Tuesday, January 20

Favorite Performances of 2014

This year movies had some brilliant performances done by very talented actors. There are even some actors who are beginning a resurgence in their career, or are finally starting to get noticed for their work, or further proves their abilities as actors. This list is not comprehensive, as I have yet to see a lot more movies released nor there are specific rankings, but here are my favorite performances from the pool of movies I've seen for 2014.

When Michael Fassbender’s asset is hidden behind a mask, the movie becomes reliant on his bodily expressions and comedic timing to make Frank a quirky hit. He does a tremendous job with his character that I still can’t believe that he was the man under the mask. 

Rosamund Pike brings in the cool girl factor in her chilling performance as Amy Elliot Dunne in this year’s Gone Girl. She really played the character so well that it’s hard to imagine anyone else playing the character. It wasn’t difficult to be engrossed with her performance - amazing stuff from an actress that should have had big recognition a long time ago. 

Another kick-ass lady who triumphs the screen this year is Emily Blunt’s Angel of Verdun in the still underrated Edge of Tomorrow. While she already had a bit of prior experience, it was in this movie that Blunt proves that she can most definitely move from genre to genre and excel in all of them. She, like some actresses mentioned in this list deserves her big break. 

Julianne Moore is getting noticed for her performance in Still Alice, but this performance of hers was overlooked. Moore plays an aging actress who gets a chance to play a role that her deceased mother has played before. It doesn’t matter that the film was horrible, but it was a role her mother was famous for, and she is an actress who has been living on her mother’s shadow. She was fantastic in the role - it was a performance of hers I haven’t seen before, like she has unleashed a crazy side of hers on screen. 

Jenny Slate is a comedian who had a stint at SNL, but the only work of hers I’ve seen (besides this, that is) is her guest stint in NBC’s Parks and Recreation, where she played the sister of Jean Ralphio. It seemed like she was born to play the role. She did it in a captivating manner that the movie wouldn’t have clicked if another person would have played her role.

Despite the movie being the tear-jerker that it is (and basically launched Ansel Elgort), the actress who stole every scene she was in was Laura Dern. She might have played a minor role, but damn if you’re not caught watching her turmoil as she played the mother to Hazel’s recovering teen. Watching her daughter’s life shift from happiness to despair must have been devastating, and you can see those emotional shifts from her performance. 

Ralph Fiennes is one of the best things in Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. He has a knack for dark comedy roles, and he nailed this one perfectly. He seemed to have an easier time settling to the role, and had fun with it.

16 comments:

  1. Agree with Pike (aren't we all), Fassbender (he can play anything) and Dern (such a wonderful mother)!

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  2. Great list! Every pick is a favorite of mine, especially Dern in Fault in Our Stars. Her small part in the Amsterdam trip is so endearing when she gives Hazel her dress and heartbreaking towards during the buffet lunch. She is amazing in Wild too, if you have a chance to check it out. :)

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    1. I haven't seen Wild yet (have a lot of catching up to do), but she was really great in TFIOS. She really stole her scenes, that I would go watch the movie in her point of view.

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  3. Nice picks! Fassbender was great in Frank, but the movie as a whole didn't work for me. It sucked, because I was really looking forward to it. I really want to see Maps to the Stars and Still Alice.

    Rosamund though, she gave the best performance of the year. :)

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    1. Moore was great in both movies, but I liked her performance in Maps more. Rosamund Pike was amazing, and I love how this is going to open doors for her to get meatier roles. She's usually playing a love interest (and just that) in her movies, so this was a great opportunity for her.

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  4. SO happy to see Laura Dern's work in The Fault in Our Stars, I loved her! And the father too - some of my favourite scenes were theirs. Like the one in the hospital, when we see them from Hazel's point of view.

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    1. Both she and the father played minor roles, but have managed to perform well with the material they were given!

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  5. Fiennes was such a comedic work of GENIUS! I hate that he was snubbed, especially when his film was so heavily embraced.

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    1. The Best Actor race was tight this year, there could have been other nominees to fill the spots.

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  6. LOVE seeing Rosamund here. Slate and Blunt were also so awesome, really good year for the ladies despite the lack of big variety in films when it comes to roles for women

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    1. Hopefully women get meatier roles this year. These actresses may not be as famous as others, but they are truly talented and if given the right roles, they can really shine.

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  7. Good choices. Rosamund definitely deserves the spot and Fiennes too.

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    1. Thanks! Both actors were impressive in their roles.

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  8. Love this list! I only watched The Grand Budapest Hotel the other day and thought Ralph Fiennes was absolutely brilliant, so glad to see him here too!
    - Allie

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    1. The Grand Budapest is not my favorite Wes Anderson work, but Fiennes nails his role perfectly.

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