Monday, February 14, 2011

Top 16 Greatest Best Actor Winning Performances.

What it sounds like. I will do lists for Actress, Supporting Actor, and Supporting actress too. Man, this list was really hard to make. So many great performances. And how do you rank them!? But, I have added on the latest winner because I feel that he deserves to be on this list. I only put him at 16 to save me the trouble of having to mess with the list a bunch. he deserves to be higher.

#16. Colin Firth-Albert Frederick Arthur George "King George VI"-The King's Speech-2010 Man, I felt his frustration. whenever he stuttered, I felt how frustrated he was. Colin Firth did an absolutely fantastic job and he totally deserved his win. He did so well that no one else had a remote chance. I'm also glad that The King's Speech won Best Picture. I think that one of the biggest reasons that it won was because of firth's performance. He did so well, that every word he said I hung on and waited with held breath to see if his next words would be a stutter or a success. Particularly with his final speech. He did amazing and I'm glad he won.

#15. William Hurt-Luis Molina in The Kiss of the Spider Woman-1985
Since the Academy is incredibly Pro-Gay, they have the habit of taking Best Actor away from the person who deserved it and giving it to a person who played a homosexual character. Nowhere is this more evident than Tom Hanks' Best Actor win in 1993 over Liam Neeson for Schindler's List. However, I must agree with this one. William Hurt was absolutely fantastic. Definitely deserved it.

#14. Adrian Brody- Wladyslaw Szpilman in The Pianist-2002. The youngest ever Best Actor winning performance (At 29 or 30 I think). at least someone won for a Holocaust performance. If this was making up for the mistake in not giving Best Actor to Neeson in Schindler's List, they couldn't have picked a better performance. He did an absolutely amazing job.

#13.  Ray Milland- Don Birnam in The Lost Weekend-1945. I put off seeing this one because it looked boring and I had other movies to watch. Boy was I wrong about it being boring. This film was absolutely fantastic. Made more so by the fact that Ray Milland's performance is so good that...well, it's on here isn't it?

#12. Roberto Benigni- Guido Orefice in Life is Beautiful 1998. The funniest and happiest sad movie that I have ever seen. Anyone who has seen the movie knows what I'm talking about. Benigni does an excellent job not only acting in this film, but writing and directing it too. He is a joy to watch which makes the film even more powerful near the end.

#11.  Daniel Day-Lewis- Christy Brown in My Left Foot-1989. There's method acting then there's taking method acting really really far and that is what he did with this. He did an excellent job and he deserved the win. I would have liked Robin Williams to have won for Dead Poets Society, but I cannot deny that Day-Lewis deserved this win.

#10. Dustin Hoffman-Raymond Babbit in Rain Man-1988 Another man who really takes his method acting really really seriously with clear Oscar winning results. I dislike Tom Cruise in general but he wasn't horrible in this one. But Dustin Hoffman blew him out of the water.

#9. Philip Seymour Hoffman- Truman Capote in Capote- 2005.I've seen the film Murder By Death. One of the main actors in the film is none other than Truman Capote himself. Not someone playing Truman Capote but Truman Capote himself. So, having seen how Truman Capote looks, sounds and acts, I can safely say that if you put Truman Capote and PSH playing Capote side by side you would have to think about it for a few minutes before you could tell them apart. He's that good. I kid you not.

#8. Ben Kingsley-Mahatma Gandhi in Gandhi-1982. I promise you this isn't a picture of the actual Gandhi. This is actually Ben Kingsley as Gandhi. Isn't that insane!? He did that great a job that I would have believed he was actually Gandhi if I did not know better. This dude rocked as Gandhi!

#7. Tom Hanks-Forrest Gump in Forrest Gump-1994
 This is another one that if I didn't know better I'd say that he's actually mentally handicapped. If Tom Hanks' performance in this movie wasn't so great, than this whole movie would have just imploded on itself. It's not a ding on the movie but if you don't have someone good playing Forrest, then you have a bad movie. As it is, Tom Hanks did the role perfectly.

 #6. Daniel Day-Lewis- Daniel Plainview in There will Be Blood-2007. One of the best performances I have ever seen and because of the performance, If it had gone the other way around and this one had won over No Country I would have been okay with that. Don't get me wrong, No Country is excellent and I'm glad it won, this one was stiff competition mostly for Day-Lewis' performance. The depressing part is that he gives one of the best performances I have seen and the only thing history (outside of film buffs) will remember with his performance is the f****** milkshake line. I swear if the AFI redoes their top quotes list the milkshake line will be on there.

