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Best of 2016: Top 20 Acting Performances

Posted on the 31 January 2017 by Shane Slater @filmactually
Best of 2016: Top 20 Acting Performances
As the question of whether true movie stars still exist continues to be up for debate, the performances of 2016 showed that the quality of modern acting shows no sign of decreasing. In particular, the year produced terrific ensemble work, whether through sizzling duets or large but cohesive troupes. Indeed, among my Top 20 you'll several double citations for certain films and in one case, an awesome trio. Before I unveil my list however, I'd like to acknowledge a few outstanding young actors with Honorable Mentions. They are...
Honorable Mention: Ferdia Walsh-Peelo & Lucy Boynton in Sing Street, Julian Dennison in Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Markees Christmas in Morris from America.
And now without further ado, here are my Top 20 Acting Performances of 2016:
20. Tika Sumpter in Southside with YouBest of 2016: Top 20 Acting PerformancesAppropriately honoring its real-life inspiration, this performance exuded razor-sharp intelligence and keen wit.
19. Annette Bening in 20th Century WomenBest of 2016: Top 20 Acting PerformancesAt once subtle and profound, this performance proves that sometimes less really is more.
18. Sonia Braga in AquariusBest of 2016: Top 20 Acting PerformancesAn indomitable character, an unimprovable performance.
17. Parker Sawyers in Southside with YouBest of 2016: Top 20 Acting PerformancesParker Sawyers unleashed a star-making charm offensive with his take on Barack Obama.
16. Adam Driver in PatersonBest of 2016: Top 20 Acting PerformancesA perfectly modest performance of rare sincerity.
15. Trevante Rhodes in MoonlightBest of 2016: Top 20 Acting Performances"Every n****r is a star" indeed, like Trevante Rhodes in this complex deconstruction of black masculinity.
14. Kim Tae-ri in The HandmaidenBest of 2016: Top 20 Acting PerformancesA fiendishly brilliant performance encapsulating the film's salacious themes - Pt 1.
13. Emma Stone in La La LandBest of 2016: Top 20 Acting PerformancesTake a bow Emma, this was the role you were born to play.
12. Viola Davis in FencesBest of 2016: Top 20 Acting PerformancesViola Davis took us to school with this acting masterclass.
11. Kim Min-hee in The HandmaidenBest of 2016: Top 20 Acting PerformancesA fiendishly brilliant performance encapsulating the film's salacious themes - Pt 2.
10. Joel Edgerton in LovingBest of 2016: Top 20 Acting PerformancesEdgerton remarkably steals the spotlight as a withdrawn man who actively avoided it.
09. Denzel Washington in FencesBest of 2016: Top 20 Acting PerformancesDenzel Washington's portrayal of Troy Maxson further secured his place among the legends.
08. Rebecca Hall in ChristineBest of 2016: Top 20 Acting PerformancesIt's almost fitting that Rebecca Hall would be so underappreciated as the abrasive, sympathetic, tragically misunderstood Christine Chubbuck.
7. Jeff Bridges in Hell or High WaterBest of 2016: Top 20 Acting PerformancesThis triumph of casting shows that sometimes, the obvious choice is the right one.
6. Ryan Gosling in The Nice GuysBest of 2016: Top 20 Acting PerformancesTo see Gosling at his best, look no further than this giddily self-deprecating performance.
5. Ruth Negga in LovingBest of 2016: Top 20 Acting PerformancesPerformances rarely get more delicate, intricate and gorgeous than this.
4. Ben Foster in Hell or High WaterBest of 2016: Top 20 Acting PerformancesThe unpredictable spontaneity of this performance thrilled me to no end.
3. Chris Pine in Hell or High WaterBest of 2016: Top 20 Acting PerformancesA truly eye-opening MOVIE STAR performance.
2. Mary Elizabeth Winstead in 10 Cloverfield LaneBest of 2016: Top 20 Acting PerformancesThis fearless portrayal deserves consideration among the iconic "genre" performances.
1. Natalie Portman in JackieBest of 2016: Top 20 Acting PerformancesThe year's most daring, commanding and unforgettable performance.

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