At the year's half-way point, which accomplishments deserve to be remembered
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Best Actress: Greta Gerwig, "Frances Ha"
The awards buzz for Gerwig started building at Telluride last year, but when distributors IFC Films – not renowned for their interest in Oscar campaigns – announced a springtime release date for Noah Baumbach’s beguilingly sad girl-against-the-world comedy, things went a bit quiet. We can only hope for critics (and Globe voters) to revive her fortunes at year’s end, since Gerwig’s dizzily funny but nuanced turn as a single New York dancer-choreographer scarcely holding her life and dreams together is career-crowning work. Gerwig’s palpable empathy for the character – she wrote her, after all – pushes it past award-worthy performances in “Greenberg” and “Damsels in Distress” in her filmography. She deserves at least as many plaudits as Lena Dunham is receiving for playing Frances’s comparable, but less infectious, small-screen sister.
- Guy Lodge