It’s that time of year again. As entertainment news for 2010 winds down, the best of lists are starting to emerge – best movies, best performances, best scenes. Below is my list of the top 5 actresses of 2010. Keep in mind these aren’t necessarily the best performances (otherwise Natalie Portman and Annette Bening would be at the top). These are the actresses that have had the best year based on current and future projects. Check back later in the week for my top 5 actors and top 5 movies.
Do you agree with my picks? Who did I miss that should have made the list? Let me know what you think in the comments section. But first, check out my picks below:
Honorable mention — Gwyneth Paltrow (“Iron Man 2,” “Country Strong”): Paltrow had a summer hit with “Iron Man 2,” but she really emerged as a comeback contender at the end of the year with a side few had seen before: Gwyneth Paltrow the singer. She was surprisingly funny and charming on “Glee,” and she received a standing ovation for her performance at the CMA Awards. “Country Strong” doesn’t get a wide release until 2011, so something tells me Paltrow’s star will continue to rise.
Honorable mention — Olivia Wilde (“The Next Three Days,” “Tron Legacy”): Wilde is another actress who really burst onto the scene at the end of 2010, and she is quickly becoming one of the most in-demand young actresses around. “Tron Legacy” put her on the map, and with four projects already lined up for 2011, Wilde’s success is just beginning.
5. Chloe Moretz (“Kick-Ass,” “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” “Let Me In”): She’s only 13, but she has more of a screen presence than other actresses who have been in the business for years. Moretz started out with a more kid-friendly turn in “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” then turned heads with her foul-mouthed antics in “Kick-Ass,” then continued down the precocious route in the dark vampire flick “Let Me In.” Next up she’s working with Martin Scorsese in “Hugo Cabret.”
4. Rooney Mara (“A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “The Social Network”): Mara spent 2010 making a name for herself by turning a little into a lot. “A Nightmare on Elm Street” was largely panned, but Mara received praise for her performance. She only had three scenes in David Fincher’s masterful “The Social Network,” but she put so much emotion and energy into those three scenes that she made an impression on audiences, critics and Fincher himself. He cast her in the coveted role of Lisbeth Salander in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Speaking of which…
3. Noomi Rapace (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Girl Who Played with Fire,” “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”): Few American moviegoers had heard of a Swedish actress named Noomi Rapace before she wowed audiences and critics alike with her pitch-perfect portrayal of punk hacker Lisbeth Salander in the original “Millennium” trilogy. To most fans of Stieg Larsson’s series, Rapace’s portrayal of Salander is perfection, so Rooney Mara has some big shoes to fill. And Rapace has caught the attention of Hollywood – she landed a supporting role in Guy Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes 2” and she’s rumored to be one of Ridley Scott’s top choices for the “Alien” prequel.
2. Emma Stone (“Easy A”): People used to know Stone as “that girl from ‘Superbad’” or “that girl from ‘Zombieland,’” but thanks to her first lead role in “Easy A,” she’s on everyone’s radar. Her comic timing in “Easy A” was spot-on, but even more impressive are the movies she’s been filming in 2010 that haven’t hit theaters yet. She landed the role of young writer Skeeter Phelan who breaks through racial barriers in the big screen adaptation of “The Help,” and she’s the Gwen Stacey to Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker in Marc Webb’s untitled “Spider-Man” reboot.
1. Mia Wasikowska (“Alice in Wonderland,” “The Kids Are All Right”): This young Australian actress has had quite the year. She came out of nowhere to score the title role in Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” and followed it up with a winning performance in the indie sensation “The Kids Are All Right.” Her more seasoned co-stars are getting all the Oscar buzz, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a gold statuette was in Wasikowska’s future. Up next she stars in the latest adaptation of “Jane Eyre” with Michael Fassbender, Gus Van Sant’s “Reckless” and the period piece “Albert Nobbs” alongside Glenn Close.
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