As the Oscars approach, awards chatter is coming to a close. We’ve seen mostly the same people win acting awards this whole season, but I think it’s time to give recognition to some performances which have fallen by the wayside at the expense of the favorites.
Just like with my Best Supporting Actress picks, none of these actors were nominated for Academy awards. My picks were some of the most underlooked, and frankly, most moving performances all year.
5. Zack Gottsagen, The Peanut Butter Falcon – There’s something very special about this performance. Bringing representation into a film is always important, and it’s even better when the person who is cast absolutely owns the role. It would be an absolute honor to be invited to his birthday party.
4. Sterling K. Brown, Waves – Much like Taylor Russell, Sterling K. Brown is at the heart of this movie. He plays the tough guy dad who obviously loves his children more than anything. For all of the moments with a tough exterior, it’s his emotional side that shines through.
3. Kang-ho Song, Parasite – Out of the overall stellar cast, Kang-ho Song is the standout. He brings a new layer to the story that wouldn’t be there without the realizations that he comes to throughout the movie. His humor, drama, and tension are what hold the movie together and make it as incredible as it is.
2. Shia LaBeouf, Honey Boy – I wrote about this already, but there is something so special about what Shia is doing in this movie. He is working through his own personal problems while playing the source of many of those problems and giving a great performance while he does it. And it is just astonishing.
1. Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse – This wasn’t a particularly meaningful performance the way that the others on this list are, but it is just such a performance. Dafoe totally goes for it in this movie. He swings for the fences and completely owns the movie and then some. He disappears into the role in such a unique manner that you can’t help but to be blown away (pun intended).
Honorable Mention – Winston Duke (Us)