Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Standout Performances: April

Welcome to a new semi-regular feature here at Movies with Abe. A lot of great performances from the first half of the year are forgotten by the time Oscar movies roll out and awards season comes around. This feature is designed to pay tribute to those actors and actresses who have demonstrated excellence in movies that likely will not be remembered at the end of the year. Maybe praise like this can help. Each edition of Sunday Standout Performances will look at a different month, referencing my reviews of the films mentioned. Here’s a look at the best performances from April.

Carey Mulligan (The Greatest)

“One of the most significant descriptors of ‘The Greatest’ is that it’s Carey Mulligan’s follow-up role to her Oscar-nominated breakout turn in ‘An Education.’ Mulligan showed enormous potential with her wondrous performance in last year’s British drama, and her subsequent role was obviously going to be spectacular, and it’s not a disappointment at all. She’s easily as good, if not better, as the girl who must struggle to be accepted by the family of a boy she loved but barely knew. It’s a majestically layered and tremendous performance that deserves to earn her another Oscar nomination.”

Anthony Hopkins & Laura Linney (The City of Your Final Destination)

“The cast is universally outstanding, featuring terrific breakout crossover performances from the likes of Hiroyuki Sanada (‘Lost’) and Alexandra Maria Lara (‘The Reader’). It’s a majestic return to form for veteran actors Anthony Hopkins and Laura Linney, and a veritable sign that they should be working for years to come.”

The Cast of “Handsome Harry

“What sets ‘Handsome Harry’ apart from other films about the reunion of any given set of people is the extraordinarily talented cast it features that helps to define a generation. The members of Harry’s unit are a parade of veteran actors, each more talented than the previous performer. Jamey Sheridan, Steve Buscemi, John Savage, Aidan Quinn, Titus Welliver, and Campbell Scott make up one of the finest ensembles recently seen on screen. They all possess the same general sensibility and attitude towards the world, though each exhibits a fascinating variation on that worldview. Each of Harry’s visits is equally meaningful and powerful, and all of the interactions are superbly acted. Sheridan himself is a gifted performer who manages to be believable, relatable, and personable without stealing the show.”

2 comments:

G1000 said...

No mention here of Chloe Moretz's scene-stealing performance as Hit-Girl in "Kick-Ass"? She was terrific.

Abe Fried-Tanzer said...

I haven't seen it! It's one of the most notable movies that I've missed so far this year, and I think I'll just have to catch it on DVD eventually. I was initially uninterested, but I've heard good things, so I'll make sure to check it out at some point.