When it comes to acting, Kristen Stewart is one of the best. In recent years, she has taken on a variety of challenging roles that have demonstrated her versatility as an actress. Her versatility has earned her the distinction of being one of the most intriguing actresses working today.
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This is a fantastic time to revisit some of Stewart’s best performances because of the critical and commercial success of her most recent film, Spencer. Despite the difficulty in deciding, these are Stewart’s ten best performances, which are certain to evolve as she takes on more intriguing roles.
10. Into The Wild
Christopher McCandless (Sean Penn), a young man who decided to leave everything behind and embark on a life-changing journey, is the subject of Sean Penn’s Into the Wild, an adaptation of Jon Krakauer’s novel. Stewart’s Tracy appears in the film as one of the important components and recalls all the encounters McCandless had with others he met along the road. They haven’t seen each other since he left.
Stewart shows that McCandless shares the most in common with her character out of all the people he encounters. Tracy, like McCandless, is searching for her place in the world, and she finds herself drawn to him even though she knows very little about him. Stewart’s depiction of the loneliness felt by those searching for purpose on the road is brought to life in the quiet scenes the two share. The role was one of her earliest appearances and a demonstration of her ability to turn even the tiniest of characters into something unforgettable.
A cinematic adaptation of a novel, Stewart’s Melinda’s story is told in Speak, a film that is both sad and incredibly authentic. As she enters high school, she is unable to communicate because of the trauma she has suffered. Melinda uses her painting as a form of therapy as she moves forward in her life. In a difficult part, Stewart offers sympathy and seriousness to the young character who is simply trying to come to terms with the trauma she has been through. An honest assessment of the lengthy and arduous road to recovery is presented.
With a subtle yet committed effort, Stewart brings the role to life even in situations where she does not speak at all. Even though she was only 13 at the time of filming, she is able to capture all of Melinda’s inner struggle. It’s a heartbreaking portrayal of how little girls are suddenly forced to face the realities of the adult world that has robbed them of their innocence.
Amusement park workers in a 1980s comedy, Adventureland is a film that brilliantly combines its humor and drama. Jesse Eisenberg’s James, a recent college grad who dreams of becoming a journalist, is the focus of the film. In the end, he is forced to take a job at a local amusement park as a lifer. It is in this setting that he first meets Em, a coworker with whom he develops a romantic relationship throughout the film.
There is so much truth in this heartbreaking tale that it resonates well beyond its humorous punchlines. In a world where people are severely defective in navigating their feelings, the story is muddy and all over the place. As a romantic interest, Stewart’s character shines through in the film’s most poignant scenes, bringing an abundance of heart to the character. Having this in mind, the closing scene between James and Em is very heartfelt. The sole reason for this is because of her beautifully depressing performance.
7. Still Alice
For those who have experienced the agonizing pain that comes with seeing a loved one fade away, this is the film for you. Despite this, Alice continues to expose the devastating impact Alzheimer’s disease has on a family as a whole. Languages professor Alice (Julianne Moore) must decide how to spend her remaining time while she is still herself. Her relationship with Stewart’s Lydia, her daughter, plays a significant role in this. In every episode where Lydia witnesses her mother deteriorate, the future she will confront is marked.
As one of the persons still caring for Stewart’s mother, the audience is taken through the pain and dread of seeing a family member disappear. Stewart’s quiet grace strikes to the very core of this impossibly horrible twist of fate.
As Norah, a mechanical engineer who works at a facility that is abruptly devastated by an earthquake, Stewart brings us to the deepest depths of the ocean in his new novel, Underwater. To travel to a neighboring facility, Norah and the rest of the team must trek the ocean floor on foot, with something considerably more deadly lurking in the pitch black night.
Don’t be fooled by this simple premise; films like this still need a good center performance to succeed. We cheer for Norah because of Stewart’s overall ingenuity, which is embodied in the character’s character. She is alone responsible for ensuring that the rest of the crew survives. Stewart, who spends nearly the whole movie as her role, gives the film’s climactic moments an emotional weight that is unexpectedly moving.
