Favourite Performances of 2015

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Dec 292015


2015 has been a year of understated performances, actors not necessarily making huge physical transformations to lose themselves in characters (though there are some, such as Jake Gyllenhaal for Southpaw). As we head into awards season there are not the same group of big, showy performances we usually expect. Some of these performances were recognised at last year’s Oscars (and in the case of Eddie Redmayne, winning), but I witnessed them all for the first time in 2015. Most of these performances have been praised by others than myself throughout the year, but in case we forget about them I wanted to remind you of how great they are. Maybe it will inspire you to catch up with the films if you missed them.

After the jump, find the long-list of my favourite performances of 2015. The actors are listed in rough order of how I experienced their work for the year, with some personal awards at the end: Continue reading »

My Favourite Acting Performances of 2015 [So Far]

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Jul 182015

We are just over half way through the year, but I thought I would reflect on the year so far from the perspective of performance. I expected to struggle to find performances I loved, because it hasn’t struck me as a year defined by great acting – many of my favourite films so far have been documentaries or been great for other reasons – but there have actually been a lot. I have seen each of these films for the first time in 2015, so if there is a great performance missing here, I may have caught it last year. These films have either had a release in Australian cinemas, screened at a festival I have attended, or had a DTV release and bypassed cinemas. I feel all of these performances have had a direct bearing on the success of the film.


Let me know what some of your favourite performances are in the comments. Mine are listed below in order that my eyes have witnessed them. I will note the standout, and that is David Oyelowo in Selma. 

David Oyelowo – Selma

Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything

Joaquin Phoenix and Katherine Waterston – Inherent Vice

Michelle Monaghan – Fort Bliss

Paul Dano and Elizabeth Banks – Love & Mercy

Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain – A Most Violent Year

Jack O’Connell – ‘71

Lily James – Cinderella

Jude Law – Black Sea

Mads Mikkelsen and Jeffrey Dean Morgan – The Salvation

Tessa Thompson – Dear White People

Lou Taylor Pucci and Nadia Hilker – Spring

Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander – Ex Machina

Carey Mulligan and Matthias Schoenaerts – Far From the Madding Crowd

Charlize Theron – Mad Max: Fury Road

Tommy Lee Jones – The Homesman

Guy Pearce and Kevin Corrigan – Results

Michael Shannon – 99 Homes

Elmer Back – Eisenstein in Guanajuatro

Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori and Kiersey Clemons – Dope

Laia Costa and Frederick Lau – Victoria

Nina Hoss and Ronald Zehrfeld – Phoenix

Luisa Cruz – The Arabian Nights: Volume 2

Amy Poehler (voice) – Inside Out

Jada Pinkett-Smith and Channing Tatum – Magic Mike XXL

Dan Stevens – The Guest

Ronit Elkabetz – Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem