Given how unsparingly unlikable protagonist Mavis Gary seemed on the page, we weren't surprised when Charlize Theron failed to get much awards attention for her turn in Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody's "Young Adult." But that doesn't take away from the quality of the performance, one that stands with, and arguably even surpasses, her Oscar-winning turn in "Monster." Theron embraces the unsympathetic quality of the character, but crucially, manages to make her a figure of pity, and even empathy, rather than, well, a monster. Furthermore, she also got to be funny, something that (her guest spot on "Arrested Development" aside) she's rarely been allowed to do on screen (unless you count "Aeon Flux" as a comedy). Even though she was left without an Oscar nod this year, we can only hope that she'll end up with more opportunities to display her funny bone in the near future.
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