The 5 Best Performances of 2013 (so far)
1. Julie Delpy in Before Midnight– Delpy has always been great in this series, but she brings it to new heights here. This is my favorite performance of the year so far, especially when you include Ethan Hawke as a package deal. Still, Delpy is the star and gives a career best performance. Hopefully Oscar remembers this.
2. Shailene Woodley in The Spectacular Now– I loved her in The Descendants, but this is heads and tails a better performance. She’s impossible not to fall in love with here, but it’s done without being any kind of a manic pixie dream girl or the like. She’s 100% deserving of either a Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress nomination, though I’m not certain she’ll be in real play for either.
3. Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling in The Place Beyond the Pines– Okay, I cheated here, since both Cooper and Gosling are terrific in their smaller than you’d expect parts. They’re each equally essential to the story and ace their parts completely. I could go on all day about them both, but neither is as good without the other, honestly. Both are worthy of Best Supporting Actor consideration.
4. Zoe Kazan in The Pretty One– It’s no secret that I dig Kazan’s work consistently, but she’s turned in one of her best ever performances here. By playing two parts, she’s stretched herself in a real interesting way, something even I wasn’t expecting. I doubt the Academy will notice her, but they should.
5. Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Don Jon– Not only did JGL write and direct a hell of a film, he gave one of his top five acting jobs to date as well. This is also a very different type of role than you’d expect from him. Honestly, I’m not sure many other people could have pulled it off. Voters probably won’t pay attention to his acting, and that’s a shame…
Male Honorable Mention: James Franco in Spring Breakers and Miles Teller in The Spectacular Now
Female Honorable Mention: Greta Gerwig in Frances Ha and Felicity Jones in Breathe In
Half Year Awards
(Winners in BOLD, runners-up in ITALICS)
Best Picture: Before Midnight, Don Jon, Frances Ha, The Place Beyond the Pines, and The Spectacular Now
Best Director: Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha), Derek Cianfrance (The Place Beyond the Pines), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Don Jon), Richard Linklater (Before Midnight), and James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now)
Best Actor: Tom Cruise (Oblivion), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Don Jon), Ethan Hawke (Before Midnight), Tye Sheridan (Mud), and Miles Teller (The Spectacular Now)
Best Actress: Julie Delpy (Before Midnight), Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha), Zoe Kazan (The Pretty One), Brie Larson (Short Term 12), and Shailene Woodley (The Spectacular Now)
Best Supporting Actor: Bradley Cooper (The Place Beyond the Pines), Kevin Costner (Man of Steel), James Franco (Spring Breakers), Ryan Gosling (The Place Beyond the Pines), and Matthew McConaughey (Mud)
Best Supporting Actress: Scarlett Johansson (Don Jon), Eva Mendes (The Place Beyond the Pines), Julianne Moore (Don Jon), Kristin Scott Thomas (Only God Forgives), and Mickey Sumner (Frances Ha)
Best Adapted Screenplay: Before Midnight (Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, and Richard Linklater), Man of Steel (David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan), The Spectacular Now (Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber), This is the End (Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen), and Warm Bodies (Jonathan Levine)
Best Original Screenplay: Don Jon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig), The Place Beyond the Pines (Derek Cianfrance), Short Term 12 (Destin Cretton), and Stuck in Love (Josh Boone)
Best Documentary Feature: After Tiller, A Band Called Death, Manhunt, A Place at the Table, Stories We Tell
Best Foreign Language Feature: Starbuck (there’s not enough here yet for a full lineup)
Best Animated Feature: Monsters University (there’s not enough here either yet for a full lineup)
Best Cinematography: Before Midnight, Frances Ha, Mud, Only God Forgives, and The Place Beyond the Pines
Best Film Editing: Before Midnight, Don Jon, Frances Ha, The Place Beyond the Pines, and The Spectacular Now
Best Original Score: Man of Steel, Only God Forgives, The Place Beyond the Pines, To the Wonder, and World War Z
Now, I turn it over to you all for debate and discussion. What were your favorite films and performances of the year so far? What were your least favorite? What are you excited for in the second half? Whatever you want to talk about in regards to the first half of 2013, consider this your time, so have at it!
–Thoughts? Discuss in the comments!