The exception is Amy Ryan. She has made a number of smart choices, but the game-changer was going for broke on Ben Affleck's compelling 2007 directorial debut, "Gone Baby Gone." (That's her in a scene from that movie, left, between the kneeling Ed Harris and the sitting John Aston.) As Dottie, a substance-abusing, neglectful single mother from the rough Boston neighborhood of Dorchester, she embraces her character's abrasiveness. She quietly crackles when Dottie tells a righteous female sleuth that even in high school Dottie knew she was stuck-up. The performance won her a nomination for the best supporting actor Academy Award.