 #5. Robert De Niro-Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull-1980. Man, this guy was nuts. This is another high method acting performance. He puts on a lot of muscle then he gains 40 or 50 pounds all for the same role. Now that is devotion. Total devotion. The character development of the LaMotta was interesting to see and he slowly gets more nuts (not in an insane kind of way as opposed to his life goes down the ringer). De Niro takes it all on. He did excellent.

#4. George C. Scott-General George S. Patton in Patton-1970.
 Let's start with the fantastic opening monologue. One of the best that I have ever heard. "Now I want you to remember, that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country, he won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for HIS country" I did the monologue for a theater class and whoo boy did I not do it justice. Only George C. Scott can. Only George C. Scott can play Patton, the only allied General that the Nazis truly feared. For good reason. If George C. Scott's performance has any historical accuracy (I know the voice isn't right though) Patton scared the s*** out of everyone. The dude took on an airplane with a pistol for goodness sakes (In the movie I don't know about real life). he absolutely rocked. See Patton for Scott's performance. I don't care what anyone else says, Patton deserved the Best Picture win it got. Too bad Scott declined the Oscar.

#3. Jack Nicholson- Randle Patrick McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest-1975. This film is my 3rd favorite film of all time. That is pretty much due to the acting in the film and Jack Nicholson gives the best performance of his career. No contest. Seeing him go up against Nurse Ratched was what made this movie amazing. He was the very life and soul of the film and Fletcher as Ratched was the soul sucker (In a positive way. Very positive)

#2. Marlon Brando-Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather-1972. well, what can I say about Brando's performance that hasn't been said a million times? There is nothing that I can say. The dude was 46 at the time of filming. Can you believe that? I would have guessed that he would be in his 50s or early 60s. He was that utterly amazing. His performance was shown to be more amazing as his character got older he went along with it and gave the same performance he had been giving the entire movie: flawless. This is my favorite movie right here. Well, favorite combined with Part II. I know, you're all like, 'What? Which performance can possibly beat Brando's?" Well...

#1. Anthony Hopkins-Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs-1991. I know many of you may disagree. I hope not because I would rank this as the greatest performance of all time. Period. Nothing beats Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter. Hopkins showed the world that you do not f*** with Hannibal Lecter under any circumstances. Ever. If you do he will rip your face off with your teeth. However, the performance is so amazing that you are drawn from the character. he fascinates you. You don't know why he does what he does (Until that abomination of a book Hannibal Rising. I wish that book would go away forever). You would love to have a conversation with him that lasted long as there was the glass between you and him. That is the power in the performance. It is easy to make a character repulsive, but to make a character repulsive but someone that you are incredibly fascinated with...well, he did that. Best. Performance. Ever.


  1. I was actually thinking of posting a list just like this. I guess I don't have to. Excellent job, though it would a good idea to create another blogpost except this time with performances from all of the four categories. Choosing from only one category can be a little narrow and restricted.

  2. Well I will be doing the other three as well. I'm working on the Supporting one right now actually.

  3. I think Hopkins' performance is overrated.

  4. Hopkins is definetely an odd choice for #1, but nevertheless I see no reason to argue.

  5. Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko?!?!?

  6. I don't feel he deserved the win so I don't see a need to put him on here.

  7. then i don't feel like you know shit about acting...that was one of the best performances ever not to mention it was perfect for the times

  8. I feel that it is best if you do not insult my intelligence here. I know a good performance when I see one. I'm not saying that Michael Douglas did a horrible job. I think he did excellent. I am of the opinion, that Robin Williams deserved it for Good Morning Vietnam. If I didn't know shit about acting, then none of these choices would have agreed with anyone.

  9. well there is no question he at least deserved a spot on your precious list...and anthony hopkins ahead of marlon brando in the godfather? really? like how is that justified?

  10. If you feel I f*** up this badly then make your own list and send it to me. It's my opinion. Just because mine may differ from yours doesn't make what I feel any less valid. I put Hopkins ahead of Brando (only just mind you) because, to me, Lecter is a much more fascinating character to watch. The Godfather is still my favorite film. the #2 spot doesn't mean I despise his performance.

  11. I'm not trying to critize the entire list. All I'm saying is that Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko should have been on here without question. As well, what about Gene Hackman in The French Connection or Russell Crowe in Gladiator?

  12. If I added another 4 to round it out (which is not an impossibility) I would add Hackman. As for Crowe, a lot debate his win so I would have to see other nominees first.

  13. I agree with several items on your list. I'd rather have Brando's performance in On The Waterfront there, though instead of The Godfather. And should Peter O Toole in Lawrence of Arabia get a mention?

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