Wednesday, July 16, 2014

2013 Fisti Awards: Lead Performances


I've already posted them on the 2010's Fisti Page, but let's take a few minutes to talk about my personal picks for the best of the best in the Lead Acting categories.  This year was so rich in these categories that it became really hard to narrow these down, but at the end of the day, I'm really happy with these ballots and these wins.  Of Oscar's nominated ten, I've seen all but three (Dern, Dench, Streep) and I personally nominate four (two in each category).

Defining Lead can be full of gray areas, sure, and some will balk at my Lead Actor win because he was considered Supporting all year long by so many, but I never bought it.  It is also one of those rare times when a truly romantic/comedic performance takes the gold from some much heavier roles.  

Maybe there is some bias there, but whatever.

Let's just look at the ballot!



I have to say, I really responded to the looseness of some of these heavier hitters this year.  I mean, on average DiCaprio and Phoenix are always so serious (sometimes to great effect) and yet both of these performances feel so much looser and fluid.  Sure, they have some heavy themes, but they are so naturally defined.  Gandolfini, my Fisti Winner, is obviously the lightest performance here, but he is also the most natural, charming and likable.  He wins you over from the very first frame, and never loses you.

And while Hanks has 3/4 of a performance that rests on solid (very solid, but merely solid), his twenty closing minutes are the best acting I've seen from anyone all year.

And now, we move on to the women:


Oscar made a really good move, giving Blanchett her Oscar.  It was a tough call for me for that third spot between her and Bullock, two vastly different performances, but Blanchett was just a notch above.  

But as wonderful as they both were, there are two names that should have been mentioned above them, FAR above them.

Yes, both Clement and Exarchopoulos give the single best performances of the entire year (with the glorious Seydoux coming in third).  Clement delivers the best performance I've seen in this category, or any other, in possibly the past decade.  So organic, so natural, so BURSTING with substance and context and life.  You literally ACHE for her.  Exarchopoulos hands over the greatest 'star is born' performance I've ever seen, period.  For an eighteen year old, that is some really heavy stuff, and she makes it feel so natural.  It felt like her life.

Fearless.

So what do you think?  Who did I snub?  Who do you love?  Who do you hate?  I'll finish up the techs next week.  Until them, comment away!

12 comments:

  1. Adele! So glad to see her here. And I never get sick of the DiCaprio gif. I love Wolf of Wall Street so much. Damn you, McConaughey!

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    1. I understand WHY McCon won, but it was such an undeserving win. Like, the only thing he did differently than his usual hick persona was add a stumble here and there and cry...and he couldn't cry convincingly at all.

      LOL, but whatever. DiCaprio was outstanding and that performance will be remembered far longer than McCon's.

      And HELL YES, Adele!

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  2. I'm honestly shocked that you go out of your way to see movies I haven't heard of, and yet you haven't seen Nebraska, Philomena, or August: Osage County

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    1. I try to see the movies that appeal to me. Those three films just looked...like films I wouldn't nominate for anything :-P

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  3. For me, Joaquin Phoenix would be my pick for Best Actor for Her while my Best Actress pick is... Scarlett Johansson for Under the Skin while I would have Adele Exachopoulos as a runner-up.

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    1. I'm curious why you have Under the Skin in 2013? It didn't get a proper release until this year. Last year it hit Cannes and Venice, but it never made it to the theaters.

      Otherwise it would be all over the Fistis right now.

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    2. The film premiered at Venice while it also played in Toronto last year so for me, it's a 2013 release since it appeared in these festivals. I often go by when it first appeared instead of theatrical releases since some films take years to come out for a theatrical release.

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    3. I can see that. I usually don't get to see the film unless it gets a stateside release, so that's why I go by that year.

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  4. Gandolfini is such a bold pick - a fine choice indeed. I really loved him in that film and am still so sad that he's gone. Also love seeing Adele ranked so highly. She stole my heart in that film.

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    1. Thanks. He really was stellar. I debated between him and DiCaprio...A LOT...but at the end of the day, sometimes it's nice to reward a performance that doesn't have a lot to prove but just works, from start to finish.

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  5. Love these lineups! Surprised Gerwig ended up bumping Thompson out. I couldn't fit Gerwig in Best Actress, but at least I was able to nominate her for co-writing France Ha. (I put my ballots together that way. :P) Glad to see Bullock and Blanchett in the top 5 as well. It KILLED me to leave them out. They were literally my #6 and #7.

    Your #12 choices are kind of awesome, though I'm stunned Broussard made the cut.

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    1. Finalizing ballots was really hard, but Frances Ha was a film I really wanted to reward, and I just couldn't nominate one and not the other.

      Broussard was one of the best finds of the year! Such a natural talent. I can't wait to see more of him.

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