Award season has begun with an astonishing choice of great movies and great performances. This year could be a very special one for Ireland, as three great Irish actresses are in the running for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar.
As Jude Hills‘s mom and Jamie Dornan’s wife in “Belfast”,writer/director Kenneth Branagh’s semi-autobiographical coming of age movie set during the start of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, Caitriona Balfe gives one of 2021’s most memorable performances. In a great ensemble a cast, which also includes Judi Dench and Ciarain Hinds, she is the one we always come back to when we are in need of comfort and assurance.
With a skyrocketing career since making her very impressive debut in “Beast” just three years ago, Jessie Buckley has gone from one triumph to another. In actress Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut, “The Lost Daughter” adapted from Elena Ferrante’s novel, she plays the younger version of Olivia Colman’s middle-aged language professor who is on a working holiday in Greece. Matching Coleman’s haunting performance must not have been easy but she carries it off with aplomb.
Ruth Negga has already one Oscar nomination under her belt for Best Actress in “Loving”. In “Passing”, actress Rebecca Hall’s directorial debut based on based on the 1929 novel of the same name by Nella Larsen, she plays an African-American woman of light-skin color who can pass for white. Although the movie’s central character is her friend, the slightly darker-skinned Reenie (played beautifully by Tessa Thompson) it is Negga’s character Clare, who lives as a white woman with a white husband, that is central to the plot and Negga lights up every scene she is in with a mixture of vivacity and sadness.