Jessica Chastain burst onto the movie scene back in 2011, appearing in a number of hit movies that completely transformed her career. Today, she’s a megastar having picked up multiple Oscar nominations as well as playing a huge role in a Marvel movie.
She’s got a showreel like few others in the industry, and that’s only going to get better over the coming years. She’s set to appear in a number of movies this year, including The 355 which was released in January and included an all-star cast of Penelope Cruz, Diane Kruger and Fan Bingbing.
But what is the best Jessica Chastain movie of her career so far? We run down our top five…
Zero Dark Thirty
Released in 2012, Chastain earned a Best Actress nomination at the Academy Awards in which she played Maya, a CIA analyst tracking the movements of Osama bin Laden in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington DC.
The movie leads up to the moment he’s discovered in a compound in Pakistan and received rave reviews, and in fact was Metacritic’s best reviewed film of the year. Other reviews claimed it “blew Argo out of the water”, an Oscar winning movie in itself, with Chastain’s performance at the heart of much of that praise.
Molly’s Game should have led to another Academy Award nomination for Chastain, but she was rather surprisingly overlooked for this movie that tells an interesting tale about gambling. Based on the memoir of Molly Bloom, it was released in 2017 during the real explosion of sites like Casino777, meaning people flocked to the cinema to enjoy it.
However, this movie doesn’t tell that tale, we’re sure the rise to prominence of online casino games and the billion dollar industry it is will come at a later date. Instead, this tells the intriguing story of Bloom’s high stakes illegal poker games that saw many of Hollywood’s elite sat around a table playing cards, and the major downfall that occurred upon receiving attention from the FBI.
The movie was Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut, having also written the movie too and Chastain certainly did him justice in this one.
The Help earned her first Academy Award nomination in 2011’s The Help in the Best Supporting category for her role as an affluent woman in the south. The movie itself was a huge hit and a powerful movie that explored the treatment of African-American housekeepers before the civil rights movement.
The movies earned multiple award nominations, while Chastain herself lost out on the Oscar to her co-star Octavia Spencer, while Viola Davis was also nominated for Best Actress.
A Most Violent Year
Chastain put in a really gritty performance and was nominated for a Golden Globe for A Most Violent Year, a film that explored New York City in 1981, which was considered the most crime ridden year in the Big Apple’s history.
The actress played the wife of a man whose trucks keep getting hijacked and it follows the increasing pressure for his drivers to carry arms. It didn’t prove to be a box office hit but did receive a lot of praise from critics and it’s certainly up there with Chastain’s finest movies to date.
Released in 2015, Chastain joined an all-star cast with Matt Damon taking the lead role, in a movie he was nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars, alongside six other nominations at the awards.
Playing the commander of the mission, Chastain plays a vital part in the plot of the movie, leaving Damon alone on Mars due to the belief she believes he’s been killed. However, that isn’t the case and the film develops into a touching and emotional movie about one man’s struggle to survive alone on the planet.