Juliette Lewis is the secret sauce of film and TV. Drop her in things as disparate as the 2005 indie “Aurora Borealis” (where she impeccably delivers the greatest Thanksgiving plans ever filmed) or the star-studded misfire “August: Osage County,” and Lewis elevates the proceedings. She’s stylized without seeming affected, a live wire of a performer whose expressive face can fold a glare in on itself until it’s heartbroken. And 2022 saw her finally receiving her due. As usual with year-end content, spoilers abound.
“Yellowjackets,” it turns out, was just the amuse-bouche. On Showtime’s cannibals and camaraderie thriller, Lewis plays the adult Natalie with all the punk-rock energy she brought to her band, Juliette and the Licks. Never mind that she’s years older than her castmates; who else could play a woman who drives straight from rehab to a bar, who forges a bizarre friendship with Christina Ricci’s sociopathic Misty, who is equal parts angry and devastated at the discovery of a friend’s ostensible suicide? And who then breaks our hearts with her own desolation in the final moments of the season before a deus ex machina prevents her from pulling the trigger?