'Fighter' femmes share category with other noms

Amy Adams
“The Fighter”

Facing off against Micky’s mother and his ferociously trashy sisters, Charlene proves undaunted in confronting a family raised in the boxing milieu. She insults their risible coiffures, defies them when they call her a “skank” and sets them off like a pack of wild dogs. Though outnumbered, she’s not afraid to enter a fray, responding to their bitch-slaps with solid punches. Adams makes it clear Charlene’s love for Micky fuels her righteous fury.

Helena Bonham Carter
“The King’s Speech”

Elizabeth, who has suffered with her husband through humiliating public appearances and ignominious therapy sessions, takes matters into her own hands and visits speech therapist Lionel Logue. She is bemused by his eccentricities, is coy about revealing her royal lineage and quickly understands that it just might take this sort of character to rescue her husband from his crippling speech anxieties.

Melissa Leo
“The Fighter”

Alice makes a grand entrance, swanning into the gym where Micky trains with his brother Dicky, usurping even Dicky’s thunderous bravado before a documentary crew filming his antics. Far too elegantly dressed for her surroundings, pretending to be to the manner born, she quickly makes the moment all about herself, even offering to re-enter the premises so the camera crew can capture her arrival in all its low-rent splendor.

Hailee Steinfeld
“True Grit”

Steinfeld deftly and wryly illustrates just how formidable and headstrong a young woman Mattie can be in a series of negotiations with Col. Stonehill over payment for her late father’s horses. Her vexing logic overwhelms Stonehill’s simplistic math. Eventually, she gets her way, and when she tells a stableboy to thank Stonehill for her, the boy replies, “He said he don’t never want to hear your name again!”

Jacki Weaver
“Animal Kingdom”

In scenes chilling for Weaver’s matter-of-factness, Janine instructs her lawyer and blackmails a cop into conspiring to have her grandson Josh eliminated as a potential state’s witness against her sons. “Whatever happens,” she says with a shrug that seethes with virulent malevolence, encased as it is in a veneer of innocence, maternal affection and “I’m-just-a-helpless-old-woman” disingenuousness.

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