As the year wraps up and award season nominations are announced, ‘The Hollywood Reporter’s’ critics have chosen the feats of acting they found to be the most mesmerizing.
From Rami Malek’s turn as Freddie Mercury in Queen biopic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ to Bradley Cooper’s heartbreaking performance in his directorial debut ‘A Star is Born’ to Elsie Fisher’s captivating portrayal of adolescence in ‘Eighth Grade,’ our critics cited 30 big-screen performances that blew them away. Here, in no particular order, we take a look at five of the actors our critics deemed outstanding.
For David Rooney, Regina King’s performance in Barry Jenkins’ ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ was worth paying attention to.
In this revered adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel, King plays the mother to Tish, who is carrying the child of her incarcerated boyfriend Fonny. Rooney enthuses,
“Casting King, whose backbone and intelligence have made her a stealth powerhouse in so many great TV roles, was a masterstroke. How wonderful to see her estimable gifts utilized again on the big screen.”
According to Jon Frosch, Dominique Fishback “conjures a storm of furious feeling with little more than a change in posture or an askance look,” in ‘Night Comes On’ – Jordana Spiro’s film about a black lesbian teenager navigating post-incarceration life. Writes the critic,
“It’s a minimalist performance, but hauntingly rich in unfussy empathy and pent-up feeling – proof that fishback has already mastered the skill of knocking us sideways without breaking a sweat,”
Kathryn Hahn gets high praise from Sheri Linden for her turn in Netflix’s ‘Private Life,’ which looks at a couples pursuit of parenthood. Says Linden of Hahn,
“As a boho manhattanite whose every sigh suggests wanting and doubting in nearly equal measure, she’s in perfect sync with Paul Gaimatti, as her no less fazed husbund. So believably connected are thier charactors that each time they warily hold their tongues, you can practically hear their enwined thoughts…Hahn delivers a delirious and devastating portrait of middle-aged angst, procreational and otherwise
Rooney also praises Melissa McCarthy – better known for her comedy chops – for her portrayal of Lee Israel in ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’ noting that the actress
“[McCarthy]never softens her thorniness and yet her charactor’s deep in-the-bone loneliness pulls you in to this uncompromising, quintssentially New York character study.”
Another of Jon Frosch’s picks is former ‘Walking Dead’ star Steven Yeun, who takes on his first Korean-language role in Lee Chang-dong’s ‘Burning.’ According to Frosch,
“Yeun exudes a can’t-take-your-eyes-of-him charisma that’s menacing in its incrutability, underplayed so shrewdly, with such expert modultaion and sly humor, that you never stop trying to read the caracter. Every time you think you have him figured out, he slip from your grasp, but rarely has not fully “getting’ someone felt so thrilling.”
To read Hollywood Report critics full list of their top 30 best performances of 2018, head to THR.com.For The Hollywood Reporter-News, I’m Lyndsey Rodrigues.