Favorite performance in a Film


#1

With the untimely passing of the great Michael Parks, I think now we be a good time to talk about some performances in movies that have blown us away.

The one that comes to mind for me is Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Capote. I’m still not sure how he pulled it off. It feels like he changed his internal wiring for the part.
What are some of yours?


#2

Sam Rockwell in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind will always be at or near the top for me.


#3

Might be cliché, but

Daniel Day-Lewis was transcendent in There Will Be Blood


#4

I love Oscar Isaac as Llewyn Davis so much. He’s perfect for that role, like he’s so beaten down, and he’s a difficult sort of character, but I think it’s so easy to identify with him


#5

I’m going to give another cookie to Sam Rockwell, this time for Moon and how much legwork he does in selling that movie. Man, I love Moon.


#6

Colin Farrell, In Bruges. Such a fantastic movie and performance, and the only performance of his that rivals it was his small role in Saving Mr. Banks.

Also in honor of Michael Parks, he was amazing in Red State which is a movie on Netflix everyone should check out. His monologue towards the middle is perfection.


#7

The only right answer is David Thewlis in Naked, don’t @ me.


#8

i’m always bad at answering questions like this one because acting is usually low on the list of things i care about in movies, let alone individual performances

but there’s always the easy and undeniable fallback of Isabelle Adjani in Possession

oh, and Brad Dourif in Wise Blood, the movie itself is a bit tonally weird at parts but he’s never less than perfect as Hazel Motes, it suits his incredible weird intensity so well


#9

Very cliche answer but…


#11

Damn that’s a big question…

Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird is always waaaay up there for me.

Alicia Vikander is fantastic in The Danish Girl. I really like that performance a lot.


#12

I don’t think this is my favorite of all time, but I just watched Gifted, and Mckenna Grace gave such a credible, endearing performance. It was so good that I’m slightly worried for her. Child actors having the track record they do, I hope she has the right people looking out for her interests.

… not unlike the plot of that movie…

(It was a nice little flick. Recommended if you enjoy actors acting good and Chris Evans being handsome.)


#13

A couple of my favourites have been picked already, Rockwell, Adjani, Seymour-Hoffman so I’m gonna go with my favourite film, so Song Kang-Ho in Memories of Murder

As with a lot of South Korean cinema, it doesn’t rest on one tone, so Kang-Ho gets to do: arogant doofus, cocky idiot, put upon worker, ignorant lover, drunk fool, concerned detective, and so on, and so on. It’s a really standout performance, from South Korea’s most recognisable actor.

I’ll back that up with a twofer of Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain in Take Shelter, which is not only an amazing film, but they bounce of each other so well. It’s also has one particular scene with Shannon in that breaks my heart every time.


#14

Take Shelter is an excellent film. Each time I watch it, I have a slightly different view of the ending. Shannon is a powerhouse, too. The man deserves an Oscar lead win for that performance.


#15

Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland
A TV mention would be Vincent Kartheiser as Pete Campbell in Mad Men


#16

I’m always shocked when people don’t mention him on their top 10 actors list. He’s so soulful and moving. Plus, he can play damn near anything. The scene where his older brother comes to visit him is one my hands down favorite scenes ever. The way that the entire dynamics shift for the one scene is just beautiful. For 3 minutes the towering Michael Shannon is a little kid too nervous to challenge his older brother. It’s just so damn good.


#18

there’s something about Orson Welles in the Third Man that has stuck in my mind and refused to let go.


#19

Gonna let Mikey Neumann do the talking here, because he is Good At Words and we are all blessed by his existence:


#20

Oscar-worthy eyebrow emoting. (I was really excited to see this one mentioned!)


#21

Quvenzhané Wallis in Beast of the Southern Wild is probably one of the best performances I’ve ever seen, and she was only around 8-9 at the time of filming? The whole movie is stellar, and it’s one of my favorite films, but it wouldn’t be nearly as good without Wallis’ performance.


#22

Tricky question! Lot of good ones already mentioned but a favorite that sticks out for me is Greta Gerwig in Frances Ha. She just makes that dialogue pop and imbues Frances such a vivacious feel.