10 Best Amanda Seyfried Movies

10 Best Amanda Seyfried Movies

Amanda Seyfried has spent about a decade and a half in film, beginning with her breakout role as one of the eponymous Mean Girls. The widespread success of the comedy did not force her career into any specific direction. Although she does occasionally return to the comedy genre, with films like Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in the West and Ted 2 — she has also found great success in musical film with Les Misérables and the Mamma Mia! franchise. Seyfried has worked with indie darlings like Diablo Cody and Noah Baumbach as well as acclaimed auteurs like David Lynch and Paul Schrader. In her relatively short time in film, she has accumulated a pretty impressive oeuvre. Regardless of what genres interest you particularly — it’s more than likely you will find something worth your time amongst Amanda Seyfried’s body of work.

First Reformed

Paul Schrader’s 2017 film was broadly accepted as a masterpiece as well as a return to form for the director, whose latest films had been generally received as underwhelming in comparison to his most beloved films — like Taxi Driver and Blue Collar. In First Reformed, Seyfried plays Mary, a subtle portrayal with a not-very-subtle name. She exhibits a quiet strength in the face of a world collapsing around her. While her husband and her pastor begin succumbing to existential dread over climate change and humanity’s role in it, she has no choice but to push forward for the sake of the child she is carrying. It is a deeply moving performance in a deeply moving film.

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Twin Peaks

While some might argue that the 2017 entry of the Twin Peaks story was a television show because it was released episodically, its writer/director David Lynch would disagree. He shot and edited it to function as an 18-hour film and as such, it deserves a spot on this list. Though Seyfried — like many of the wide variety of characters that color the world of Twin Peaks — is only featured in a handful of scenes, she gives one of the most memorable performances. She plays Becky Burnett, a young woman in a two-bit town and a toxic marriage — and she is the focal point of one of the most gorgeous and heartbreaking shots of Lynch’s career.

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Mamma Mia!

The film adaptation of the musical Mamma Mia! supplants a Broadway stage with a beautiful Grecian island vista to great effect. It’s a film audiences may find themselves wanting to live in, both because of the gorgeous locale and all of the prominently-featured ABBA music. Seyfried plays Sophie Sheridan, the girl at the center of the film who just wants her father to walk her down the aisle — if only she knew who he was. She hatches a plan to invite her mother Donna (played by Meryl Streep)’s old flings to her wedding, hoping to identify her father among them. It’s a fun and silly feel-good film that Seyfried shines in.

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Mean Girls

Over the last decade and a half, Mean Girls has been quoted without end in the halls of American high schools — and Seyfried plays perhaps the most quotable character. She plays Karen Smith, the dumbest member of the Plastics clique, and as such the bulk of comic relief is thrust upon her. She slips so comfortably into the role that one would probably be surprised to learn it was her first film.

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Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again

Like Vito and Michael Corleone in The Godfather: Part II, Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again follows two parallel storylines. Mother and daughter during a similar watershed moment in their respective lives. Streep and Seyfried reprise their roles as Sophie and Donna in the sequel — with Lily James playing the part of young Donna. Everything good about the first film is featured here as well — another helping of zany fun, a breathtaking island, and more music written by one of the best pop bands of all time.

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In Time

The science fiction film In Time takes the common phrase “time is money” literally. It imagines a world where everyone stops aging after their 25 birthday — but can only continue to live if they have the resources. The wealthy have decades and centuries — the poor live by days or even hours. It is a somewhat thin allegory, sure, but it illustrates succinctly a class-based conception of the world: the haves and the have-nots. Seyfried delivers a great performance as Sylvia Weis, an heiress who finds herself the Bonnie to a desperately poor factory worker’s Clyde when he is given more than a century’s worth of time from a wealthy man who no longer desires to live. With all this and beautiful cinematographic work by Roger Deakins — it is a shame that the film didn’t even earn its budget back at the domestic box office.

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Les Misérables

Les Misérables is a musical film wholly unlike Mamma Mia! It’s conceptually very dark — as the title suggests. It features a muted color palette and takes place over the course of decades in nineteenth-century France. Seyfried portrays Cosette, the daughter of Fantine — a woman of low social standing who sacrifices everything for her daughter until her death. She delivers an emotional, heart-wrenching performance and once again shows off her incredible singing ability.

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While We’re Young

Noah Baumbach’s coming-of-old-age comedy would be incomplete without Seyfried as Darby Massey. She and her husband Jamie — played by Adam Driver — become an object of fascination to a middle-aged academic couple — Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts — who are struggling to cope with getting older. Seyfried performs Darby as very sweet but often overshadowed by her more gregarious and pretentious husband. As the two couples spend more and more time together, interesting wrinkles occur in their relationships. The film is very funny in Baumbach’s particular dry way and a must-see for anyone who is a fan of his or of Seyfried’s.

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Jennifer’s Body

The film Jennifer’s Body is an interesting time capsule — a horror comedy with an unmistakably mid-2000s look. Seyfried plays Anita “Needy” Lesnicky, the nerdy friend of the recently-possessed hot girl, Jennifer Check, played by Megan Fox. The dialogue is sharp, as are Seyfried and Fox’s deliveries. The film underwhelmed at the box office and found mixed reviews from critics — but its talented leads and clever script warrant some reconsideration from audiences.

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Dear John

Nicholas Sparks is a huge name in mass-market literature. With the number of best-sellers he has written, it’s no surprise many of them have been turned into films — especially following the huge success of 2004’s The Notebook. His novel Dear John was adapted into a film in 2010 and starred Seyfried and Channing Tatum as the romance at the center. Like many of Nicholas Sparks’ stories, it is very saccharine, and circumstances outside the control of the characters often work to keep them apart. Seyfried’s performance lends itself to the emotional weight of the film — and once again, she gets to sing a bit.

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