Your Top Three is a series here at Movies.com where we choose a topic and you give us your top three picks.
With today’s announcement of the SAG Award nominations came a few surprise exclusions. Many are mentioning the lack of Robert Redford in the Best Actor category for All Is Lost. Others are noting that, even while deeming her voice-only performance eligible, the Screen Actors Guild missed a great opportunity to recognize Scarlett Johansson for Her. Well, SAG isn’t the end all for Oscar chances nor, more importantly, for our own considerations of the best performances of the year. So, let’s have a conversation about who isn’t being talked about enough yet deserves some kudos — even if it’s just us in front of our computers clapping our hands in appreciation.
I haven’t seen Inside Llewyn Davis yet, but I’ve heard enough about that darn cat in the movie enough to wonder why nobody’s calling for the animal to be recognized — like we saw with the dog from The Artist two years ago (maybe because multiple cats were used for the part of “Ulysses”). On the other side of the fence, I think it’s kind of silly that people think James Franco should be up for consideration for Spring Breakers — though maybe not as much as those who believe Selena Gomez gave one of the best performances of the year. As for other starlets, how about Emma Watson in The Bling Ring? Does she deserve more recognition? If nothing for Johansson in Her, maybe we can push for the actress’ performance in Don Jon.
I don’t know if it’s that I didn’t see enough dramas this year or that I tend to think about funny actors because their is so difficult and so rarely rewarded, but my top three most underrated performances of 2013 are all in comedies:
Jay Baruchel in This Is the End – He’s the straight man that holds the anarchy together in this meta movie about the apocalypse. Yet just as Margaret Dumont never receives enough credit for her role in the Marx Brothers movies (nor does Zeppo, which is probably a better analogy here), Baruchel is terribly unrecognized in this movie. Just as he was in a similar capacity in Tropic Thunder. This Is the End was Baruchel’s movie, and he should at least get a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy.
Nick Frost in The World’s End – I never would have thought the sidekick from Spaced would grow to be an actor worthy of this kind of praise, but Frost has passed over Simon Pegg as the actor from that show (and Shaun of the Dead/Hot Fuzz) to make me excited about his work. In his latest collaboration with writer-director Edgar Wright, Frost gets to flip character type and be the most serious, most dramatically interesting character in the bunch, overshadowing the talents of long-trusted actors such as Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan and Martin Freeman. I’m so happy he’s on the way to being a leading man, too, and look forward to his upcoming rom-com with Rashida Jones, Cuban Fury.
Moises Arias in The Kings of Summer – After seeing this Sundance hit, I wanted to say Arias is the find of the year, but that’s because I wasn’t aware he’s been around a while (sorry, I didn’t watch Hannah Montana). Still, he steals this movie and after seeing him in a very different sort of role in Ender’s Game I appreciated his goofy stint as Biaggio even more. I’d prefer he be in more comedies, though, than sci-fi flicks.
Honorable mention: Jackson Nicoll in Bad Grandpa, hilariously upstaging Johnny Knoxville the entire time.
Your Picks (no master top three tallied for this one as there were 64 unique performances mentioned):
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