Friday, 9 January 2009

NWI Awards: Best Actor

And thus we arrive at our final acting category. tenterhooks y'all be on. Look below for the best lead actor performances of 2008...

Best Actor

10) Robert Downey Jr, Iron Man

This movie is a greater mess then people will have you believe, but its anchored by a solid, charismatic performance by Downey Jr. He's clearly on autopilot, but given that Joe public has probably never seen him in anything but Ally McBeal, they see nothing but awesome.

9) Josh Brolin, W.

No Country for Old Men's forgotten lading man Brolin, puts in the performance of his life in a 7/10 movie. Shit happens. Hopefully he'll go on to greater things, but somehow I doubt, considering how good he is here.

8) Sam Rockwell, Choke

No-one on this earth was more perfectly cast as a sex addict who might be the messiah. Rockwell is slowly becoming the forgotten great of this generation, and he does nothing to hurt that image here.

7) Tommy Lee Jones, In The Valley Of Elah.

Paul Haggis makes painfully overwrought, clunky and cliched films. Sadly what keeps him in business is the great performances he also seems to get. Jones is fantastic in what otherwise is a heavy-handed in your face war is bad film.

6) Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Savages

Few actors could make Hoffman's self-involved charactet likeable, yet for all his flaws he becomes somewhat the voice of reason, and it took an actor of Hoffman's quality to get him there.

5) Richard Jenkins, The Visitor

In a category filled with such grandiosity and explosiveness, its nice to give something to a more subtle less trailer friendly performance. Jenkins is terrific in this film, and deserves every accolade that comes his way.

4) Ethan Hawke, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

Of the two leads in Before the Devil Knows you're dead, Hawke has the weaker role, but its still a fantastic performance and a great study in nervousness, and we don't get enough of those.

3) Brendan Gleeson, In Bruges

On paper Gleeson's role is the less appetising one, but this nomination comes for his scene with Ralph Fiennes at the end of the film. People who've seen it will know exactly what I'm talking about, because it really is that good.

2) Philip Seymour Hoffman, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

He'll probably be remembered for his Oscar-winning Capote role, but this is Hoffman's best performance to date. He is simply spell-binding in this character that steadily becomes more of a monster.

1) Daniel Day-Lewis, There will Be Blood

I can't do it justice with adjectives and compliments, so just go see the movie and marvel at one of the best performances you'll ever see.

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