Alright, you knuckleheads. Enough of making fun of Kristen Stewart because you have watched that one vampire movie when you were a teenager. Shut up and scroll down. This woman here is one of the finer actresses of our generation.
Directed by Pablo Larraín, this film deals with the world that Princess Diana found herself in during her marriage to the English royal family. The movie has already received rave reviews and is being touted as the best performance of Stewart’s career. Stewart completely transforms into Diana, captures her physicality but doesn’t reduce it to an impersonation. It provides us with a long-overdue and comprehensive look at the short life of Princess Diana.
2. Personal Shopper
It’s a ghost story but it’s not horror. It deals with Stewart’s Maureen as she tries to reconnect with her brother after his death. His sudden death has left a void that she can’t seem to fill but tries to regardless. She uses her job as a personal shopper to consistently try on new outfits ton conjure identities and find some meaning to such a loss.
Stewart plays an incredibly complex character and does so with so much honesty that you can’t help but feel her pain as you journey with her in her worst hours.
3. Cafe Society
In the 1930s period film Café Society, Vonnie (Stewart) is caught in a love triangle between Phil (Steve Carrell), her married boss, and his, nephew Bobby (Eisenberg). While the movie failed to impress the critics as such, Stewart was terrific as the conflicted Vonnie. This is also a personal favourite, since prior to this film, I too, just like you thought of her as Bella from Twilight.
4. Clouds of Sils Maria
This film follows Stewart’s Valentine, personal assistant to the actress Maria (Juliette Binoche) as the two reflect on their past and their future through extended conversations about the readings of a play further exploring the connection both of them share.
You will spend half the movie guessing if the characters are just being themselves or if they are just rehearsing the characters from the play they are reading, thus creating a layer of abstraction we don’t see as often anymore. It’s intriguing and will leave feeling mesmerised. And when it’s all said and done, Stewart will have had you crushed beneath the weight of her talent.
5. Certain Women
If you haven’t guessed at this point, Stewart does choose some very unique films. Certain Women is no different. It’s a very simple story that centres around the struggles of its characters. Lily Gladstone plays Jamie, a nearby ranch hand who is drawn to Stewart’s Beth, a young lawyer teaching classes far from where belongs. The two form a relationship that turns upside down when Beth suddenly doesn’t return.
It’s not your typical story. It doesn’t have a happily ever after. But it’s about two people from vastly different backgrounds that form a fleeting relationship, played by two actors at the peak of their abilities.
6. Still Alice
Still Alice is a heart-wrenching story of the devastation Alzheimers can wreak on a family. Julianne Moore plays a linguistics professor, Alice, who has to determine how she wants to spend the remainder of her life after being diagnosed. And a major part of that decision has to do with her connection to her daughter Lydia, expertly played by Stewart.
While she cares for her mother, we also get to see her own fears as Alice begins to deteriorate from a disease that Lydia might also be diagnosed with in the future, given the genetic nature of the ailment. You feel the pain and fear that Lydia feels in every scene she’s in.
Adventureland is a 80s comedy about the workers of an amusement park. It revolves around Jesse Eisenberg’s James, a college graduate hoping to go on a world tour before becoming a journalist like he’s always wanted. Instead, all of it comes crashing when he finds himself taking a dead-end job at a local amusement park. And that is where he meets, Stewart’s Em and the two develop a relationship.
Their story is messy and chaotic and it resonates so much with the hopes and fears of adulthood that the film transcends comedy. And unlike most romcoms, Stewart’s Em is not a one-dimensional character. She brings a lot of heart to the role and delivers a truly pensive performance.
There’s a lot more to Stewart’s filmography than Twilight and it’s time we need to wake up to the genius she is at her craft.