Still Alice is Julianne Moore’s movie, and she makes a typically outsized impression as a linguistics professor suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s. But Stewart offers stalwart support as her actor daughter, never upstaging her co-star but smartly and affectingly channelling a sense of incipient grief and suffocating worry into stage performances of Chekhov and Tony Kushner plays. Stewart is so regularly great opposite powerhouse character actors – Juliette Binoche in Clouds of Sils Maria, Timothy Spall and Sally Hawkins in Spencer – and she’s a great foil for Moore here.
What we said: ‘Kristen Stewart continues to defy expectations.’
Kristen Stewart started her association with edgy filmmakers as a 12-year-old in David Fincher’s Panic Room, but it was her role as wan YA icon Bella Swan that sent her stratospheric, earning her a place in a billion teenage hearts and a standing invitation to the MTV Movie Awards.
Those fans have grown up now – and so has she. Her post-2012 IMDb credits now embroidered with captivating character work and daring choices. Not everything she’s touched has turned to gold: Attempts to reforge her as a blockbuster leading lady came to naught with the leaden Snow White and the Huntsman, while efforts to turn her into an Ellen Ripley-like action woman yielded Underwater, a subsea sci-fi that was about as fresh as a six-month-old kipper.
But those are the exceptions in a career that has hit major heights when she’s tackled strong women who seem to echo back her own smarts and complexities. She takes her craft incredibly seriously and has cashed those Twilight chips wisely, collaborating with singular filmmakers like Olivier Assayas, Kelly Reichardt and now with Princess Di psychodrama Spencer, Pablo Larraín. There’s not many actors who’d have an army of Twilight fans queuing to see the latest David Cronenberg picture – Robert Pattinson, notably, is another – and that’s just more thing we love about her. Here are some others.