Thursday, December 31, 2009

LiE Awards 2009: The Performances

I have to admit as performances go I am sad to say I've yet to see several heavy contenders here so when it comes to oscar time you may find my predictions a bit different from what you see here. Though as MadHatter says at some point you have to draw the line on 2009, and what better day to do it than today right? As far as the films go in 2009, I have to say few performances really stood out for me, especially not among the leads, but there were quite a few I have to say absolutely rocked me. As a note for this one, since there's so much here I'll keep what I say about each to a minimum. So, enough intro, let's move on to the winners!

Best Supporting Actress:
3. Anna Kendrick - Up in the Air. Perhaps it's because I never saw this performance coming, perhaps it is because she is asked to stand against a godlike series of veterans and go toe to toe, but I was absolutely blown away by everything Kendrick did in Up in the Air. Perfectly capturing those little subtleties.

2. Miranda Richardson - The Young Victoria.
Forced to play a mother so distant and controlling of her own child, Richardson perfectly nailed the role. It's strong, deep, emotional, and all, a definite must see.

1. Mo'Nique - Precious. Coming in to this year I could have written an essay on all the things I didn't like about Mo'Nique, and the roles she portrayed. Going into Precious I was dead set on adding another notch, but she blew me away. It's powerful, engrossing, the perfect image of her character, one so dark, I can only imagine it coming from the deepest of the acting core.

Honorable Mentions:
Paula Patton (Precious)
Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air)

Best Supporting Actor:
3. Alfred Molina - An Education. While much of the world will be watching Peter Skarsgaard in the 2009 hit An Education, I found myself absorbed in the controlling, and yet oddly sympathetic, father portrayed by Alfred Molina in An Education. There's no breakout scene, no powerhouse punch, but my does he capture the role.

2. Jackie Earle Haley - Watchmen. If I was to count my biggest upsets of the decade, Haley in Little Children losing to Alan Arkin for Little Miss Sunshine (yeah, heck with Eddie Murphey, I said it!). Here Haley recaptures that magic with a performance that absolutely scared the hell out of me. Painfully dark, fully absorbed, I'm convinced nobody in the world could play Rorschach as well as Haley did.

1. Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds. I wish I could go unconventional with this, but alas no matter how hard I try to find a way around it, Waltz dominated the supporting acting competitors this year. An inspired performance, riddled with all the depth you could ever imagine, Waltz is so far ahead of the game here, it's almost a crime.

Honorable Mentions:
Billy Crudup (Watchmen)
Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker)

Best Actress in a Leading Role
3. Gabby Sidibe - Precious.
While Mo'Nique has gained the looks from everyone else, I have to say Sidibe's performance in Precious was one of the most uniquely emotional portrayals I've seen all year. Not only does she have to master the landmine of such a painful character, she has to escape it through Lee Daniels directing, and handles it all perfectly, especially for a newcomer!

2. Melanie Laurent - Inglourious Basterds. While the rest of you can debate if this is really a supporting or leading role, no performance shocked me more than Laurent's. Having deal with constant moments of extreme tension, anxiety, and loss, Laurent dominated the screen, matching Waltz scene for scene.

1. Carey Mulligan - An Education. Mulligan in An Education is a role I find it difficult to nail down. It's not that there's any real breakout scene for her, but rather that everything she does is just so perfectly in tune with her character it becomes hard to separate the two. Filled with such perfect subtle emotional grabs I could do nothing but be captivated by her every move.

Honorable Mentions:
Meryl Streep (Julia and Julia)
Emily Blunt (The Young Victoria)

Best Actor in a Leading Role

3. George Clooney - Up in the Air. Let's be honest in this decade few actors have stood out as much as Clooney, and it's because nobody plays his character quite like him. Here Clooney combines all the best traits of all his best characters to create a character so out of touch, and yet oddly pleasant (despite being a bit of an ass), that it's hard to not fall in love with everything he does.

2. Tom Hardy - Bronson. Seriously where is the buzz for this performance? Is it because everyone else did something so mainstream that we can't get anything for Hardy? This performance was a masterpiece in the making, a must see for the year, come on boards, open your eyes!

1. Sam Rockwell - Moon.
If you've followed my blog in even the least bit over the last two months, then this pick shouldn't surprise you at all. I fell absolutely head over heels for this film, and I can't wait to watch it again in 12 days time (dvd release). Rockwell is a one-man show (*cough*) here, carrying the film through such a wide array of emotions and character traits, it's one of those performances I could envision myself watching over and over again.

Honorable Mentions:
Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker)
Joseph Gordon Levitt ((500) Days of Summer)
Sharlto Copley (District 9)

4 better thoughts:

John Gilpatrick said...

I completely agree with your top performances in each category. I wish Rockwell had gotten some recognition. I loved Moon as well and his performance was incredible. I hoped at least some critics awards might have acknowledged it. Oh well.

DEZMOND said...

I must admit, Tom Hardy would be the only one from your lists receiving an award from me, but I like the passion you've shown writing these posts.

PS are there any gift-bags for the presenters of your awards? I'll put on my tuxedo and show up at the red carpet if you bribe me with a gift-bag :)

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Why does no one like Kruger? Nice. So strange to see Miranda there, though I do love her. I'm surprised you were a fan of Streep in Julie & Julia. Don't know what to make of that :)

MovieNut14 said...

Here's something in reference to your Best Actor pick:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/petition/957845687

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