Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The 100 Best Film Performances of 2017

After discussing my favorite films of 2017, it's time to move onto my favorite film performances. As I've done the past few years, I'm going to go over my 100 favorite film performances of the year. 100 seems like a lot, but there are a lot of really strong performances that did not make this list, so even being #100 means that I was incredibly impressed by the actor's work. Also, as with my list of favorite films, I have to add the disclaimer that I can only speak about movies I've seen. So there are plenty of films I haven't seen yet which might have had performances I'd have wanted to include. This ranges from the lesser-known names (like Daniela Vega, who's supposed to be fantastic in A Fantastic Woman) to bigger names (like literally every cast member in The Post which I still haven't seen). But given how strong all of the performances on my list are, I think it's a good place to start. So, let's get into it! Here are my 100 favorite film performances of 2017!

100) Jonathan Banks as Pappy McAllan- Mudbound
99) Sharlto Copley as Vernon- Free Fire
98) Esther Garrel as Marzia- Call Me by Your Name
97) John C. McGinley as Father Ollie- The Good Catholic
96) Ruby Stokes as Young Una Spencer- Una
95) Stephen McKinley Henderson as Father Leviatch- Lady Bird
94) Steve Buscemi as Rabbi Blumenthal- Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
93) Julianne Nicholson as Nora Harris- Novitiate
92) Raffey Cassidy as Kim Murphy- The Killing of a Sacred Deer
91) Jon Hamm as Walter- Marjorie Prime

Jon Hamm. As a robot. Need I say more?
90) J. Quinton Johnson as Charlie Washington- Last Flag Flying
89) Nicole Kidman as Martha Farnsworth- The Beguiled
88) Ben Stiller as Brad Sloan- Brad's Status
87) Ellen Dorrit Petersen as Unni- Thelma
86) Ed Harris as man- mother!
85) Sebastian Stan as Jeff Gillooly- I, Tonya
84) Christopher Plummer as J. Paul Getty- All the Money in the World
83) Claes Bang as Christian Nielsen- The Square
82) Colin Farrell as Corporal John McBurney- The Beguiled
81) Woody Harrelson as Bill Willoughby- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Tiffany Haddish has become a breakout star thanks to her scene-stealing work in Girls Trip
80) Tiffany Haddish as Dina- Girls Trip
79) Cicely Tyson as Mrs. Hightower- Last Flag Flying
78) Mela Murder as Ashley- The Florida Project
77) Hong Chau as Ngoc Lan Tran- Downsizing
76) Chadwick Boseman as Thurgood Marshall- Marshall
75) Christopher Plummer as Ebenezer Scrooge- The Man Who Invented Christmas
74) Lois Smith as Marjorie- Marjorie Prime
73) Kumail Nanjiani as Kumail Nanjiani- The Big Sick
72) Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier- Logan
71) Eili Harboe as Thelma- Thelma

Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell helm a terrific cast in the disturbing The Killing of a Sacred Deer
70) Colin Farrell as Steven Murphy- The Killing of a Sacred Deer
69) Nicole Kidman as Anna Murphy- The Killing of a Sacred Deer
68) Jaden Michael as Jamie- Wonderstruck
67) Ethan Hawke as Everett Lewis- Maudie
66) Lesley Manville as Cyril Woodcock- Phantom Thread
65) Sophia Lillis as Beverly Marsh- It
64) Michelle Pfeiffer as woman- mother!
63) Ross Lynch as Jeffrey Dahmer- My Friend Dahmer
62) Adeel Akhtar as Mohammed Buksh- Victoria & Abdul
61) Brooklynn Prince as Moonee- The Florida Project

The young Brooklynn Prince is wonderfully natural and one-of-a-kind in The Florida Project

60) Timotheé Chalamet as Elio Perlman- Call Me by Your Name
59) Richard Jenkins as Giles- The Shape of Water
58) Holly Hunter as Beth Gardner- The Big Sick
57) John Cho as Jin- Columbus
56) Raph as Billie Van Peteghem- Slack Bay
55) Tracy Letts as Larry McPherson- Lady Bird
54) Sunny Suljic as Bob Murphy- The Killing of a Sacred Deer
53) Michael Rooker as Yondu Udonta- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
52) LaKeith Stanfield as Andre Hayworth/Logan King- Get Out
51) Peter Dinklage as Sam Bloom- Rememory

While the characterization of Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi has been controversial, the fault cannot be laid on Mark Hamill, who delivers what I think is hands down the best performance in a Star Wars movie ever.
50) Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker- Star Wars: Episode VIII- The Last Jedi
49) Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise the Dancing Clown- It
48) Ben Stiller as Matthew Meyerowitz- The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
47) Garrett Hedlund as Jamie McAllan- Mudbound
46) Allison Janney as LaVona Fay Golden- I, Tonya
45) Ray Romano as Terry Gardner- The Big Sick
44) Beanie Feldstein as Julie Steffans- Lady Bird
43) Jason Sudeikis as Oscar- Colossal
42) Adam Sandler as Danny Meyerowitz- The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
41) Laurence Fishburne as Richard Mueller- Last Flag Flying

