Margot Robbie’s performance in “The Wolf of Wall Street” is a microcosm of her whole career. Her forthcoming film, “Barbie,” should be far more odd, challenging, and clever than everyone expects. Until we can see it, here are her top ten films, rated.
10. Peter Rabbit 2
“Peter Rabbit 2” is Will Gluck’s madcap follow-up to his more ambitiously modest 2016 work. In addition to its internet-friendly viral humor and good message, it asks difficult questions. Live-action and voice actors have as much fun as possible; especially David Oyelowo, Tim Minchin, and Margot Robbie.
9. About Time
“About Time” is a significant entry in Robbie’s filmography since it is one of the few in which she appears in a more traditional role. Charlotte’s role is as stereotypical as Robbie’s has ever been. There are no dialects, and the stakes are low.
Hollywood has a long tradition of actors portraying real-life A-listers. Sometimes it pays off, like Rami Malek’s portrayal of Freddie Mercury. Jamie Foxx won an Oscar for his portrayal of Ray Charles. Oliver Stone’s “W,” in which the gap between fact and fiction feels like the Grand Canyon. The Oscar-winning makeup that changes each actor is incredible. The daring, breathlessly subdued performances are equally so.
“Dreamland” is a fusion of Australian brilliance with old Americana. Miles Joris-Peyrafitte injects youthful excitement into every frame, whether it’s via Margot Robbie’s live-wire performance as a bank robber on the run or his Malick-like amazement of sun-scorched landscapes. It’s one of a handful of films I wish I’d seen on the biggest screen possible during quarantine.
6. The Suicide Squad
Despite its ultra-violence and glibly vulgar comedy, “The Suicide Squad” is something of a warm blanket towards the end of the picture. Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn exhibits shades of emotional growth through a terrifying sequence of sweet nothings. Robbie, who has been portraying Harley for six years, is discovering new layers to the role.
5. I, Tonya
“I, Tonya” is as serious as the sport itself. It keeps its own wounds hidden until they rupture, ooze, and come to the surface. The film establishes Margot Robbie as a once-in-a-generation star. This is Robbie’s greatest work as a performer.
4. The Big Short
Margot Robbie’s appearance in “The Big Short” encapsulates the film’s allure. Adam McKay’s 2015 account of the 2008 financial collapse is almost as unpredictable as modern finance. The frantic pacing is a feature, not a flaw, and contributes to its status as a great period piece.
3. Birds Of Prey
“Birds of Prey” is equal parts vicious beatdowns and frenetic humor. Jurnee Smollett-Ball is the only one who is smashing it. It’s also Margot Robbie’s strongest performance as Harley Quinn. Without Robbie’s performance and outstanding stunt work, none of this would be possible.
2. Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood…” allows Quentin Tarantino to rewrite Hollywood history. Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Sharon Tate allows us to see her as an actress, not a doppelganger. Tarantino and Robbie deserve credit for how nicely those unimportant sequences grow with repeated viewings.
1. The Wolf of Wall Street
Margot Robbie is the film’s unsung hero for this reason. Before “The Wolf of Wall Street,” Robbie was virtually unknown in the U.S. Robbie’s exaggerated physique and hilarious timing were both discoveries. In a film starring the world’s most famous actor, Robbie steals the spotlight.