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Ryan Gosling is guilty of giving a great supporting performance in 'Barbie."

I had a hard time coming up with women to put on this list, and sadly, this isn’t the first time I’ve had to deal with this problem. Women consistently get short shrift when it comes to supporting roles, though I hope I’ve done enough to give a sense of balance to this annual feature.

Danielle Brooks

Lots of the cast proved their singing and dancing abilities in The Color Purple, but this Broadway veteran (who was nominated for a Tony for playing the role of Sofia on stage) did more than that. She showed the emotional toll as Sofia is unjustly thrown in prison for seven years and her fearlessness and outspoken nature dims. Not for long, though, as her family pulls her through to an eventual happy ending.

Ruby Cruz

While everyone in Bottoms is playing broadly (to good effect, I need to say), she seems to be acting in a different movie, playing a girl who’s desperate for attention while her mother is going through a post-divorce midlife crisis and bedding one of her classmates. Her character is the moral center of this movie, even though she uses enough C4 explosive to qualify as a domestic terrorist.

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Jodie Foster

Because even those of us who are gay can use a gay best friend like Bonnie Stoll in Nyad, especially if we’re attempting to swim from Cuba to Florida. Annette Bening’s Diana proves to be a trying best friend, but Bonnie sticks with her. Her climactic speech about how the two women are growing old together is a veteran actress near the top of her game.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

He makes all his scenes transfixing in Flora and Son as an L.A.-based music instructor who gives guitar lessons to Eve Hewson’s Dublin single mother via Zoom. Not only does he show her a way to bond with her troublesome young son and possibly forge a career for herself, he’s also transformed by her presence to work through his own creative blockage and write songs for himself as well.

Ryan Gosling

Because he’s just Ken in Barbie, and because he is Kenough.

Josh Hartnett

I’m a Hartnett fan from way back, and even I wouldn’t have predicted he would work so well as a nuclear physics professor in Oppenheimer. In a crowded and frequently excellent cast, he stood out as the department head with the difficult task of wrangling the title character toward the ultimate task of creating the atomic bomb.

Anne Hathaway

She is at her sexiest in Eileen, and it is something to see. You can understand why Thomasin McKenzie’s abused heroine who thinks herself ugly and seldom bothers to attend to her personal hygiene would fall in love when she’s shown the least bit of attention from Hathaway’s prison official who seems to have stepped out of an old Hollywood movie.

Jonathan Majors

The man’s a scumbag — don’t take my word, he said so himself in his text messages — and he’s disgraced the Dallas area, too. Still, he did really well as the villain in Creed III who harbors a legitimate grudge against Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis and cheats in the boxing ring. So I’m swallowing hard and putting him on this list. Might as well, because it will be a while before we see him on the big screen again.

Rachel McAdams

Some of the reviewers noted that the parents were more interesting than the kid in Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. That’s especially true of McAdams, whose trademark intensity brings an interesting undercurrent to this suburban mom who defied her parents to live the life she wanted. How about that scene where she spots the oriole in the snow outside her window and grabs a canvas and brush to capture it?

Holt McCallany

It would have been so easy to make Fritz Von Erich into a whip-cracking domestic tyrant in The Iron Claw, but this veteran character actor (and classic Hey! It’s That Guy! from a whole bunch of things you’ve seen) makes the North Texas wrestling patriarch into somebody you can sympathize with even as his unyielding parenting methods contribute to his sons’ deaths.

Charles Melton

I admired May December more than I liked it, but there’s no denying his brilliance during the scene when his 36-year-old husband and father confronts his wife who seduced him when he was 13. He starts weeping like a little boy, and you come to understand something. He was right when he said his wife didn’t take his childhood away from him. She kept him there.

Da’Vine Joy Randolph and Dominic Sessa

The reason The Holdovers doesn’t become a one-man show is because of the quiet work these two do as a bereaved mother working through her grief while seeing that the school’s Christmas guests are kept fed and the student whose family upheaval has left him stranded at school over the holidays. You can understand why Paul Giamatti’s Mr. Hunham takes a bullet for him in the end.

Honorable mention: Sterling K. Brown, American Fiction; Penélope Cruz, L’immensità; Willem Dafoe, Poor Things; Robert Downey Jr., Oppenheimer; America Ferrera, Barbie; Nicholas Galitzine, Bottoms; Noah Galvin, Theater Camp; Melissa McCarthy, The Little Mermaid.

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