It’s day 2 of my look back at what I think are the best performances of the past movie year. In keeping with the upcoming Oscars I have adopted their format and for the next several days I’ll be sharing my favorite performances for each of the four acting categories. Next up is Supporting Actor. It too is a category featuring many fabulous performances to consider. But of them all here are my five favorites:
#5 – Robert Pattinson (“The Lost City of Z”)
For my money Robert Pattinson has emerged as one of the most exciting young actors in the business. In “The Lost City of Z” he is a bit underutilized but he’s a great compliment to Charlie Hunnam’s character and is superb each time he’s on screen. It may not be the big showy type of performance that often gets this kind of attention, but it’s well worth its place on this list.
#4 – Mark Rylance (“Dunkirk”)
Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” may not be a film focused on character but that doesn’t mean it has none. The always wonderful Mark Rylance certainly delivered a good one. His depiction of a father, patriotic towards his country and deeply bruised from the war’s effects, is so authentic both physically and emotionally. He’s a great cog in Nolan’s action-packed telling.
#3 – Ethan Hawke (“Maudie”)
I think it’s easy for Ethan Hawke’s performance in “Maudie” to be overlooked especially since the movie itself has been. That’s unfortunate because Hawke (like the film) is fabulous. Playing alongside Sally Hawkins, the two make a fascinating couple. And while Hawkins is the star, Hawke’s role and performance is pivotal. I loved it.
#2 – Idris Elba (“Molly’s Game”)
Navigating Aaron Sorkin’s dense, fast-paced dialogue can’t be an easy task, but the writer struck gold with Idris Elba. Elba’s performance is sharp, charming, witty and intense – all qualities his role demands. And his chemistry with Jessica Chastain is undeniable and emphasizes how supporting work can sometimes make or break a movie.
#1 – “Rob Morgan (“Mudbound”)
In a film filled with good performances none struck me quite like Rob Morgan’s. He’s probably best known for his roles in several Netflix series, but he clearly deserves more attention. In “Mudbound” I found his performance full of conviction, empathy and compassion. He was my favorite character in the film and I found an emotional connection with him that has stuck with me. Give Rob Morgan and “Mudbound” a look.
And there you have my picks for Supporting Actor. What did I hit and what did I miss. Please share your thoughts in the comments. Next up, the Lead categories.