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2018 By The Performances
#1
Let's do this - movies, tv, stage, an interview, ALL IS GAME. 

I will start with ten. Not a top ten, just the first ten or so that came to mind:

1. Anne Hathaway, OCEAN'S 8 - Canny, self-aware, funny, gifable AND quotable ("You guys are fucked," "It's not like it's hard). Bring on the Hathaway renaissance.

2. Lily James, MAMMA MIA 2/GUERNSEY POTATO PIE - She's great, she's a star, she has a cute overbite and should totally play Gene Tierney. You've heard me talk about this enough already.

3. Lauren Groff, "By The Book" interview, NY Times - We've talked a lot on these boards about interviews and agendas lately, about bias and social justice, but man, this interview lays bare a lot of the problems with these particular kinds of pieces. Wait until the end.

4. Blake Lively, A SIMPLE FAVOR - Serena returns! She's got a great partner in Anna Kendrick, but Paul Feig continues his streak of knowing how to find what makes a particular performer great and playing to their strengths. Lively was at her best on GOSSIP GIRL when the show emphasized Serena's chilly, slightly dangerous nature. Here, she swings for the fences and soars.

5. Hugh Grant, A VERY ENGLISH SCANDAL (TV) - This came and went, but is definitely worth checking out. Grant is a lot of fun in the role of a man caught up in a rather tawdry sex scandal, and while the tone overall is much lighter than last year's NATIONAL TREASURE, Grant is doing similar nuanced, shaded work as Coltrane was in that. If you want something that you can bang out (pun intended) in three hours over the holidays, this is recommended highly. 

6. Madeline Brewer, CAM - I didn't watch nearly as much horror as I wanted to this year, but I thought this was another star-making performance, particularly because it is so different from Brewer's work elsewhere (RIP Janine on HANDMAID'S). She's tough, plucky, and easy to root for. I became a fan.

7. Alison Wright and Cory Stoll, OTHELLO (play) - I was eagerly anticipating this production, part of Shakespeare in the Park's season this year. It was a let-down, to be honest - it felt too constrained by its period-appropriate setting, and although there were real moments of tension. But man, Stoll and Wright - especially Wright - as Iago and Emilia were almost worth the price of admission. Put them again together as the Macbeths, stat.

8. Ensemble, ANGELS IN AMERICA (play) - Who do I single out? Andrew Garfield's funny, big-hearted Prior Walter? Nathan Lane's iconic Roy Cohn, still with us, haunting the 21st century? The lesser known British actors making up the supporting cast who I'm sure you'll be hearing more of? Lee Pace's Joe Pitt, tall and brave and neither of those things? What about when Lee Pace plays a Prior ancestor and does his Ronan the Accuser voice? It was all great. They were all great. They were all unforgettable.

9. Gizel Jiménez, MISS YOU LIKE HELL (musical) - Now this is a star-making performance, from an actress I'd never heard of, but who I want to see a lot more from. She should be on the short list for Spielberg's West Side Story.

10. Mare Winingham and Mark Kudish, GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY (musical) - This musical, set in a Minnesota boarding house during the Depression, was perhaps my favorite thing I saw on stage this year. It was haunting, grounded, and utterly unexpected. And the highlights within this were Mare Winingham singing "Like A Rolling Stone" like I'd never heard it before, and Mark Kudish, probably best known for playing lugs (he's played Gaston, Conrad Birdie, and the Dabney Coleman part in the 9 TO 5 musical), delivering a show-stopper of a second act monologue. Boy, this was great.

Honorable Mention: Caissie Levy, FROZEN: THE BROADWAY MUSICAL (musical) and Denzel Washington, THE ICEMAN COMETH (play). I'm throwing both of these here because while both of these shows were...pretty good...and I had problems with both of their performances (although there were things I liked, like Elsa's pants), they both had really hard jobs to do for one specific moment. With Levy, how do you sing "Let It Go?" With Denzel, well, if you know Iceman, you know there's a big monologue in the last 30 minutes of a nearly four hour show that takes up a lot of space and energy. And in both cases, they exceeded expectations. In Iceman, Denzel leaned fully into the "I'm Denzel Washington, I'm who you paid to see, let me pull up this chair and tell you a story" aspect of it - and I mean that literally, he pulled up a chair to deliver the monologue. And with Frozen, well, I don't think Levy will ever approach the iconic status of the original Menzel track. But she gets there, and the arrangements plays to her strength. It also helps that there's a quick-change during the number on stage that left my jaw on the floor.

