Something we noticed this year was, as we've seen in many years past, the male performances of note greatly outnumbered the female. Best Actor and Supporting Actor are stacked races, while Actress and Supporting Actress are relatively lean. That being said, we had no problem coming up with way more than ten women that gave tremendous performances this year.
Below are the ten best female performances of the year, which along with our earlier list of the best male performances of the year basically makes up our 20 best performances of 2013 overall. We'll be very curious to see your favorite turns by an actress in the comments afterwards, but for now, let's get the show on the road!
10- Tabu in David
If there’s anyone who stole the thunder in a small role, it was Tabu as Frenny. She was such a catch that you wouldn’t mind if the romance angle went out of the window and just had to see David and Frenny hanging out.
9- Katrina Kaif in Dhoom 3
Katrina Kaif was beautiful in every frame. She was perfect with her acts and the dance. Sadly, her role wasn’t written with more meat or emotion. But she did justice to her role.
8- Richa Chadda in Fukrey
Richa Chadha was at the zenith of her impressionable work in Fukrey. As the bubbly and boisterous Bholi Punjaban, she was near perfect. Richa Chadda was a show stealer.
7- Deepika Padukone in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
Deepika Padukone gave a heart melting performance in this flick. Transcending drastically from a nerd to a beauty, her wonderful smile and compelling performance aided the story! She impeccably brought on screen the insecurities of her character, carefully nurturing every detailed shade of what Naina entailed.
6- Deepika Padukone in Chennai Express
Deepika essayed her role with immense confidence and delight almost to make everyone reminiscent of her last screen outing with Shahrukh Khan. She did not bend under pressure of an obviously magnanimous co-actor rather carved for herself a delightful and entertaining space to compliment Shahrukh Khan. With a perfect diction and correct comic timing, she gave a delicious crackling feat to savor as Meenamma!
5 (A)- Sonam Kapoor in Raanjhanaa
Sonam Kapoor gave her career best performance in Raanjhanaa. She played Zoya with a mystified energy, never fell into the trap of stereotypes. She delivered a rock-steady star turn, moving from innocence to cynicism, and from demure to worldly wise in a smooth arc. She did not miss a trick in conveying the emotional ups and downs of a small-town girl who grew out of her moorings over a period of nearly a decade.
5 (B): Konkona Sen Sharma in Ek Thi Daayan
Konkona Sen Sharma was dynamic and epic in the movie. That woman’s versatility glitters a little more with every film she does. Effortlessly top notch, one cannot expect anything less from this fabulous actress. Always a treat to watch her on screen!
4- Anushka Sharma in Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola
Anushka has emerged one of the finest actresses of her generation. Her character was truly complex: She was confident and mischievous, yet vulnerable and naïve. Her smoldering looks coupled with a nuanced performance won her praise. Her styling too caught everyone's eye. She aced it with her tipsy act in the climax.
3- Nimrat Kaur in The Lunchbox
Nimrat Kaur was startlingly natural in the movie. She was a magnificent actress who understood every shade of her character, performing it with startling beauty. She did not miss a beat as the forlorn housewife Ila trying to impress her husband. She ably competed with Irrfan Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the acting department. We are interested to know the path she takes now after giving such a boisterous debut performance.
2- Deepika Padukone in Ram Leela
Deepika Padukone achieved brilliance with her own fiesty and enthusiastic performance in Ram Leela. It is becoming a norm that every time you see Deepika on screen, you feel she has become better than her last stint. She looked breathtaking in most scenes to her credit and more than her fiery nature and robust character, she gave Leela elegance and strength in equal measures. She was flawless as Leela. Deepika brought a sense of security and strength in her portrayal of Leela and left a lasting impression. The chemistry that Deepika shared with Ranveer was one for the ages.
1- Sonakshi Sinha in Lootera
Sonakshi Sinha was the film’s most fascinating performer. Being so used to her playing arm candies to actors in 100 crore ventures, for the first time truly she had the scope to put up a bewitching performance and she didn't disappoint! She looked elegant and did her part with great finesse and delicacy. With her perilous love and vulnerable state strikingly remindsed of Shabana Azmi from Arth, for most of the second part she flawlessly enacted the ailing heroine from Ritwik Ghatak’s Meghe Dhaka Taara. Her stare will stay with you for a long time. With her spirited performance, she indeed was an integral part of the film’s soul.