Maribel Verdú in Blancanieves (Best Supporting Actress):
After captivating audiences with her erotic yet deeply sympathetic turn in 2002’s Y Tu Mamá También, Verdú seemed on the precipice of major international stardom. Unfortunately, Verdú’s fame subsidized once the buzz for her mega-popular indie finally faded away. Although Verdú came back into the spotlight briefly with an integral part in Guillermo Del Toro’s Pans Labyrith, she wasn’t the Penelope Cruz or Marion Cotillard of Hollywood that everyone imagined she’d become. It’s a terrible shame since Verdú’s talent shines brightly no matter the role or genre. Especially in the black-and-white silent film Blancanieves, a Spanish retelling of The Brothers Grimm fairytale Snow White, Verdú is a relentless force of nature. As La Madastra (The Evil Queen), Verdú is as sensuous, over-the-top, and nefarious as you’d expect, the difference being that Verdú is fully aware of the campy role she’s given and milks it to the last drop. Verdú is so stellar in Blancanieves as The Evil Queen — leagues beyond Charlize Theron and Julia Roberts — that she makes a sophisticated art out of caricature. I doubt you’ll find a more endearing or entertaining villain all year-long.