This Decade’s 5 Worst Actresses in Otherwise Good Movies
Most of the actresses on this list (with one obvious exception) have an eclectic canon and a couple of Oscar-worthy performances under their belt. But not every film is right for every actress. Now and then it gets proven that an actress doesn’t have the range of Meryl Streep, and their inadequacy gets distributed for all the world to see. Here is the list of the last decade’s worst cringe-worthy performances by female leads in the past ten years.
5. Tea Leoni in Spanglish
When you get outshone by Adam Sandler in a dramatic performance, something is amiss. Leoni never transcends her mousy facade to supply any subtext to a one-note character in the 2004 flick.
4. Kirsten Dust in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
In a movie that still resonates with sentimental hipsters six years after its release, Dunst was severely overshadowed, and justly so, by the performances of costars Kate Winslet, Jim Carrey, and Elijah Wood. Playing a party girl with a smug and bratty disposition simply proved gratingly unbelievable.
3. Pamela Anderson in Borat
We all know that some of it was staged now, but in 2006 when this film was released, there was a lot of head-scratching as to how many liberties had been taken with Sasha Baron Cohen’s “caught off-guard” technique. So, when Anderson arrived on screen we knew it was a set-up from the get-go, and therefore was the least satisfying scene in the otherwise squirmy, laugh-out-loud masterpiece. We’ll cut her some slack because she’s not a thespian per se (Barb Wire anyone?). Otherwise she’d surely be at the top.
2. Anne Hathaway in Brokeback Mountain
Oh sweet heavens, how she tried. And she would get her redemption a couple years later with the effective Rachel Getting Married. But until then she was the weak link in a blonde wig in this acclaimed 2005 drama. Hathaway tried to bury her precocious self in a thick southern accent and cowboy boots, but just came off schticky and laughable. Four leads, three Oscar nominations. Guess who was overlooked?
1. Jennifer Hudson in Sex and the City
An above average take on a small screen dramedy with stakes, humor, teardrops… and a new assistant for Carrie Bradshaw. Her part was already unnecessarily stitched into the tight ensemble, and perhaps she was aware of that. And also too aware of the camera. It felt at times like she would turn to the camera and perform an awkward monologue. Stiff, unbelievable, and irritating.