Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thursday Top Twelve

Welcome to a weekly feature here at Movies With Abe. I’ll be featuring a “top twelve” list for the rest of 2012 each Thursday, with a variety of themes. Please leave suggestions for future focuses in the comments!

We’re still over a month away from the end of the year, but I’ve already seen a number of excellent performances. Before awards come along, I’d like to take the time to recognize actors whose names you definitely don’t recognize and whose faces you probably don’t either. This list is hardly meant to be complete – these are twelve great performances I’ve seen this year.

The Top Twelve 2012 Performances By Actors You Don’t Know

#12: Michael Hall D’Addario (People Like Us) Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks were compelling siblings unaware of each other’s existence, and the young D’Addario added to the family dynamic in an exceptionally mature performance as Banks’ son Josh.

#11: Jan Josef Liefers (Simon and the Oaks) This German actor delivered a moving performance as the kindly, supporting biological father of one son and a father figure to another who shared some of his passions.

#10: Joanna Kulig (Elles) This Polish actress provided a fine counterpoint to #4 on this list, an immigrant prostitute quickly hardened by her situation and unashamed to discuss her feelings on the subject with a reporter.

#9: Sonia Nassery Cole (The Black Tulip) The Afghan-American director also starred in her film as an emblem of democracy, determined to forge ahead and return her country to a freer and more liberal state.

#8: Lola Créton (Goodbye First Love) This French actress’ performance is what most made her dreamlike film so effective, hypnotized by a first love and holding onto it for years to come.

#7: Michelle Jenner (Extraterrestrial) This bizarre dramatic comedy is hard to describe, but Jenner’s captivating performance best embodies it, as all three men in her life are drawn to her and the web of confused lies she spins.

#6: Ingeborga Dapkūnaitė (30 Beats) In a film full of vignettes, this Lithuanian actress stole both her scenes by making her character, a prostitute with larger career aspirations, so much more than she likely was on the page.

#5: Carrie MacLemore (Damsels in Distress) This young Mississippi native gelled perfectly with the rest of the female cast in Whit Stillman’s very deliberate comedy, nailing his odd character types and speaking styles wonderfully.

#4: Anaïs Demoustier (Elles) This French actress, unlike her costar #10, delivered a performance as a prostitute completely unaware of the danger of her profession, entranced by its seductiveness and utterly unprepared for its severity.

#3: Kad Merad (The Well-Digger’s Daughter) In an epic melodrama, this Algerian actor was the appropriately serious comic relief, always genuine and excitable no matter what life handed his character.

#2: Arielle Kebbel (The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best) This charming Florida native possessed a magnificent energy that allowed her to meld easily into the road life of an eclectic music duo and give the film a wonderful female presence.

#1: Ashley Hinshaw (About Cherry) This actress from Indiana was unbelievably genuine in her film, wearing her emotions on her face and possessing an optimistic attitude about an utterly dark journey.

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