Boone's Bullshit Ensemble Award, Film: FIRST MAN
Boone's Bullshit Ensemble Award, TV: THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL (Season 2)
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#2
Geraldine Viswanathan in Blockers. The one performance this year that made me go, "Wait, who the hell is THAT?" Undeniable presence and a joy to watch.
My karmic debt must be huge.

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My blog: An Embarrassment of Rich's
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#3
The scary clone of the actual person: the actor playing Brian May in BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. He looked, sounded, and moved exactly like Brian. It was pretty scary. On top of that, it was a good performance.
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#4
Kind of obvious, but Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger in Black Panther.  He's real good.
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#5
Simon Russell Beale in The Death of Stalin. The whole ensemble is good, but his Beria stands out as the most vividly nasty among all the opportunists, schemers, and backstabbers.
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#6
(12-18-2018, 06:11 PM)Pither Wrote: Simon Russell Beale in The Death of Stalin. The whole ensemble is good, but his Beria stands out as the most vividly nasty among all the opportunists, schemers, and backstabbers.

Yeah, I'm working on my list and he will 100% be on it. What an indelible, sublimely evil performance.
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#7
To me, Toni Collette in HEREDITARY is unquestionably the performance of the year. Rarely will you see a performer go for broke like that without it sailing over-the-top.
If we can dream it, then we can do it.
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#8
J.K. Simmons on COUNTERPART, playing two different versions of himself without the benefit of an evil goatee on one of them.
"Lets pour some sugar on Dallas!!  Seriose inquarys only!"
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#9
FILM: Alden Ehrenreich in Solo. The most challenging role of the year. They said nobody, but NOBODY could ever play one of the most iconic characters in the history of cinema, my dad Han Solo, then this kid comes along and plays (almost) all the right notes without doing a cover version. A staggering feat given the maelstrom of a production he had to weather in the process.

TELEVISION: Donald Glover as Theodore "Teddy" Perkins in Atlanta. While for the mainstream mass 2018 will be The Year of Donald Glover for his MEGAHIT rap song This is America, for those of us who are the elite of the elite of the elite of the screen arterati it will be so for the most incredible, extraordinary and unforgettable television character of the decade, one who has haunted me for all of the days and weeks and months since I saw his story, and who will continue to do so until my dying day.

INTERVIEW: Megan Mullally & Nick Offerman on the Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend podcast. PURE FIRE. The best couple in showbiz history in sexiest interview ever put to digital tape or any other kind of tape.
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#10
Cage. Mandy. Obviously.
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#11
FILM:

Rachel McAdams and Jesse Plemons, GAME NIGHT. Two hilarious performances which elevated an already funny film.

TV:

Rhea Seehorn, BETTER CALL SAUL. A character who wasn't even mentioned on Breaking Bad is now one of the most compelling characters in the Breaking Bad universe.
Rhys and Russell, THE AMERICANS. I mean, they were always good, but they're SOOOO GOOD.
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#12
D'Arcy Carden in the "Janet(s)" episode of The Good Place. Carden is consistently great on this show, but this was a whole other level of brilliance.
My karmic debt must be huge.

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My blog: An Embarrassment of Rich's
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#13
TV: Robert McElhenney as Mac in "Its Always sunny in Philadelphia"
"Mac Finds His Pride" will probably go into the history books, and his performance is why.
Im still reeling that this show, of all things, managed to pull that powerful/important a message and performance out of nowhere.
"Dictatorships foster oppression, dictatorships foster servitude, dictatorships foster cruelty; more abominable is the fact that they foster idiocy."

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#14
(12-19-2018, 01:37 PM)Mangy Wrote: Rhea Seehorn, BETTER CALL SAUL. A character who wasn't even mentioned on Breaking Bad is now one of the most compelling

Absolutely.

This scene (spoilers for those who aren't caught up on the show)...




