Charles Novia Lists His Best 5 Actresses For 2015

Trust him to always have his list of best actors and
actresses at the end of each year.  Charles says, these are his best 5 actresses
for 2015 and ofcourse he would soon release the list of his best 5 actors in
2015. Enjoy!
In what has now become an annual and personal reward system
for actors of sorts, which I feel is needed for an ingrained development for
Nollywood, my annual list of ‘Best Actresses and Best Actors’ in Nollywood for
the year has been something for me to look forward to compiling as with what
many readers of my critiques also look forward to reading.
In 2013, Mercy Johnson got the top diadem from me and in
2014, Nse Ikpe Etim got the Best Actress award. For the year 2015, I and my
usual team of professional critics sat down once again to draw up a list after
watching a number of films through the year. But something quite interesting
caught my attention this year; the rise of television series on Nigerian
television more than ever in terms of quality and direction. This development
seems to have been triggered off by Africa Magic and its original films and
commissioned fares and other established independent producers caught the bug

Thus, whilst I and my team did a lot of film watching, we
also could not ignore the power of the acting in some television series we
watched and followed and I decided to also add some actresses who did quite
well in such series to my list.
This year, I must give Special Mention to some actresses who
did not make my list in the top five category (and it was difficult making a
final choice for this year, I must admit) but are surely in my top ten list
which unfortunately cannot be expanded as the template is only for five persons
annually. These actresses are  FATHIA
BALOGUN for the movie ‘Torera’ and HILDA DOKUBO for the movie ‘STIGMA’. I
applaud these actors and wish them all the best.
Using the usual templates of Interpretation,
Characterization, Internalization, enunciation and the actor’s visualization of
the role portrayed, the following are my Top Five Actresses for the year 2015….
Sometimes, actors get to a curve in their careers which,
when taken, becomes the catalyst for a resurgence in their artistry. Having
featured in perhaps hundreds of Nollywood movies, most of which might be termed
second-bit in execution which helped in making her a stereotype, Oge found the
right vehicle for the critiquing of her acting prowess in ‘Hotel Majestic’, the
telenovela series on Africa Magic. In her role as a feisty Room Service Worker
in the series, one can tell she energises her character with a passion and with
nuances which are not overtly over the top nor in anyway under-interpreted. She
makes the character both irritating and fascinating at the same time. Whatever
it is she set out to prove in the series, I would say she has considerably
achieved and might go on to achieve more if she is circumspect about taking
another curve which might take her back to the ‘Asaba-esque’style of acting
before now.
In ‘Road to Yesterday’, her debut opus as a Producer,
Genevieve strives to show the world a double intention of talent, one behind
the camera and the usual in front of it. She plays the role of a self-tortured
wife who goes through a distended stream of consciousness as she trudges a
symbolic road to her personal anagnorisis. In her interpretation of the role,
Genevieve gives her panache, which at times borders on wooden reactions to
expressions of emotions which seem restrained rather than reactive. However,
she gets the audience’s empathy in her portrayal which says a lot. There was a
sublimal message in her acting this time; a ‘Bow down , Bitches’ underlying
theme to her challengers and I would think she pulled it off somewhat to make
her statement; that she’s back on the turf.
It was a pleasant surprise to watch ‘WHEN LOVE HAPPENS’a few
months ago and to note that a new stand-out actress had all the points for her
interpretation and almost perfect portrayal of her character. Weruchie Opia,
new to me and to many others on the scene, packs quite a punch and her
portrayal of the character Mo Bankole-Smith was well-executed and I could see
that she gave credible attention to the ‘Whys, Wherefores, Whats and When’of
her character in every scene. The movie is a romantic comedy and with Weruchie,
there was no overt attempt to be over-the-top in exaggerations as directed or
subtlety as required. This young lady is one to watch out for in Nollywood, if
she’s going to be staple in the industry and not only would I make her my
Number 3, I would also endorse her as the ‘Best New Actress’for the year,
notwithstanding if she might have done any other movie before this. Such was
the breath of Fresh Air she brought to the scene.
Perhaps in 2015, more than ever in her career thus far, Ivie
proved to everyone that she packs more than a punch. Her role as a beguiled
Room Service worker in ‘Hotel Majestic’ is one which she obviously gives her
all and takes the viewers into the psyche of her character. The viewers feel
her pains, her indecisions, her minute happiness and all what the character has
to show. Ivie dexterously IS that character; a pleasure to watch for the
critics and one who is undoubtedly the backbone of the series. I predicted a
few years ago after she won the AMBO reality talent hunt that she would go far
in the industry. It ‘hasn’t taken her that long to cover a huge distance.

Stephanie Linus would be my choice for the Number One spot
in 2015. Her portrayal of Dr Zara in her self-directed movie ‘Dry’, had some
flashes of brilliance and intensity which showed a brilliance in interpretation
and internalization. Perhaps, the poignant theme of the movie, which borders on
the stigma of VVF in the underaged females in Northern Nigeria added to the
sympathy value for her character but that she was able to pull it off
convincingly in my opinion speaks volumes about her attention to the
intricacies required from the character. Stephanie perhaps merged her cause as
an actress and director into the passion of the character and successfully
blotted blurred lines about her artistry in the movie. What finally won it for
me was the long scene where she gave a monologue in front of a large crowd at
the National Assembly. She was sterling in that scene, a culmination of her
character build-up and a great crescendo. Having been off the scene for a
while, her comeback is deservedly a delight and it is likely she will get more
laurels for this movie in 2016.

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