Every December the New York Times Magazine reflects on the year that was with the release of its “Hollywood Issue“, featuring insightful commentary on notable films as well as the addition of video galleries recently for the online version. The 2011 issue showcased a terrific gallery called Touch of Evil, which gathered 13 of the best actors and actresses of the year and re-cast them in brief shorts as famous movie villains. It was an inspired move, and the magazine attempts to repeat it this time around with Wide-Awake. The 2012 issue commendably celebrates the wealth of strong female roles on the big screen last year — critic A.O. Scott writes in more detail here — and the accompanying video gallery of dreams and transformations features 13 actresses whose performances defined the year in film. Once again impeccably shot by Ross Richardson, the diverse group of talented women being celebrated here range from the youngest Academy Award-nominated female, Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild), to the oldest, Emmanuelle Riva (Amour), along with expected appearances from Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables; The Dark Knight Rises), Rebel Wilson (Pitch Perfect), Kerry Washington (Django Unchained), Keira Knightley (Anna Karenina), Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook; The Hunger Games), Marion Cotillard (Rust and Bone), and Amy Adams (The Master). The shorts themselves may not be quite as memorable as the previous year’s, but they are impressive nonetheless and serve as a great reminder of the breadth of inspiring heroines that dominated our cinemas throughout 2012.
Watch the Wide-Awake shorts below, and be sure to seek out each of these wonderful performances.