Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Top Ten Performers of 2010 (So Far)

For most of the year, it felt as if I've slacked off watching movies*, but at this point last year I saw 23 films, and guess how many I've seen this year so far? Yup, 23. Granted, a bulk of that is due to summer movie season and all the earlier movies now being available on Netflix, but at least compared to last year I'm on par.

With that said, at around the same time last year, I listed down the Top Ten Performers of the Year So Far, so why not do the same for the performances I've seen so far this year?

1. Olivia Williams as Ruth Lang
(The Ghost Writer) - It's an almost thankless role especially with the camera focused on McGregor or the hammy Brosnan, but Williams makes it work and is definitely the best part of the film as the great woman behind the great man. Her scenes with McGregor are especially wonderful.

2. The entire cast of Inception - This is a bit of a cop-out I know, but at this point in time I honestly can't pick a best-in-show from that great ensemble. DiCaprio held the movie together well, Cotillard and her convincing performance gave the movie its heart, Gordon-Levitt's straight man routine to Hardy's sly coolness made a great combination, and on and on and on.

3. Tahar Rahim as Malik El Djebena
(Un Prophet) - It's a testament to Rahim that this 2.5-hour epic film about prison life didn't feel at all long. His transformation from petty criminal to something bigger was a joy to watch.

4. Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie (The Runaways) - Maybe for the first minute I thought "oh wow that's Dakota Fanning!" After that, I completely forgot who she was and got sucked into the character she was playing. I actually don't know much about Currie, but Fanning sold me her version of Currie 100%.

5. Kieran Culkin as Wallace Wells (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) - As Wallace, Culkin portrays one of the more fascinating and wonderful gay characters of our time. He handles it all with aplomb whether he's making out with some guy or knocking some sense into his best friend.

6. Leonardo DiCaprio as Teddy Daniels (Shutter Island) - Already appearing twice on this list, DiCaprio has done phenomenal work this year. The paranoia, intensity, sadness, and all of the other emotions he was called upon to portray in this film were pitch perfect. Loved the ambiguous delivery of his final line!

7. Sharlto Copley as Captain H.M. Murdock (The A-Team) - In only his second acting role, Copley once again steals the show. He is most definitely the most engaging character in the film and the movie lags noticeably when he's not on screen saying or doing something crazy.

8 & 9. Annette Bening
and Julianne Moore as Nic & Jules (The Kids Are All Right) - Individually they work, but together they have a chemistry that feels quite sincere and grounded. Whether it's Jules' freewheeling personality or Nic's more subdued hardline personality, they played off each other (and the rest of the talented ensemble) very well.

10. Johnny Simmons as Ryan Brewer (The Greatest) - It's a testament to his skills as an actor that not only does he hold his own against the likes of Sarandon, Brosnan, and Mulligan, but he actually delivered a more poignant performance as the grieving brother still living under the shadows of his dead older brother.

Honorable Mentions: Tina Fey and Steve Carrell in Date Night, Amanda Seyfried in Chloe, Angelina Jolie in Salt, Julia Roberts and Anne Hathaway in Valentine's Day, and Chloe Moretz in Kick-Ass.

*I watch tons of movies, but these movies in particular are those that theatrically came out in 2010.


  1. I agree with everything but Dakota Fanning. She never really convinced me.

  2. The Greatest was fair...not great, maybe not good but fair and I was impressed by Johnson. It was the first thing I saw him in and then Kick Ass and Nowhere Boy - what a year.


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