January 29, 2013

MOVIES: Best of 2012 - Actor

The runners-up:
  • Shlomo Bar-Aba, Footnote
  • Richard Gere, Arbitrage
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
  • Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
  • Denzel Washington, Flight
The nominees:
  • Jack Black, Bernie -- A deft, light performance of immense charm. Given Black's usual heavy obviousness, it's a revelation, like watching an actor we've never seen before.
  • John Hawkes, The Sessions -- Entirely robbed of physicality and largely robbed of vocal range and flexibility, Hawkes still manages to make you laugh and break your heart, often in the same instant.
  • Jean-Louis Trintignant, Amour -- Trintignant and Riva are doing a gloriously precise duet here, but I think it's Trintignant's scenes with Isabelle Huppert that I'll remember, as he explores the place where lack of sentiment becomes cruelty.
  • Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained -- No one delivers Tarantino's dialogue as well as Waltz, and the casual arrogance with which he treats Django -- the willingness to use slavery to his advantage, the throwing away of all that's been gained over a foolish point of honor -- is one of the movie's subtlest depictions of racism.
And the winner:
  • Anders Danielsen Lie, Oslo, August 31st -- There are so many emotions boiling below Lie's apparent numbness -- the pride of having gotten through rehab, the constant fear of relapsing into addiction, the desperate need to find a way to fit into the world, the suspicion that he doesn't deserve to find one  -- and he communicates all of them with remarkable stillness and subtlety.

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