5. Happiest Season
Mackenzie Davis portrays Harper in the romantic-comedy Happy Season, which follows Stewart’s Abby as she visits her family for the holidays with Stewart. After learning that her longtime lover hasn’t come out to her family on this trip, Abby plans to propose, but her hopes are dashed. With Stewart’s excellent comic work and a story about conflicted family dynamics, the result is an emotionally rich film.
When Abby’s pain is veiled in increasingly ludicrous antics, the character becomes fully dimensional even when the rest of the plot may not always be. Stewart ensures that Abby’s inner struggle is reflected in every aspect of her performance as she begins to reconsider her relationship and her own role in it. Stewart’s comedic timing is evident throughout the film, yet she manages to balance the humor with a heartfelt understanding.
4. Certain Women
In a single film, Certain Women tells the stories of three women who are just attempting to live their lives in a peaceful, observational way. Stewart’s character, Beth, is a young lawyer who is teaching a legal class in a distant location. Lily Gladstone, who portrays Jamie, a ranch hand who lives on his own and falls infatuated with Beth, is a standout. When Beth abruptly disappears, their relationship is upended.
As a duo, Gladstone’s excitement and Stewart’s tiredness perfectly complement each other, making for a dynamic duo. A tale of two strangers who meet and fall in love, brought to life by two masters of characterization, is the subject of this film. Because the link they formed is so strong, its demise is a great loss.
3. Clouds of Sils Maria
Intricately textured Sils Clouds Stewart succeeds Maria as Valentine, the actress’s personal assistant (Juliette Binoche). When Maria revisits her past and contemplates her future, she and Valentine engage in lengthy chats that reveal their profound connection. All the while, they rehearsed lines from the play in preparation for Maria to assume a new but familiar role. Play and relationship begin to merge in an intriguing investigation of the central characters’ relationship.
Whether or not the characters themselves are actually acting produces a hypnotic effect in the film. Valentine’s frustration with Maria is heightened by the film’s various layers of abstraction. As the film progresses, Stewart’s dramatic weight grows progressively heavier, threatening to crush you. You’ll be crushed when it comes to an end because of the intensity of the emotions that explode out of you.
2. Personal Shopper
This is a ghost story unlike anything you’ve ever seen, taking us along with Stewart’s Maureen as she attempts to reconnect with her gone brother. When Maureen’s husband unexpectedly died, she was left with a hole in her life that she is still attempting to fill. In her employment as a personal shopper, she is constantly changing outfits and identities in an effort to find some sort of purpose.
Using subtle physical cues, Stewart depicts Maureen’s tumultuous journey through dread in one of her most nuanced characters. In order to maintain her equilibrium, she alternates between these outbursts of confidence and more reserved periods. This kaleidoscope of loss culminates in one of the best closing scenes of her whole career, leaving you with a totalizing sense of her isolation.
Spencer is a picture that not only features one of the best Stewart performances of her career, but also one of the greatest demonstrations of acting ever seen. In a similar vein to his 2016 feature Jackie, Pablo Larran’s film takes us into Princess Diana’s life and psyche over the course of three days. She is continually scrutinized and dissected by a royal family, which threatens to wear her down to nothing throughout the course of the film. When it comes to her portrayal of Diana, Stewart goes beyond mere mimicry. She paints a whole picture of the woman she portrays. In the best possible way, it can be overpowering at times. In a three-day span, it takes a long overdue second look at what her way too brief existence was like. In spite of its length, Stewart manages to reveal more about her than any traditional biopic could possibly hope to. Everything she has ever done and will ever achieve is dwarfed by the brilliance of this.
Stewart brings to life all of Diana’s many facets, despite the tabloids and abuse she received throughout her life. Often, these portrayals simplify and gloss over the person’s complexity in favor of more superficial observations that provide easy solutions. Instead of relying on quick fixes, Stewart gives us a fully formed and sympathetic gaze that demands our attention. She doesn’t hide Diana’s hardships and difficulties, but instead demonstrates that they were just a small part of her existence. Even when she is in a state of intense worry, her relationships with her children, Harry and William, are loving and comforting. Through the video, Stewart demonstrates Diana’s love for them and her desire to shield them from the horrors that engulf her. We shall only appreciate the transitory and enigmatic sensation of acting more when it sinks deeper into our collective spirit.