After his excellent work as a music prodigy applying to colleges in Brad's Status, I'm excited to see future work from Austin Abrams
40) Austin Abrams as Troy Sloan- Brad's Status
39) Bria Vinaite as Halley- The Florida Project
38) Millicent Simmonds as Rose Kincaid- Wonderstruck
37) Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine/X-24- Logan
36) Armie Hammer as Oliver- Call Me by Your Name
35) Lior Ashkenazi as Micha Eshel- Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
34) Anne Hathaway as Gloria- Colossal
33) Carey Mulligan as Laura McAllan- Mudbound
32) Ben Mendelsohn as Ray Brooks- Una
31) Niza Jay Ncoyini as Kwanda- The Wound

Niza Jay Ncoyini is a part of the stellar trio of lead actors which brings to life the brilliant film The Wound
30) Rooney Mara as Una Spencer- Una
29) Michael Stuhlbarg as Lyle Perlman- Call Me by Your Name
28) Daniel Craig as Joe Bang- Logan Lucky
27) Sally Hawkins as Elisa Esposito- The Shape of Water
26) Elizabeth Marvel as Jean Meyerowitz- The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
25) Steve Carell as Larry "Doc" Shepherd- Last Flag Flying
24) Haley Lu Richardson as Casey- Columbus
23) Mary J. Blige as Florence Jackson- Mudbound
22) Jason Mitchell as Ronsel Jackson- Mudbound
21) Sam Rockwell as Jason Dixon- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Willem Dafoe does wonderful and unexpected work in The Florida Project, lending the film a much needed sense of compassion and decency.
20) Willem Dafoe as Bobby Hicks- The Florida Project
19) Aubrey Place as Ingrid Thorburn- Ingrid Goes West
18) Daniel Kaluuya as Chris Washington- Get Out
17) Sally Hawkins as Maud Lewis- Maudie
16) Bongile Mantsai as Vija- The Wound
15) Bryan Cranston as Sal Nealon- Last Flag Flying
14) Ella Rumpf as Alexia- Raw
13) Garance Marillier as Justine- Raw
12) Kristen Stewart as Maureen Cartwright- Personal Shopper
11) Harry Dean Stanton as Lucky- Lucky

And now, onto the top ten.

10) Diane Kruger as Katja Sekerci- In the Fade
Kruger won Best Actress at Cannes for her tour de force performance as a widow seeking revenge
9) Barry Keoghan as Martin- The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Keoghan's work as Martin was bizarre, menacing, and brilliant
8) Nakhane Touré as Xolani- The Wound
African actor Touré leads a terrific ensemble cast as a closeted man in this South African film
7) Laurie Metcalf as Marion McPherson- Lady Bird
Metcalf has been garnering well deserved accolades for her work in Lady Bird
6) Robert Pattinson as Connie Nikas- Good Time
Pattinson's outstanding performance in Good Time proves he's far better than his work in Twilight would suggest
5) Frances McDormand as Mildred Hayes- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
McDormand is glorious as a tough-as-nails mother waging war against her town's police force

4) Saoirse Ronan as Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson- Lady Bird
Ronan's work is a huge part of what makes Lady Bird such a great movie, proving her comedic chops and versatility
3) Rob Morgan as Hap Jackson- Mudbound
Mudbound's cast is amazing, and for me the standout was Morgan. I don't get why he hasn't been getting more attention after his amazing work.
2) Melissa Leo as Reverend Mother Marie St. Clair- Novitiate
Leo's work as a strict nun is vicious and terrifying. She's the best film villain of the year.
1) Richard Gere as Norman Oppenheimer- Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
This movie and performance flew under the radar, but Richard Gere absolutely transforms into this role as schmuck with aspirations of greatness. Gere has never been better, and it was my favorite performance of the year.

Some analysis of my own rankings:

Mudbound has the most appearances, with 6 cast members making the list. And I should mention that the 7th principal cast member, Jason Clarke, also does really strong work. It's a great movie.

After Mudbound, there are three movies with 5 performances on this list. The critical and commercial hit Lady Bird, the arthouse indie The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and the vastly underlooked Last Flag Flying. Then, awards contenders Call Me by Your Name and The Florida Project each have 4 performances. Then there are five films with 3 performances each on this list: The Big Sick, Columbis, The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected), Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer, and Una.

Five actors appear on this list twice. Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman both appear twice, and both for the same two films: The Beguiled and The Killing of a Sacred Deer. Ben Stiller is a rather surprising person to appear twice, but he did really solid work this year in both Brad's Status and The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected). Christopher Plummer also made my list twice playing two personifications of greed: J. Paul Getty and Ebenezer Scrooge. And, lastly, we have Sally Hawkins who has received Oscar buzz for her work in The Shape of Water, but who I think was even better in the underappreciated biopic Maudie.

So, that's my list! How does it compare to yours? Let me know which of my rankings you liked and disliked by leaving a comment!

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