Give her an Emmy immediately.
If we can dream it, then we can do it.
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#15
It shouldn't still catch people by surprise every time a chameleonic comic actor nails a dramatic role, and I could have told you that Bill Hader absolutely had it in him to do so.  I was still taken aback by just how incredible he was as the eponymous Barry.
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#16
Tom Hardy in VENOM is my everything.
I might have been born yesterday sir, but I stayed up all night!
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#17
The movie itself isn’t very good, but Emily Blunt is fantastic in Mary Poppins Returns. It’s extremely hard to give a solid performance in the shadow of a performance as well known as Andrews’ from the original, but she knocks it out of the park.
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#18
(12-20-2018, 01:50 AM)could432 Wrote: The movie itself isn’t very good, but Emily Blunt is fantastic in Mary Poppins Returns. It’s extremely hard to give a solid performance in the shadow of a performance as well known as Andrews’ from the original, but she knocks it out of the park.

Having seen this last night, I have to agree.  She's absolutely magnetic, and pulls off both the broad and tender musical moments brilliantly.
My karmic debt must be huge.

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My blog: An Embarrassment of Rich's
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#19
Blunt was also fantastic in A Quiet Place this year.
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#20
Blunt was also fantastic in (insert any Emily Blunt film here)
Superlaser speaks for me from now on.

-Bart
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#21
(12-18-2018, 10:57 PM)ratty Wrote: J.K. Simmons on COUNTERPART, playing two different versions of himself without the benefit of an evil goatee on one of them.

I still can't see them being the same-ish person. 

Also: Ratty!
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#22
For all the issues I have with Bohemain Rhapsody, Rami Malek was amazing as Freddie Mercury.
I've got good news and I've got bad news. The bad news is that I have lost my way. The good news is that I'm way ahead of schedule.
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#23
(12-19-2018, 01:50 PM)Richard Dickson Wrote: D'Arcy Carden in the "Janet(s)" episode of The Good Place.  Carden is consistently great on this show, but this was a whole other level of brilliance.

There it is.
"I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on Earth."--Steve McQueen
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#24
https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2...-2018.html
the empire never ended
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#25
Film:

Christian Bale, Vice
Nicole Kidman, Destroyer
Jamie Lee Curtis, Halloween
Henry Cavill, Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther
Ethan Hawke, First Reformed
Toni Collette, Hereditary
Tilda Swinton, Suspiria
Nicolas Cage, Mandy
Jeff Bridges, Bad Times at the El Royale
Josh Brolin, Avengers: Infinity War

TV:

Keri Russell, The Americans
Henry Winkler, Barry
Marc Maron, GLOW
Donald Glover, Atlanta
Ed Harris, Westworld
"PREDATOR 2 feels like it was penned by convicts as part of a correctional facility's creative writing program, and that's what I love about it." - Moltisanti
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#26
Cedric the Entertainer spinning his chair in First Reformed should have won him Best Supporting Actor right there.
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#27
Olivia Colman in The Favourite - The bravest and most convincing performance I saw in any film from 2018. Perfectly pitched along a masterfully drawn trajectory, dancing between comedy and tragedy. The courage an actress must possess to go some of the places she went in this film is rarely seen in major motion pictures.
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#28
Can't believe I forgot to mention Rachel Brosnahan, Alex Bornstein and Tony Shalhoub in the second season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Hell, Kevin Pollack too. That show was just on fire this season.
My karmic debt must be huge.

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My blog: An Embarrassment of Rich's
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#29
Gilpin and Brie and Sciorra > Maron on this season of GLOW.

Maron does have that great moment where he basically sums up everyone who ever made a student film:

"I made it when I was younger. I think there is some good stuff in it. I don't fucking remember."
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#30
(01-23-2019, 12:29 AM)boone daniels Wrote: Gilpin and Brie and Sciorra > Maron on this season of GLOW.

Maron does have that great moment where he basically sums up everyone who ever made a student film:

"I made it when I was younger. I think there is some good stuff in it. I don't fucking remember."

I can't even compare. Everyone is great on GLOW. I wanted more of Sciorra. Debbie > Ruth, at least this season. More complexity. Easily my favorite show on Netflix. It's the light to The Americans' dark side of the 80's.

But, I mean:

[Image: 44979704_10213092071040011_2808940317032...e=5C4B0518]
"PREDATOR 2 feels like it was penned by convicts as part of a correctional facility's creative writing program, and that's what I love about it." - Moltisanti
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#31
It's a pretty fucking dark show, man.
home taping is killing music
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