It doesn’t really matter if Viola Davis is one of the leads in a movie or is just one of the supporting characters that isn’t seen all that often, if she’s in a production you will know about it. Her forceful personality isn’t a detractor but instead seeks to bolster and strengthen just about anything she’s in since she’s that good and she’s that attentive to the other cast members and the current situation she’s in. Whether she’s a different person off screen or not doesn’t really seem to matter since on screen she’s nothing less than impressive given the fact that she can take control of a scene and make it work in a number of ways that make her a truly amazing talent. The movies she’s been best in are usually those that feature her as a rather important figure and grant her character the chance to have some authority over at least an aspect of the story.
Here are her five best movies.
5. Law Abiding Citizen
It’s not entirely wise to see how far one person will go to get justice, especially if that one person happens to have worked with the CIA as what’s been described as a ‘brain’. This is the type of person that can figure out how to kill someone without even being in the same vicinity, let alone the same room. Clyde isn’t just smart in this movie, he’s absolutely vengeful and isn’t going to stop until he pulls the entire system down, or gets them to notice what he’s done. The funny thing about this movie however is that when stuff starts going downhill the responsibility for the fallout rolls downhill pretty quickly.
Despite the maddening ending that Kate Arthur of Buzzfeed mentions this movie was actually pretty good despite not getting so many big reviews. But it does ask the question that’s been posed by many movies throughout history, and that’s how far a parent would go to find their children. We definitely get to see a dark side to that question in this movie since some parents, driven to desperation and wanting answers as to why their children were taken, will resort to their more base instincts and simply pummel the people they believe are responsible until they get the answers they want. Barring that, it would seem that things could get even darker.
As A.A. Dowd of AV Club says this is indeed a heist gone wrong, but in so many ways it was wrong to begin with since Harry was simply trying to buy a new life and leave his widow, Veronica, to pick up the pieces and somehow move on. When Veronica gets it in her head to complete the job that her husband started however things go from bad to worse in a very big way as she enlists the widows of the others in Harry’s gang that were ostensibly left without husband’s because of Harry’s actions. You can easily see how Veronica would be a bit peeved to learn that her husband was still alive and still running a scam even as he tried to make a new life without her.
When a person fails to live the life they wanted and has to end up taking care of a life they didn’t expect it can create a lot of bitterness and resentment that tends to pour out at the worst moments. Troy was something of a destructive force in the lives of those he cared about and wasn’t the nicest guy, but Rose did the best she could until she couldn’t live with him any longer. Being asked to raise the daughter of another woman that her husband had cheated on her with couldn’t have been easy, but she did it anyway and finally kicked him out of her life. Some people are simply too bitter and too difficult to live with till death do us part, even if deep down they mean well.
1. The Help
There’s been a lot of talk about who was really featured as the star in this movie and Yohana Desta of Vanity Fair has certainly been at the forefront of telling people just what Viola Davis thought about this movie. If you really want the truth there was a lot more focus on the white characters, but the thrust of the movie was that the maids finally spoke up and spoke out to let their story be heard. It was unfortunately glossed over by the fact that a white woman was writing the story, but without the maids it would have been something of an empty shell since quite honestly a lot of us can easily believe how nasty and petty some of the women back in this era were. The maids’ stories managed to round it out and give a great deal of substance to the movie.
She’s a great actress without a doubt.