Chris Pine in Star Trek into Darkness (Best Actor):
For my money, I’ve yet to see a performance from a huge blockbuster this year that’s better than Chris Pine’s exceptional second outing as Captain Kirk in Star Trek Into Darkness. Pine’s acting chops have never been appreciated, but this time he’s just too good to be shrugged off so easily. Pine is the only performer in Star Trek Into Darkness whose reactions to the cataclysmic events surrounding the Enterprise crew consistently vary, which in turn makes Kirk all the more intriguing to watch evolve as a character. Pine maneuvers seamlessly through Kirk’s moral quandaries that bombard him from all sides. He emanates kindness while inspiring trust, and there isn’t a single emotional beat that Pine fails to resonate. In fact, near the end of the film is when Pine’s “Oscar-worthiness” really becomes apparent. Pine completely lets it all out: tears, sweat, love, fear, hope — you name it. Despite its extraterrestrial and intergalactic trappings, Star Trek Into Darkness features one of the most convincingly humanistic performances of 2013 thanks to Chris Pine. It’s tragic that the film’s genre prevents Pine from being seen as the strong contender he deserves to be. I sincerely hope Paramount mounts some sort of campaign, especially since they have a ton of cinematic proof that can be used to demonstrate Pine’s magnificence in the film.