Dramatic Acting Honors 2016

This had some items trimmed that cut a bit deep.  Breathe Chris, breathe.

My nominees are:

The Gentlemen

Best Actor in a Leading Role, Drama 
Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea (“Lee Chandler”)
Yes, Casey Affleck is pretty repugnant, and likely troubled, but this is the type of pre-breakdown performance that pours all the damage behind the person into the performance.  Lee is layered with his demons and is barely dragging himself out of it to struggle through sudden parenthood.  So normalized in his janitor character, the history behind Lee becomes all the more human.  
Andrew Garfield – Silence (“Padre Rodrigues”)
This was a powerful role to witness.  Garfield pulled off the conviction of the priest being forced away from his religion.  He is a filthy martyr for his religion, even if his faith has caused all of his problems.  Long winded storytelling gave him the ability to stretch his legs.  
Ethan Hawke – Born to be Blue (“Chet Baker”)
This was a thoroughly damaged performance.  Between Baker’s drug habits and stubborn determination to repair himself, he is the jazz artist that should have wound up Oscar nominated.  A typical musical biopic, the movie within a movie dives into a fictional and biographical side of Chet Baker.
Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic (“Ben”)
Viggo standing nude, unabashed, or Viggo challenging family’s normative ideals, or Viggo struggling when trying to defend his parenting; he is a powerful presence in any role he takes.  The entire movie threatened of mellow drama or needless quirk, but he led an ensemble staving off the mistakes.
Denzel Washington – Fences (“Troy Maxson”)
Yes, the role is very theatrical, but it reminded me of Laurence Olivier adapting Shakespeare, and Shakespeare didn’t adapt those!  August Wilson granting his play to Denzel, reproducing their Tony-winning production was an acting gift for those of us who missed it.  Denzel was the troubled, working class Pittsburgh father on the nose.
Runners Up 

Logan Lerman (Indignation)

Alfredo Castro (From Afar)

Joe Seo (Spa Night)

Jesuthasan Antonythasan (Dheepan)

Joel Edgerton (Loving)

The Leading Ladies

My nominees are:

Best Actress in a Leading Role, Drama
Amy Adams – Arrival (“Louise Banks”)
Adams drifts through space and time while solving a lexical mystery.  Mourning through flashes of memory, she encompasses this film with a soft presence.  Her interactions with the aliens reveal her strengths.  
Sonia Braga – Aquarius (“Clara”)
Gracefully sensual and forceful and clever with her persistence, Braga makes her presence known! Managing another lengthy role where she’s determined to maintain the ideals she knowns are right
Viola Davis – Fences (“Rose Maxson”)
Heavy drama, her role (though placed in supporting elsewhere) is a lead, contending with Denzel’s Troy.  Her monologues are crushing, but her ability to make impact with minimal lines solidifies the strength.
Isabelle Huppert – Elle (“Michèle Leblanc”)
Another sensual role for an older woman, this one gained complexity with the subject.  Huppert is protecting herself from repeat attacks without police intervention, so she must steel her nerve and get tough.  She won’t be a victim any further, unless she wants to be.
Min-hee Kim – The Handmaiden (“Lady Hideko”)
In this twisting tale of corruption, Min-hee Kim wears many hats, and not just the costumes.  She is a multifaceted agent of survival.  Able to shift from submissive heiress to cunning seductress, her role is pivotal in shifting themes for the plot.
Runners Up 

Rebecca Hall (Christine)

Krisha Fairchild (Krisha)

Natalie Portman (Jackie)

Isabelle Huppert (Things to Come)

Sasha Lane (American Honey)

Give the Ladies a Hand

My nominees are:

Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Drama 
Kate Dickie – The Witch (“Katherine”)
Wild position to find oneself in with a demonic overtaking, Dickie breaches madness.  That crow scene is terrifying, but her devotion throughout is convicted.
Lily Gladstone – Certain Women (“The Rancher”)
Quiet performances are often my favorite.  Gladstone’s piece of Reichardt’s triptych is slow and melancholy.  The Rancher is lonely, and her growing interest in the visiting teacher blossoms in tiny moments.  She barely raises her voice above a mumble, but the consistency and authenticity feels as if she simply absorbed Stewart’s Clouds performance and gifted her own.  
Nicole Kidman – Lion (“Sue Brierley”)
Couldn’t say I actually liked Lion very much, but Kidman should have been most of the movie.  The gentle, giving mother character, a touch deglammed, offers a tear-inducing monologue and a soft determination to make her non-traditional family work.  Precious in every moment, I actually wish the story had been about the white lady instead of the orphan Indian boy.
Janelle Monae – Hidden Figures (“Mary Jackson”)
Octavia got the nomination, but Janelle felt like the strong performance.  She’s sharply humorous and memorably stern.  Though she has a less conflicted storyline, she steals every moment.
Antonia Zegers – The Club (“Sister Mónica”)
As the caretaker for banished priests, Sister Mónica is on defense after some shocking events at the house.  Troubled past of her own rite, she views herself as the stable arm of a sinful congregation.  Her interviews are outstanding.

Riley Keough (American Honey)

Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures)

Toni Collette (Glassland)

Naomie Harris (Moonlight)

Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)

My nominees are:

Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Drama 
Ralph Fiennes – A Bigger Splash (“Harry Hawkes”)
So much energy went into Harry Hawkes.  From his wild dance scene to his alley accosting of Tilda, Hawkes is a danger to those around him; not necessarily physical, but he’s an invasion in a single man.  His arrival is an instant chill, tension thrives between his outbursts of fun.
Andre Holland – Moonlight (“Kevin”)
The childhood friend contacts Chiron to reunite after a decade, and Holland smiles his way into your heart. He’s as sidetracked as Chiron, but he is the catalyst for the narrative. Finally a man with a bit of purpose, he grounds the “rebuilt” Chiron and lets the climax commence.  
Ralph Ineson – The Witch (“William”)
The insanity that grows in The Witch is enhanced by his gravel bellows and sharp features, but his religious fervor gives the greatest fear in the feature.
Issei Ogata – Silence (“Inquisitor Inoue”)
There’s nothing quite like a villain, and Ogata is a villain completely convinced of his reasoning.  Tasked with cleansing his country of interloping Catholics, the Inquisitor is ruthless and sly, never betraying his twisted means to retribution.
Trevante Rhodes – Moonlight (“Black”)
How Chiron did grow up!  He “built himself back up” so as to avoid the issues he had previously encountered. Now he faces a quieter oppression.  Physically demanding, his small releases speak the volumes needed in this role.

Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals)

Humberto Carrão (Aquarius)

Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea)

John Goodman (10 Cloverfield Lane)


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