With 'Venus in Fur' on the way, which actors have excelled under his direction?
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6. Olivia Williams, "The Ghost Writer"
Honors: National Society of Film Critics Award (Best Supporting Actress), London Critics' Circle Award (Best British Supporting Actress)
Olivia Williams is incapable of being uninteresting to watch on screen, even when called upon to do very little indeed. When called upon to do rather a lot, as she does here as the embittered, crisply manipulative wife of Britain's Prime Minister in Polanski's elegant political thriller, she's riveting, the flinty intelligence and volatile sexual charge in her cut-glass propriety coming fully to bloom. (Would that she were really married to David Cameron; she'd eat him alive.) It's a performance of dry wit and savage grace; I wonder if Robin Wright saw it before taking on "House of Cards."