If there's a single thing in Avatar that everyone can agree on, it's the fantastic motion-capture performance from actress Zoe Saldana (as Neytiri). Virtually unrecognizable in her Na'vi alien body, Saldana inhabits the role in a way that we really haven;t seen since Andy Serkis broke new ground by playing Gollum in Lord of the Rings. It's one of the best female performances of the year, providing heart and soul to a massive, FX-heavy film, but likely to be overlooked come awards season.
Sci-fi is rarely considered an actor's medium, and Saldana is almost invisible under millions of dollars of CG-rendering, but she's not letting it get her down. She told the Boston Herald, "I wish there were more genres in which women can have more opportunities to be presented as what we are - complex creatures. We also have journeys. We can be the heroes and we can save everything. We can also be vulnerable and we can be saved as well - all in one person."
Saldana is having a great year in science-fiction, joining the cast of Star Trek as Uhura before gaining attention with her role in Avatar. Does she worry about being typecast? "I wouldn't mind actually. Look what it did to Sigourney's career."