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Of course, with the Academy nominations come and gone, it may seem kind of pointless to hype an un-nominated performance. But given the nods to Naomi Watts and Benicio del Toro for their work in 21 Grams, I just wanted to mention my favorite performance in the film which I was surprised to see absent from the various year-end lists. I’m not talking about Melissa Leo, who has her supporters, but rather Charlotte Gainsbourg. Playing Penn’s wife — a Brit transplanted to Memphis who just wants a second chance at a child with Penn — Gainsbourg, in a quiet, unshowy performance, found the emotional truth within Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s melodrama. The daughter of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, Gainsbourg is a major star in Europe, but let’s hope we see her in more Stateside productions.

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