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Rachel Weisz’s 10 Best Movie and TV Show Performances


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Rachel Weisz has been a working actress for 30 years, and yet one of her best performances was in 2023. Although she’s never been an A-lister, she’s always been attracted to interesting, tough roles, where her characters will do anything if they believe it is the right thing to do. Playing those kinds of roles, the actress’ career has been as eclectic as they come, using the old “one for them, one for me” that has allowed her to both play a character in Constantine and win an Academy Award for her incredible performance in the indie film The Constant Gardener.

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That contrast has followed her for most of her career and continues to do so, as she’s both been part of the MCU, and a repeat worker with Yorgos Lanthimos. After Dead Ringers, we can’t wait to see what she does next. For now, here are Weisz’s 10 best movie and TV show performances, ranked.

10 About a Boy (2002)

About a Boy was adapted from the Nick Hornby novel and is all about Will (Hugh Grant), a playboy who loves to say that he lives on an island of his own. Everything changes when he starts a friendship with Marcus (Nicholas Hoult), a boy who needs some help of his own.

An Endearing Romantic Performance

Although she doesn’t appear until the second part of the film and plays the romantic interest, the actress can create an interesting character for which both Will and the audience fall easily, and that has a big part in the change the protagonist feels, where he doesn’t want to be “an island” anymore.

Stream on Apple TV

9 The Brothers Bloom (2008)

Stephen (Mark Ruffalo) and Bloom (Adrien Brody) are the Brothers Bloom, and they con everyone and everything to gain money for themselves. They want to do one last job, coning an eccentric heiress named Penelope (Weisz).

A Rare, Comedic Role

Weisz’s Penelope has a quirky personality, many hobbies, and a unique comedic point of view on the world, and the actress sells all those qualities perfectly, while also having a flowing chemistry with Brody. This movie proved that Weisz is more than able to play comedy, and should do it more often, as her deadpan delivery and unique skills receive some of the biggest laughs in the whole movie. The actress even learned to play some instruments for the part.

Stream on Prime Video

8 The Mummy (1999)

The Mummy is an adventure film where Rick O’Connell (Brendan Fraser) and Evelyn “Evie” Carnahan must stop an ancient resurrected Egyptian priest from destroying the world. As they try to do so, Rick and Evie start to fall in love.

Why The Mummy Has a Great Weisz’ Performance

It’s one of the best mummy films ever, and was Weisz’s breakout role, as her Evie is a brave, quirky, curious librarian who is fascinated by Ancient Egypt and who, as the movie continues along, is also proven to be resourceful, and almost an action hero. It was a great first big role for Weisz, and she hit it out of the park, as the character and her chemistry with Fraser were so great, that they built a sequel around it.

Stream on Hulu

7 The Whistleblower (2010)

The Whistleblower

The Whistleblower

Release Date
September 13, 2010

Director
Larysa Kondracki

Runtime
112

Based on the real-life story of Kathryn Bolkovac (Weisz), The Whistleblower shares a horrific story where Bolkovac, working in post-war Bosnia, discovers a human trafficking ring, and is fired for her efforts to uncover such an evil organization.

An Action-Packed Biopic

Weisz is always great at playing fierce, morally good characters who are trying to make the world a better place for those who have it worse, so the character of Bolkovac fits like a glove. The actress does justice to the real person, creating someone who doesn’t care about what happens to her, as long as she can help those in need, and she shows that energy and determination in every frame of this movie.

Stream on Prime Video

6 Page Eight (2011)

In Page Eight, Johnny Worricker (Bill Nighy) has been an MI5 agent for many years, who becomes friends with his neighbor, Nancy (Weisz), a political activist who had a brother killed by the Israeli military. When his best friend dies before being able to make public a series of documents, Worricker doesn’t know who to trust. It turns out, Nancy might be his best ally.

A Great Supporting Character

Weisz is great as Nancy, the woman that makes Worricker get back to doing the right thing, and stop playing the spy game as others want him to do. Her character is charming, smart, and fiery, and it makes perfect sense that Worricker, and she would become friends, creating the perfect supporting character for this film.

Not available for streaming.

5 The Constant Gardener (2005)

The Constant Gardener tells the story of a soft-spoken, timid British diplomat stationed in Kenya named Justin Quayle (Ralph Fiennes). When his wife (Weisz) is killed, he’ll do anything to discover what happened, even if it’s uncovering a case of corporate greed.

An Academy Award-Winning Performance

Even though we only meet Weisz’s character through flashbacks, the actress is able to imbue it with such passion, morals to do the correct thing, and fierceness that the audience understands perfectly why Quayle was in love with her, and why he’ll do anything in his power to prove what she uncovered. The actress created such a great character in such a short time on screen that she even won her only Academy Award for this performance.

Rent on Apple TV

4 The Lobster (2015)

the lobster

the lobster

Release Date
October 15, 2015

Director
Yorgos Lanthimos

Runtime
118

The Lobster is a unique film where single people must find a romantic partner, or they’ll be transformed into animals and sent into the woods. This surreal plot gives space for some great comedic beats, and unique romantic stories, especially between David (Colin Farrell) and the Short-Sighted Woman (Weisz).

An Odd Character in a Satirical World

The film is still one of the best English-language debuts by an international director, thanks in part to Weisz’s performance. She’s awkward, singular, charming, and curious, as the character is the straight woman in this satirical world, and makes you root for both her and David. She also performs a great voiceover narration, where she explains vividly why she enjoys eating rabbits. Weisz and director Lanthimos enjoyed working together so much that she repeated it in The Favourite.

Stream on Max

3 Disobedience (2018)

Disobedience is all about the relationship between Esti (Rachel McAdams) and Roni (Weisz), two women in an Orthodox Jewish community in London, who rekindle a friendship when Roni comes back to the community after her father dies.

A Passionate and Conflicted Character

This is one of Sebastián Lelio’s best films, and that’s in large part because of the actress’ performances. Weisz plays Roni with such passion, love, and anger, that she creates a unique, messy, and conflicted character that has much more inside than what she tries to show on the outside. Yet it’s that love and passion her character has for Esti that’s more important to her, and it changes how she acts, and what she cares about.

Stream on Starz

2 The Favourite (2018)

Read Our Review

The Favourite tells the story of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) and the two women, Sarah (Weisz) and Abigail (Emma Stone), who are fighting to be her favorite, and as such, try to gain as much power over her decisions as possible.

Another Academy Award Nomination

All three actresses in this film were incredible, and all three received Academy Award nominations (Colman won). Weisz’s character is both ambitious, yet really cares about the Queen; she’s both sympathetic and ruthless to Abigail, and the actress sells every one of those emotions. Writer Tony McNamara and director Yorgos Lanthimos have a very concrete tone and humor, and Weisz fits in perfectly, as if she was born to play those words and roles.

Rent on Apple TV

1 Dead Ringers (2023)

Dead Ringers prime video poster

Dead Ringers

Release Date
April 21, 2023

Creator
Alice Birch

Seasons
1

Read Our ReviewDead Ringers is a reimagination of the David Cronenberg film, that tells the story of twin sisters, Beverly and Elliot (both played by Weisz), as two very successful obstetricians who want to open their own medical practice.

Perfect Dual Performances, and the Best of Her Career

Weisz is incredible playing the twins, as she’s able to differentiate them with every gesture, look, and word (they even smile differently). Sometimes, they impersonate each other, and even then, you can see that it is Elliot trying to be Beverly and vice versa, and that’s all Weisz. She was also a producer on the project, and she created such an incredible challenge for herself that she passed the test with flying colors, proving how good, precise, smart, and unique an actress she is.

Stream on Prime Video

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