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2. Judy Davis, "Husbands and Wives" (1992)
Australian actress Judy Davis won the lion’s share of critics’ awards, and scooped her second Oscar nomination, for her knife-edge performance as a sorely spurned spouse in Allen’s wincingly frank marital drama, but one person wasn’t impressed by her work: Davis herself. “It’s a great film, except for the bits I was in,” she told The Guardian earlier this year. “You don’t want to see the acting. And I thought I could.” With due respect to a great actress, I think she’s wrong: her Sally is an open wound of a woman, processing her feelings about her recent divorce in full view of her audience, one moment performing her bitterness for jaggedly funny effect, the next involuntarily paralyzed by pain. I’m not surprised Davis finds it a hard performance to watch, but that was surely the point.
- Guy Lodge