Thursday, November 27, 2014

10 Underrated Performances from 2014 That I'm Thankful For

Yes, Shia LaBeouf gives a great performance.

Happy Thanksgiving, readers! I've put together this list again this year (technically 12 performances this time), and it's still based on awards potential. Most of these performances aren't likely to garner any serious awards consideration, so I've highlighted them in no particular order.

I've left out some performances, like Marine Vacth in Young & Beautiful, Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Beyond the Lights, James Gandolifni in The Drop, and actors from Starred Up and Nymphomaniac, that have been recognized at various awards already, or will likely be recognized by other awards bodies in the coming weeks.

Keira Knightley, Laggies

To be fair, she will likely get some awards attention for Begin Again, but her work here is equally delightful, if not more so.

Tye Sheridan, Joe

The Mud actor continues to impress, with a more mature, moving performance in this largely forgotten film.

Mira Barkhammar, Mira Grosin and Liv LeMoyne,
We Are the Best!

Naturalistic and utterly charming, these girls will probably go unrewarded for their endearing performances in one of the year's overlooked gems.

James Corden, Begin Again

It might be Corden being Corden, but his lovable, scene-stealing performance is worth remembering, regardless.

Tessa Thompson, Dear White People

She gives the film's standout performance, relishing the wit and grit of her headstrong character.

Shia LaBeouf, Fury

His simmering performance rises above the cliché-ridden material, and he's the best thing in the movie.

Rose Byrne, Neighbors

She was funny in Bridesmaids, but she's even better here, selling every line and reaction with her comedic chops on full display.

Toby Kebbell, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Mo-cap debate aside, this is fantastic work by the British actor, who completely steals the movie from Andy Serkis (also in top form).

Alison Pill, Snowpiercer

Though her screen time is minimal, her high-strung, maniacal turn is one of the most interesting performances of the year.

Nat Wolff, Palo Alto

This performance was a complete surprise, a burst of energy and emotional intensity in Gia Coppola's directorial debut.

18 comments:

  1. Love this list and all I've seen from it. Let's just hope Byrne gets that Comedy Globe nod!!!

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    1. Thanks! Yes, she really deserves a nomination!

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  2. Ooo excellent list. YAAAYYY for everyone from We Are the Best anfd Rose Byrne.! I als loved Pill, Kebbell and Corden :)

    Happy Thanksgiving :D

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    1. Thanks Nik! Those are great performances. :)

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  3. Oh, great to see Byrne here, she is still my win for best supporting actress. I'm so curious about Laggies! I think Keira may actually win for Imitation Game

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    1. I LOVE that Byrne is your winner! She's in my supporting lineup, and I don't see her falling out of it. :) Oh, Keira is wonderful in Laggies, but I wish the film were a little better. I'd love to see her win an Oscar, though I think Patricia Arquette might be the winner.

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  4. Great list! I haven't seen all of these films, but out of these performances, my favourites are Rose Byrne, who made me laugh until I nearly cried, and Alison Pill, who utterly terrified me. Thank god I have never had a teacher like her character!

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    1. Thanks! Those ladies were terrific. Alison Pill was in my Best Supporting Actress lineup for a while, and Rose Byrne is probably going to stay in my top 5.

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  5. Awesome choices! Loved the inclusion of the trio from We Are the Best!; they were naturals in their parts.

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    1. Thanks! Glad to see another fan of the trio from We Are the Best!. Love the film and their performances.

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  6. Tye Sheridan in Joe has a similar role like he's in Mud, but it's great he made it to this list!
    It's great, too, that Toby Kebbell and Natt Wolf finally climbs their own spotlight in no time---Kebell in Fantastic Four and remake of Ben-Hur, while Natt Wolf in another John Green adaptation!
    Nice list!

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    1. Thanks! I hope Sheridan gets the success that Kebbell and Wolff are having. Kebbell has certainly come a long way from films like Dead Man's Shoes and RocknRolla.

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  7. Of all these I've seen, I think Tye Sheridan and Rose Byrne are the standouts. Great list, man. Really need to see Palo Alto and Snowpiercer.

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    1. Thanks. Palo Alto is very divisive, but I loved it, as well as Snowpiercer. Hope you get to check those out.

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  8. I really like this list, especially Rose Byrne!!

    My two underdog supporting noms that I'm rooting for this year are for Carrie Coon in Gone Girl and Riz Ahmed in Nightcrawler. Might not be complete long shots, but I'd be very surprised to see either land one.

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    1. Thanks, Jess. Byrne is wonderful, as are Coon and Ahmed. I'd love for any of them to gain traction in the Oscar race.

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  9. I agree, LaBeouf was easily the best thing about Fury. I loved how he was always in the cusp of crying. You could tell that guy had lived through hell. Great picks here.

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    1. Thanks. I liked Fury more than most, but LaBeouf was best in show. Hope his career continues in this kind of direction.

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