Wherever we turn, accolades pour down for Natalie Portman's performance in 'Black Swan.' In one fell swoop, she wiped away any post-'Professional' discontent and reestablished herself as one of Hollywood's leading actresses. But though her performance is noteworthy, and certainly worthy of an Oscar nomination, it has overshadowed the true gem of 2010 cinema: Jennifer Lawrence's Ree in 'Winter's Bone.'
At the age of 20, Lawrence leaped from supporting player in films like 'The Burning Plain' to breakout star, becoming the second-youngest Best Actress Oscar nominee (after Keisha Castle-Hughes in 'Whale Rider'). But what's remarkable is that it isn't for any leading female character we've seen before. It's not the beauty hidden behind makeup and tasked with being unremarkable, the crazy mind, the shrew or the emotional romance. Ree's strength and talent transcend the bounds of cinema, in a role requiring that Lawrence herself become an unstoppable and dynamic heroine.