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.
5. Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood – I’m not of the opinion that this is Leo’s best performance, but that is such a high standard to live up to. But he brings vulnerability and hilarity to this performance, and it’s probably his most fun performance to watch.
4. Dev Patel, Hotel Mumbai – I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it a thousand times. Hotel Mumbai is a great movie, and Dev Patel is the one leading the charge. The performance is important and it’s sure as heck underrated.
3. Joaquin Phoenix, Joker – Yes, this is the consensus best performance of the year. But like I said in my Best Actress post, I appreciate understated performances. Nevertheless, Joaquin is incredible in this movie, as he usually is.
2. Brad Pitt, Ad Astra – The under-the-radar excellent Brad Pitt performance of the year. So much of his acting in this movie is done behind his eyes. He’s usually Brad Pitt, full of swagger, but here he’s bringing raw emotion and meaning to the movie in an important way.
1. Adam Driver, Marriage Story – In my opinion, this is the performance of the year. Adam Driver has been great for years now and this is his pinnacle so far. The ending of this movie will absolutely destroy you emotionally, and that’s all because of his stellar, understated performance.
Honorable Mentions – Shia LaBeouf (The Peanut Butter Falcon), Adam Sandler (Uncut Gems)