Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ten Years of Performances that Rocked, Shocked and Shook Me To My Core: Post One (The Actors)

All right, I am officially joining the end of the decade party that so many of you are celebrating with your own best-of lists. I’ll be presenting my favorites from 2000-2009 in the film, soundtrack and performer categories. I am getting the ball rolling today with these selections for my favorite performances by an actor this decade. I will have the list for actresses up this weekend.
It’s been an interesting decade for some of my favorite actors. I watched two lifelong favorites (Mickey Rourke and Sylvester Stallone) make rather jaw-dropping and welcome comebacks, while other favorites (Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro) struggled to find a role even halfway worthy of their considerable talents. For this list I have chosen the parts from several genres that have thrilled, touched, inspired and wowed me more than any others from the past ten years. The majority of these performances weren’t honored with any awards and, in some cases, not much acclaim so I am very happy to pay tribute to them here. So, in order of preference here are my 30 selections:

1. Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler

2. Terrence Howard in Hustle and Flow

3. George Clooney in Michael Clayton

4. Greg Kinnear in Auto Focus

5. Mark Wahlberg in I Heart Huckabees

6. Sylvester Stallone in Rocky Balboa

7. Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind

8. Bill Murray in Lost in Translation

9. Paul Bettany in Gangster #1

10. Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Mysterious Skin

11. Bruce Campbell in Bubba Ho-Tep

12. Luke Wilson in The Royal Tenenbaums

13. Tom Cruise in Minority Report

14. Mark Ruffalo in In The Cut

15. Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain

16. Willem Dafoe in Go Go Tales

17. Richard Burgi in Hostel Part 2

18. William H. Macy in Panic

19. Daniel Craig in Layer Cake

20. Jean-Pierre Leaud in The Pornographer

21. Will Ferrell in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

22. Robert Downey Jr. in Zodiac

23. Casey Affleck in Gone Baby Gone

24. Josh Brolin in No Country for Old Men

25. Gael Garcia Bernal in Y Tu Mama Tambien

26. Colin Farrell in In Bruges

27. Al Pacino in Insomnia

28. Sharlto Copley in District 9

29. Sam Rockwell in Snow Angels

30. Adam Sandler in Punch Drunk Love


Amanda By Night said...

Nice call on Sharlto Copley in District 9 (confession: that movie made me burst out in tears. What an awesome film). His performance was perfect. He was a cocky, ignorant jerk and a wonderful human being all at the same time.

I like a lot of these and haven't seen many of these either. I kind of dropped out this decade.

I really liked Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino and props to anyone from Open Water, which would make my Top Ten of the Decade for sure.

Also, wasn't Zodiac the best effin' movie? Loved it!

fate said...

nice choice of actors...some of I have not yet seen.

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks Amanda,
I think Kelley is still upset with me that I had Sharlto so low on the list, as she loves her some DISTRICT 9 (I do to btw). I was going to include Clint in GRAN TORINO but finally had to just limit myself to thirty, otherwise I would have still been working on the list. Thanks so much for the comments here and on Facebook, I hope you enjoy the lists...

Thanks Fate...I really appreciate you stopping by and commenting.

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks Keith, I will be sure and stop by later today when I am home...thanks again.

Jeremy Richey said...

Oh and Amanda...yes, ZODIAC is amazing and I hope you will like its placing on my best of list coming up.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jeremy. Great list. There is not a single one here that I can disagree with you on. These were all great actors in great performances. I've seen the majority of these throughout the years.

Do me a favor. If you get the chance, please stop by my Sugar & Spice blog. I did a film festival post today. I'm curious as to whether you've ever seen any of the movies I posted or not. I've only seen a few of them myself.


jeremythecritic said...

Excellent call on Richard Burgi for Hostel Part II. Just the kind of unfairly overlooked work you hope to see on a list like this. Regardless of what anyone may have thought of that film, he was superb in it. Also nice to see Sandler on there.

Anonymous said...

I am delighted to see Clooney for Michael Clayton. I thought it a much underated film. Great performance.

Steve Langton said...

Rourke, Murray, Kinnear... great list, terrific films, wonderful performances.

Nice idea for a post.

Lexvol said...

I loved Javier Bardem in "Vicky Christina". Other performances that shocked me:

Brad Pitt in "Snatch"
Steve Carrell in "Dan in Real Life"
Kurt Russell in "Death Trap"

And though it wasn't a lead part, Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder may be my surprise delight of the decade.

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks LexVol. Those are all great choices. I wish I would have included will be seeing VCB on an upcoming list though. Thanks again...