spotlight_openroadAs lovers of the Academy machine, we tend to feel they have their minds made up when the nominations for the Golden Globes and SAG are announced.  We hope that the critics awards tends to offer a few alternative choices but often, that’s never the case.  With the ten films that Oscar voters should consider, I felt it appropriate to cite ten performances that they should look towards for insightful, inventive choices on their ballots.

Some of these choices are viscerally drawing for an audience member or low-key in displaying emotions and perhaps even hiding what makes them so great upon initial viewing.  As time progresses, some of these will remain embedded within your mind.  I’ve chosen performances that haven’t been nominated for a Golden Globe, SAG, or Critics Choice award, in order to level the playing field.

Click through the gallery to see the ten: 


  1. Oscar Isaac in ‘Ex Machina’
    Jason Segel in ‘The End of the Tour’
    Tilda Swinton in ‘Trainwreck’
    wait for it…
    Daisy Ridley in ‘Star Wars’

  2. After seeing Spotlight, I can understand the absence of many of its cast. No one really stands out above the others to make a play. With that being said, if Schribner had more screen time (or at least as much as the others) I feel like he was the best part of the cast.

  3. Cynthia Nixon and Christopher Abbott for James White

    Jake Gyllenahaal in Southpaw

    And because I feel he is being overlooked, Tom Hardy in The Revenant

  4. Agree with you so much on Schreiber. He was my favorite member of that ensemble as he does so much with so little. Speaking of Anomalisa, I would also mention Tom Noonan, who has the incredibly difficult job in that film of needing all the characters he voices to sound the same yet each have a distinct personality. It’s an amazing feat of acting, and I truly loved it.

  5. I was thrilled to see Sarah Paulson, Benicio Del Toro, and Liev Schreiber on your list, I would personally add Emily Blunt for Sicario, Emory Cohen for Brooklyn, and Joan Allen for Room.

  6. Definitely Oscar Isaac in Ex Machina and Jason Segel in The End of the Tour. Tom Hardy in Legend is still my number one of the year

  7. Females:
    1. Abigail Breslin – Maggie
    2. Rachel Weisz – Youth
    3. Alicia Vikander – Ex-Machina

    1. Jeff Daniels – Steve Jobs
    2. John Cusack – Love & Mercy
    3. Emory Cohen – Brooklyn

  8. Thank you for still campaigning for Meadowland & Olivia Wilde for months now. Sadly not just AMPAS but other sites (outside of this) who covering the Oscars never even mentioning her performace of the film in general. It makes me mad, because this was one of the Top 5 films (at least for me) in 2015. And I saw very few performances (Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn, Cate Blanchett in Carol, Emily Blunt in Sicario) which matches Wilde’s tour de force acting in this movie.


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