Martin Scorsese’s most recent gangster film, 2006’s The Departed is an all-star showcase for a plethora of A-list actors—Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, and Martin Sheen are all in leading roles, more or less. Still, Vera Farmiga also gets plenty to do here, earning herself the top billing of all the female characters in the film.
A gut-wrenching portrait of the Holocaust through the lens of two young boys, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas attempts to tackle the worst genocide in recorded history by showing what the world looked like at the time for a couple of eight-year-olds separated by a fence. Farmiga plays the mother of a young German boy, a role that remains one of her most acclaimed.
Speaking of acclaimed, Jason Reitman’s 2009 feature Up in the Air earned Farmiga her first and only Oscar nomination. The film portrays the life of a businessman who practically lives out of his suitcase (played by Clooney), with plenty of scenes showcasing the great chemistry between Farmiga and her fellow lead.
The horror movie that inspired a whole slew of spinoffs and sequels, The Conjuring sees Vera Farmiga playing one half of the real life pair of paranormal investigators. Farmiga has reprised the role multiple times since this first instance, but nothing beats her debut as Lorraine Warren in 2013.
The aforementioned debut feature from Debra Granik, Down to the Bone is inspired by a short film that Granik worked on a few years prior. It comes from a true story, unfortunately: Farmiga plays a mother of two with a drug addiction as she fights to overcome the one thing that keeps her from being the person she knows she can be.