiet one for Keira Knightley but this saw her return to screens with no less than four films. First up was the relatively by-the-numbers Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit but Knightley’s on screen chemistry with Chris Pine remained a highlight. Then came Begin Again, a film that saw Knightley again sizzle with a wonderfully understated affection for Mark Ruffalo in this lost souls finding each other through the power of music comedy. Say When dipped below the radar but had enough cute moments with Sam Rockwell and Chloe Grace Moretz to keep Knightley ticking over before she brought out the big guns to go toe-to-toe with Benedict Cumberbatch’s Alan Turing in The Imitation Game. It was Knightley who managed to bring so much heart to the film and in particular with her relationship with Cumberbatch.

3. Marion Cotillard: Two Days One Night, Blood Ties

While we still wait for the release of The Immigrant on UK shores 2014 at least let us bask in the glory of Marion Cotillard through two films both of which allowed her to excel. In Blood Ties she was able to give Clive Owen a run for his money while probably doing the same for her director and husband Guillaume Canet. But it was in Two Days, One Night in which Cotillard demonstrated why she is one of cinema’s best leading ladies. In the film from The Dardenne Brothers she was the very epitome of grace under fire as the employee desperately trying to convince her colleagues to forgo their annual bonus in favour of her keeping her job. It’s a powerful, vulnerable and endlessly heart wrenching performance and one that Cotillard should be recognised for come award season.

2. Mia Wasikowska: The Double, Only Lovers Left Alive, Maps To The Stars.

What a year for Mia Wasikowska. It started with a scene-stealing turn in Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive as a petulant vampire before going all Hitchcockian blonde siren in Richard Ayoade’s The Double, giving an uplifting turn in Tracks and finally doing dark and mysterious in David Cronenberg’s Maps To The Stars. It’s hard to pick just one performance of all those but in The Double there is something both mischievous and ethereal about her performance lending it just as much split-personality as the titular character played by Jesse Eisenberg.

1. Rosamund Pike: Gone Girl

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen Gone Girl this may give things away so stop reading, go and watch it and then return. You’re back? And now you know why Rosamund Pike is FilmJuice’s Favourite Female Performer of 2014. Because as Amy Dunne in David Fincher’s dark dissection of modern romance she is nothing short of tantalisingly brilliant. Demure and apple-pie-cute one minute, hostile, angry, sexy and ultimately psychotic the next. It’s the kind of performance that on the page has you hating her but in Pike’s hands it’s delicious and seductive, the kind of performance probably too dark for the likes of Oscar to reward but it’s devastatingly brilliant. Even at her most bat-crap-crazy it’s impossible not to fall for Pike’s shark-like charm as she delicately waves, all innocent and smiles, at her husband who she tried to frame for her murder.

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email:

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