Top 10 acting perfomances in the last 20 years
8.61. Daniel Day-Lewis
My Left Foot- Christy Brown ( 1989 )
Incredible performance. One of the best of all time. If you didn't know this was an actual independent movie and had no idea who Daniel Day-Lewis was, you could easily take the scenes he was in, and make the mistake that you were watching a documentary on cerebral palsy.
It's as if Day-Lewis was possessed by the real Christy Brown's soul. Embodying the charatcer is an understatement, as he broke two ribs in attempts to writhe the way someone with the affliction would really move.
For all his research and hard work and a true transformation, it earned Day-Lewis the Best Actor Oscar. Now that is scary good acting.
7.72. Sean Penn
The Assasination Of Richard Nixon- Sam Byck ( 2005 )
Loosely based on a true story, Penn has done many good works, but I truly feel, this little seen film and performance is the best of his career, not the role that won him his first Oscar for Mystic River. This is the film he should have won the Oscar for, but the Clint Eastwood film way way more high profile and seen.
Penn plays the Sam Byck character so convincingly, that about halfway through the film I forgot I was watching Sean Penn the actor but this guy that can't catch a break in life, is slowly losing his mind and is becoming delusional. It's heart breaking and at times uncomfortable performance to watch as you actually do feel sorry for the man because he is not in control of himself. He's truly not a confidant man and lives in a fantasy world of dreams he has but none of these thoughts are innovative or good ideas. People think Sam is pathetic. He doesn't help is cause either.
It's really a sad story because Sam does try and puts effort into trying to improve his life but it's almost like he tries way too hard on half baked ideas, but feels totally misunderstood by most people and it's aggravating to him and Penn sells that aggravation ten fold. It's not a happy ending, or even a happy movie. There is always a feeling of dread looming, but that's because of the way the Penn takes the character from an exuberant man with ideas to a man of failure and the wheels ever so slowly coming off the tracks. You see this and feel it. A must see performance and if you have not seen this film, I highly recommend it.
83. Tom Hanks
Philadelphia- Andy Beckett ( 1993 )
One of the best performances of Hanks. career the was the first of back to back Oscar wins.
Hanks loses a large amount of weight to portray Aids stricken attorney Andy Beckett. The performance is extremely believable,as you feel for Andy more and more as his illness progresses throughout the film, never giving up on his fight against his old company, who fired him because of his illness and not his compotancy at being ab'e to practice law. Kudos also goes to Denzel Washington in the role of Andy's attorney.
8.64. Anthony Hopkins
Silence Of The Lambs- Hannibal Lecter ( 1991 )
In a role where you only see Hopkins as the cannibalistic psychiatrist for a little more than 15 minutes of total screen time, Hopkin's turned Lecter into an iconaclastic movie character. To say Hopkins doesn't steal every scene he is in is an understatment. Halfway through the film you actually forget about Anthony Hopkins " the actor " and just see this insane character in front of you, as if this character was actually real, that's how powerful that performance is.
8.55. Daniel Day Lewis
There Will Be Blood- Daniel Plainview ( 2007 )
Another top notch performance by an actor who is essentially a chameleon. There isn't a role this thespian cannot do. His preperation ( almost a year before filming commences ) is of legendary word of mouth in Hollywood. Speaking of losing an actor in a character, Day-Lewis becomes Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood. Even down to a mid-western accent.
This is a performance they should use on first year actors or any studying acting student.
Not only does Day-Lewis bring an intensity and physicality to the role, it's his moments where no dialogue is spoken that are impressive to me the most. Without speaking a word, you know what Plainview is thinking. You know when the paranoia and illness has kicked in, the audience can see it, but not the other character's in the film. He hides his onsetting insanity by acting normal to collegues but with every gaze or look, sells you really where his mind is at. It should be no surprise that he won the Oscar for this performance. Big ups for the John Huston imitation as well. Spot on.
7.46. Forest Whitaker
The Last King Of Scotland- Idi Amin ( 2006 )
Not only does Whitaker look like Idi Amin, but he also nails the dictator's accent and also his mannerisms.
It is estimated under his regime, that Amin was directly responsible for between 100-500 thousand deaths.
Whitaker's protrayal is flawless and also humanizes the dictator, with a glint of charisma. But at the same time displays to you what a melomaniac and ruthless leader he could be. Simply a top shelf protrayal that won Whitaker a Best Actor Oscar.
8.27. Denzel Washington
Malcom X- Malcom X ( 1995 )
This is just a truly heartfelt performance. You can just tell, that Denzel is not taking a second off in this role. There is a overwhelming seriousness to the performance, which is apt.
There have been many good to great Denzel performances, I just so happen to think this one is his best.
8.48. Edward Norton
American History X- Derrick Vinyard ( 1998 )
This is a very underrated portrayal of a confused kid, that comes to terms with emotional pain and misdirection, to try and turn that negative energy into a positive, and to leave that negative past behind for good.
This is the kind of performance that Norton shocks you with. The searing bigoted hatred is so biting, you dislike the character so much, but can't take your eyes away at the same time. This is because you know this is a person that is not evil, just filled with pain and confusion.
It's a performance that runs the gammut of every human emotion anyone has ever felt. It's no wonder he was nominated for an Oscar for it.
7.79. Philip Seymour Hoffman
Capote- Truman Capote ( 2005 )
This was a coming out, or full realization performance for Hoffman, who up until this point, was a solid character actor who mostly made his living in supporting roles.
But in Capote, he boldly transforms himself into the late eccentic author to outstanding effect.
His winning the Oscar was to no surprise.
6.710. Nick Nolte
Affliction- Wade Whitehouse (1997 )
Many might say that Nolte's best performance is in The Prince Of Tides, which I wouldn't have much of an arguement to that assessment, but I just personally think his role in Affliction is his most " well rounded " performance.
It's a deeply, resonant take on a man with many unresolved issues and feelings he has held within himself for a very long time, and Nolte hits the nail on the head at selling you that.
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