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When it comes to dynamic female roles, 2016 was an embarrassment of riches. It was also a wake up call to Hollywood to start writing more of these richly complex women and giving them the opportunity to be front and center. Can 2017 match the heights of last year in this department? We’ll have to wait and see, but for now we can relive the triumphs of 2016 on VOD.
Acclaimed work from Natalie Portman (“Jackie”), Isabelle Huppert (“Elle”) and Annette Bening (“20th Century Women”) are now available on VOD, and each of their films are well worth your time. In “Jackie,” Portman finds a way to top her Oscar-winning work in “Black Swan” by deconstructing everything we’ve come to expect about her skills as an actress. Huppert gives a surprising tour-de-force in “Elle” as a woman who refuses to play victim (unless she’s in control of said victimhood), and Bening is a maternal force of warmth and complexity in “20th Century Women.”
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Indiewire chief film critic Eric Kohn and film editor Kate Erbland discuss these three powerhouse performances in the video above. Make sure to see them all, or watch them again, on VOD this month.