Women of the Year

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Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton)
As the new chief legal counsel of a massive (and massively crooked) corporation, Tilda Swinton’s character struggles to project confidence—and, in the intensity of that struggle, Swinton shows us the panic, the moral vertigo, beneath the mask of crisp efficiency. —Photograph by Katerina Jebb

laura linney (The Savages)
Such an earnest actress Laura Linney usually is. But as a fortyish, unsuccessful playwright in The Savages, she has an adolescent’s giddy sneakiness. She enjoys the lying—it makes her feel on top of her screwed-up life.
—Photograph by Sam Samore

Julie Christie (Away From Her)
There has always been something masklike, something closed off, about Julie Christie’s face, which is what made her beauty so tantalizing. In Away From Her, that face—its structure miraculously intact—contemplates the coming of Alzheimer’s, and the time when her inner world will be a mystery even to herself. —Photograph by Katerina Jebb

carice van houten (Black Book)
In Black Book, Carice van Houten is a young Jewish woman who, after her family is machine-gunned by Nazis, joins the underground and goes undercover to seduce the head Gestapo man. That she falls for him (he’s a nice Nazi) is the stuff of bogus bodice rippers—but nothing in that soft, heart-shaped face on top of that ripely beautiful body feels remotely unnatural. —Photograph by Sam Samore