10 Best of Christmas: Best Actors of 2018!

Most years are filled to the brim with actors that seem like they are trying super duper hard to get an Oscar. Which is often quite fine and Christian Bale is certainly doing so in ‘Vice’, but most performances this year were subtly brilliant transformations. These actors truly became their characters and in turn delivered performances that served the great films they were in. Here are the best performances by actors in this year’s motion pictures. 

 

10. John David Washington – BlacKkKlansman

Filling the shoes of Ron Stallworth was always going to be a handful (some in the black community see him as a hero and others still as a traitor siding with the police force that’s oppressing their people), but he makes the role all his own. His charisma and passion for the mission carry you through the darkness. It’s because of this that audiences returned in droves and this movie became a box office success.

9. Ethan Hawke – First Reformed

Hawke truly gives the best performance of his career in this film, playing a priest with a crisis of conscious. The path he takes is both alarming and oddly eye opening when thinking about what leads to extremism in the world today.

8. John Krasinski – A Quiet Place

If you are one of the people that missed this movie because you don’t like horror, I beg you to reconsider. This film is a cross between Spielberg and Hitchcock, and Krasinski is the emotional anchor that you can’t take your eyes off. You won’t forget this film and you won’t forget this performance.

7. Michael B. Jordan – Black Panther & Creed II

It is truly a testament to Jordan’s skill that I absolutely wanted his ass dead in ‘Panther’, but also completely felt for him throughout. His character is a brilliant expression of African American oppression leading to violence and his performance in ‘Creed II’ shows you the flip side of that coin. Is there anything this guy can’t do?

6. Josh Brolin – Avengers: Infinity War

This is a performance that is being completely forgotten by the mainstream press, but that is a true shame. Brolin is electric as the villainous Thanos. He owns every scene he is in and manages to make a man trying to sip out half the galaxy both menacing and vulnerable. This is truly one of the great villains of all time.

5. Ryan Gosling – First Man

Neil Armstrong was a notoriously quiet man and that’s makes it very difficult to dig into him psychologically. Yet, Gosling manages to do this as much with what he doesn’t say as what he does. You will truly be moved by his performance in the final act.

4. Mahershala Ali – Green Book

It was a nice change of pace to see the black man as the intellectual teaching the white man some class. And Ali plays it with the perfect balance of professionalism and fear. He really goes through the ropes as a black man in the south during the civil rights movement, but never does he let his dignity be torn from him. It’s a beautiful performance and his chemistry with Mortensen is fantastic.

3. Christian Bale – Vice

This is the one classic Oscar performance of the bunch, but who cares when it is this good. While I may have some reservations about how on the nose the dialogue was in this movie, Bale’s performance was spot on. He completely becomes Cheney and captures the essence of the man in a way that was truly insightful.

2. Viggo Mortensen – Green Book

This performance is so subtly brilliant that you don’t even realize how good it is until it comes creeping up on you at the end. This man is a prejudice tough guy from Brooklyn, a slob, and completely without class. Yet, by the end of the film he has evolved and formed a bond with a gay black man in the 1960’s. Mortensen gets all the nuance of this character and fleshes him out with ease. You will laugh your ass off and be moved to tears by this performance.

1. Bradley Cooper – A Star is Born

I knew this was the performance of the year in the first several minutes of watching it. Cooper so subtly and accurately mimics the mannerism of Sam Elliott that you feel he was raised by him. And that’s because his character was raised by him and the familial bond feels all the more true because of this transformation. Yet, he also has to pull off a man who is consistently a drunk mess, but is also charming and someone you can fall in love with as Ally (Lady Gaga) does. Then there’s the chemistry he has with Gaga. It’s just so electric that it blows my mind to imagine that she was a second choice. This performance is the most fully fledged embodiment of a character I saw all year and Bradley Cooper deserves all the praise in the world!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nathan Ligon

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