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  • James Kunovski

My Acting Nominees 2022

Best Actor

Paul Mescal slowly invites you into one of the most disarmingly skilful performances in recent memory; one that crescendoes into a moment of silence and pain. Colin Farrell, who is essentially personifying a stubborn mule, cleverly sways between fragility, stupidity, and pity. Conflict has never been shown like this, and neither have eyebrows. Hae il Park sees the leading benevolence that Jimmy Stewart etched into history, and raises his own modern, rhythmic and compelling twist. Austin Butler goes big and certainly never goes home as Elvis. He's endlessly charismatic and magnetic; a performance bigger than life, and a turn that fundamentally understands and teases in Baz’s idiosyncrasies. Franz Rogowski is perpetually underrated, and his turn in Great Freedom is hard to quantify in its brilliance, yet you can’t take your eyes off his screen presence, and your mind off his fabrications. That impact says enough.

Best Actress

All stars implode. That’s the simple reading on Margot Robbie’s Nellie, but what it doesn’t account for is her energetic spell, neurosis, and the mayhem that transfixes you with a twisted take on Old Hollywood star power. Tang Wei is easily one of the year’s best antagonists. Mysterious, vague and elusive, and yet we stare, unaware of the danger that lies. Michelle Yeoh is marvellous in the perfect synthesis of her illustrious career — a singular performance unmatched by her contemporaries. Anamaria Vartolomei defines subtlety that simultaneously stuns in real-time and imprints on the memory. Cate Blanchett makes a fair argument for her opus in what will surely go down as one of the greatest best actress nominees ever.

Best Supporting Actor

Justin H. Min brings wistful compassion with an existential twist to, well, a robot. After Yang goes down much nicer without a trace of Hollywood’s now notorious technological dread, and that task weighs squarely on his shoulders. Barry Keoghan draws you in with the most interesting character quirks and breaks your heart, all the same, when that curiosity leads to great sadness. Likewise, Brian Tyree Henry revels in a quiet simplicity that on further insight reveals a great pain simmering underneath a cool facade. Ke Huy Quan’s performance plays out as a great variety show, growing in capacity at each multiverse, and tugging the right heartstrings in the process. Ben Whishaw does more than take minutes; his hesitancy, sensitivity and heartbreak is wrenching on its own, and overwhelming in the film’s broader scope.

Best Supporting Actress

Jean Smart ultimately rules Babylon as the Hedda Hopper-esque plant that basks in the sun on manic sets while tearing down Hollywood iconography in a gripping and bitter monologue that has “Oscar clip” written all over it. Kerry Condon is the gentle counterbalance to Banshees' bitingly dark and comic central feud. McDonagh wanted a performance that captured how great Condon is on stage, and she succeeds well in the film’s classic theatricality. Janelle Monáe quickly becomes Glass Onion’s most promising ensemble member, funny, persuasive and commanding — more so when others stall in one dimension... She’s overdue for wider acting recognition. Dolly De Leon runs away with Triangle of Sadness’s third act in a foray that garners audience applause, and plenty of laughter. It’s a turn expertly balanced against the film’s broader “eat the rich” themes and a stunning detour into something surprisingly grittier. All the women in Women Talking deserve a collective prize, yet Claire Foy’s resounding work strikes with a punch to the chest that lingers with potency and eloquence for days.


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