I would have normally seen many more movies by this point in the year, but life got in the way, so I’d like to see everyone else’s favorites. Don’t worry about categories, just straight-up perfs.
Ledger in Dark Knight and Hawkins in Happy-Go-Lucky are the best that I’ve been able to see so far.
They’ll likely be overlooked during awards season, swept away by Rourke and Streep and Penn and WInslet, but Melissa Leo in Frozen River and Ben Kingsley in Elegy affected me deeply.
(Confused enough to speak up: When the thread asks for my “favorites,” and I get thumbed-down for providing them, does that mean I don’t know myself as well as I thought? That some anonymous critic is better-suited to decide my likes and dislikes? I swear these thumbs – and the attitudes behind them – will drive me away yet.)
Jow do you even begin to choose among Eastwood in Gran Torino, Sean Penn in Milk and Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler? A standout year for male leads.
Rourke certainly killed it. And over the last few years I’ve grown to become a completist fan of Philip Seymour Hoffman. He has a lot going with Doubt, Synechdoche and voicing Max’s character in the Sundance openere Mary and Max. I wish the best for this guy.
Definitely at the top is the combo of Anne Hathaway and Rosemarie DeWitt in Rachel Getting Married. Also, Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder and Samantha Morton in Synecdoche NY. And of course Penn and Ledger. Can’t get around it.
Speaking only about the films I’ve seen so far, Michelle Williams is near-perfect in Wendy and Lucy and Sean Penn turns the best performance in an already great career as Harvey Milk. Sally Hawkins was wonderful too. As far as supporting roles go, all of the Ledger praise is not unfounded and Penelope Cruz continued her excellence in Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
Rebecca Hall is just as good in Vicky Cristina, and while I can never get enough Cruz (she lit my world on fire after Volver), I wish the equally capable Hall was getting some attention as well.