Best of 2019 – Supporting Actress


As we look back on the year that was I always enjoy giving time to the performances that shaped the year’s films. Over the next few days I’ll be highlighting my favorite work from the four major acting categories. This year we were blessed with a variety of fine performances, many from unexpected places. So let’s get to it by starting with the Supporting Actress category.

#5 – Zhao Shuzhen (“The Farewell”)


From the very first time I saw the beautiful “The Farewell” I knew that Zhao Shuzhen was going to be on this list. She is the heartwarming center of Lulu Wang’s semi-autobiographical comedy-drama. Her performance is so sweet, emotionally authentic, and full of gentle, infectious humor. I love what she brings to the story.

#4 – Laura Dern (Marriage Story)


Talk about an actress who had a great year on the big screen! She was fantastic in “Little Women” but even better in Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story”. She plays a devious but savvy divorce attorney who you can’t stand yet you can’t help but admire. She’s shrewd, confident, and devilishly entertaining as portrayed by Dern. She’s been sweeping the awards season and Oscar should be next.

#3 – Rebecca Ferguson (“Doctor Sleep”)


Mike Flanagan’s “Doctor Sleep” was one of my biggest surprises of the year. There are several reasons it works so well and Rebecca Ferguson is one of them. Sadly, no one is talking about her performance which I found to be mesmerizing, charismatic, and utterly chilling. She was one of year’s best antagonists and was a real scene-stealer.

#2 – Thomasin McKenzie (“Jojo Rabbit”)


“Jojo Rabbit” is a movie full of rich performances but my favorite may be from Thomasin McKenzie. I can’t think of another young actress who can convey so much through the softest voice and most earnest expression. Much like Scarlett Johansson, McKenzie is an essential ingredient and the film wouldn’t be the same without her tender and heartfelt performance.

#1 – Florence Pugh (“Little Women”)


If you don’t know Florence Pugh by now you must not be paying attention. She is hands-down one of the most exciting and diverse young actresses out there. Her work in “Little Women” is further proof of that. She brings so much fresh life and many new layers to a classic literary character. Full of confidence and feminine grit, this is a truly memorable performance.

So there you have my picks for the best supporting actress. What do you think? Let me know in the comments section below and watch for my supporting actor choices tomorrow.

13 thoughts on “Best of 2019 – Supporting Actress

  1. Good picks . I do think both Thomasin McKenzie and Rebecca Ferguson should have been nominated but once again , for Ferguson it would have been an up hill battle because of the genre bias that still lingers in all nominating systems for genre movies. But McKenzie for JoJo was better than a few of the others that were nominated in my view.

    • Genre bias for sure, especially when it comes to horror. Ferguson was sooo good. I really liked that movie and hate that was essentially looked over, not just for awards but during its release.

      As for McKenzie, she impresses me every single time. Such a great example of how you don’t have to go big to be great in a role. She has such a bright future.

  2. I haven’t seen JOJO RABBIT yet. While I liked Laura’s performance, I prefered Julie Hagerty’s. I know that Shuzhen’s performance isn’t meant to be showy but, even by low-key acting standards, I thought it was merely good. I agree with you on Florence and Rebecca.

  3. I hope that Florence Pugh wins the Oscar for supporting actress! I thought Laura Dern did a good job in Marriage Story, but I would prefer Pugh to win over her.

  4. It was nice to see Amy portrayed as layered and dare I say a little more likable in this most recent Little Women adaptation. 🙂 Florence Pugh did a great job with the role. She deserves all the props! I haven’t seen the Farewell yet, I wouldn’t mind giving it a glance.

    • The Farewell is delightful and it really tugs at your heart. Pugh was exceptional. Unfortunately I don’t really have anything to measure it by because (and I am ashamed to say) I have not seen any of the other movies. But she is such a good, young, powerful actress with a lot of charisma. A lot more people will get to know her in a couple of months when Black Widow comes out.

  5. I’ve only seen 3 of the five nominees of your picks in Laura Dern, Thomasin McKenzie, and Florence Pugh and I can’t think of anything wrong with that. Pugh was great in Little Women as she definitely brought new layers to the character of Amy while retaining that bratty tone of the character early on. I think I would’ve gone with McKenzie. My top 5 so far would be…

    1. Thomasin McKenzie-Jojo Rabbit
    2. Florence Pugh-Little Women
    3. Laura Dern-Marriage Story/Little Women
    4. Margot Robbie-Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
    5. Scarlett Johansson-Avengers: Endgame/Jojo Rabbit

    Honorable mentions: Eliza Scanlen & Meryl Streep-Little Women, Karen Gillan-Avengers: Endgame, Jamie Lee Curtis & Katherine Langford-Knives Out, and Frances Conroy-Joker.

    • Great picks and I absolutely LOVE that you put McKenzie tops. She was so good in Jojo and it’s great hearing someone else recognizing her performance.

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