Film Review

Critics Conversation: The Great Film Performances Of 2022


Critics Conversation: The Great Film Performances Of 2022

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Critics Conversation: The Great Film Performances Of 2022
Critics Conversation: The Great Film Performances Of 2022

John Frosh Here we go again! One thing I’ve learned about the epic madness known as awards season is the opportunity to try — and sometimes show people — things that aren’t in the “conversation.”

Many shows manipulate algorithms to cheat the Academy. So the month before the Oscars seems like an inevitable rush. In the world of broadcast or niche markets, it’s disappointing to see fewer interesting shows being produced.

Here we go! To flatter critics, they have their own blind, biased opinions, and as anyone who’s spent any time on Twitter knows, they can be downright nasty. But discovering the great surviving work is one of the most exciting and, I would say, most important parts of our work.

David Rooney is an Oscar-worthy barometer by which performances are judged, often for the wrong reasons. As soon as people saw Damien Chazille’s Babylon and Margot Robbie’s wild, wireless children’s jazz-age number, a whispering campaign began about how she should be in the Oscar conversation. But does this automatically qualify someone to do more ? I would love to see awards like Mammy Till and Danielle Didwiler in Till. Everything, everywhere, was immediately more polished than the others, but I have no problem praising Michelle Yeoh for her varied work – as a kind of emotional movement. Seeing a veteran star in the lead role of a longtime American was a reward in itself.

FROSCH Some people deserve it because they’re “in the conversation,” and Deadwyler and Yeoh are two of them. In addition, it seems that Brendan Fraser decided to return to the whale , revealing the soul and spirit of Darren Aronofsky’s character. And Colin Farrell proving it, given his outstanding performance in Audible – and the sickly Padraic in Martin McDonagh’s tragic exploration of male pathology Banshee of Inisher – certainly deserves to be among our best.

Then there’s Cate Blanchett. At times, his performances have a grandiosity that can generally sound a bit monotonous. But Blanchett is a little out of her league when it comes to relationships. Lydia Tarr, the lead actress in Todd Field’s wonderful, dense and poignant drama, is a joyous, then humbled, joyous creature, one of those cases of acting chemistry. Lydia’s inconsistency is infuriating. But in Blanchett’s role, they’re also awkwardly integrated, if that makes sense. We understand Lydia—and are drawn into the terrible spiral of her strength and human frailty—perhaps more than we care to admit.

LOVIA GYARKYE Blanchett electric in Tar. I can’t think of a better description of his work than “constant comfort”. The image resembles a conspiracy, as if the narrator and the hero are conspiring to confuse the already frightened viewer. This makes Lydia feel more in love because she is in control of her situation and herself. Watching it all unfold feels like a continuous rapid and continuous inhalation and exhalation.

Rooney Blanchett may be a little too theatrical for my taste — I wasn’t a fan of Oscar-winning actress Blanche Dubois’ riff on Blue Jasmine — but I was moved by every second of her performance in court. I love how Blanchett’s masterful pyrotechnics offset Nina Hosen, Lydia’s longtime wife and colleague, whose loyalty is lost when she’s treated with respect. and Noemi Merlant as an assistant who tracks and records all violations.

FROSCH So we can all agree that Blanchett deserves every award she gets. How about a low-key project that should avoid the limited radar of academia? I think Dale Dickey, the romantic singer , known for playing creepy characters in trailer parks, creating a cute lead scene where a Colorado widow reunites with her childhood sweetheart (Wes Studi)? Or does Aubrey Plaza’s “Criminal Emily ” provide a sympathetic portrait of a woman trapped in financial prudence through bad decisions?

And Léa Seydoux, giving her favorite role of the year as a single mother with an ailing father and a new boyfriend in Mia Hansen-Love’s Good Morning . It’s easy to overlook Seydoux’s unwavering grip on movie star magnetism, as there’s a rich sensibility to her work here. It’s not – excuse the shade – Julia Roberts or Nicole Kidman playing normal de-glam people, but they can’t get their power down enough; Seydoux loses herself in the character of a middle-class Parisian woman trying to find happiness amidst the emotional and logistical challenges of everyday life.

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There are two things Seydoux’s authorities (or reviewers) don’t like: sketches and subtitles. Hatred of the latter is especially alarming, as one of the outstanding performances of French actors this year is Anais Demostieu and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi in the romantic comedy ” Anais Amuruz “; In Jacques Adyar’s 13th arrondissement of Paris, Lucie Zhang, a Franco-Chinese woman, moves between work, family, immobility and pain, which affects her speech and weakness. Annamaria Bartholomew , the headless leader of the explosive abortion odyssey; And in Seoul Park Jimin, her portrayal of a quirky adopted French woman exploring her Korean roots becomes one of the unexpected sensations of the year.

GYARKYE I must echo your beautiful praise of Anais Demoustier and Bruni Tedeschi . What an exciting couple these two make as they surround each other before succumbing to the emotional waves of their inevitable relationship.

Sticking to non-English language films, I liked the two main characters in “Holy Liaisons ” by Mohammad-Saleh Haron and Saint Omer in “Alice Diop “. In the previous Achuwak, Abaker Suleiman plays a single mother in Chad who makes a shameful attempt to help her 15-year-old daughter (Rihana Khalil Aliyo) get an abortion. Both plays unfold slowly and beautifully as mother and daughter come to trust each other.

In Saint Omer , a gripping court drama based on the real-life case of a French woman who took the life of a child, the arrest of the accused Guslaga Malanda is remarkable. See how he uses subtle cues to lead and deceive us: alternating glances, upright postures, and brooding smiles that are both sly and mischievous.

One of my pet peeves is that the body that hands out the ROONEY awards looks down on actors who don’t speak English; Make no mistake, Tammy Faye de Chastain is rated by the Academy as more than Penelope Cruz in Parallel Mothers .

John, I also loved Park Ji-min’s cool work in Back to Seoul , a show that unexpectedly jumps from movie to movie and does the same thing. This is one of the most compelling and unbiased studies of cultural roots and identity in recent memory. Another hit was Vicky Krieps , who balances frayed edges with sadness, nostalgia and suppressed fury as Corsage, Empress Elisabeth of Austria. Like The Divine Tang Wei, the gripping neo-noir atmosphere and circus melodrama of Park Chan-wook’s emotional upheaval in his decision to leave.

And I completely agree with Seidu about the wonderful morning . Finding drama in everyday life is a true art; She does this effortlessly, delving into her spiritual nature while trying to be a social girl who doesn’t care about her own needs. It seems inconceivable that the same actor would play a glamazon near the operating tables in David Cronenberg’s futuristic crime thriller.

These are the series that should be ignored again because the movies fly under the radar or the cast doesn’t fit the mold of a far-fetched, award-worthy show.

Speaking of the absence of GYARKYE , it was very fruitful for women of color on the big screen. The announcement that fifth-time Oscar winner Juanita Moore (for 1959’s The Imitation of Life ) will receive a posthumous star will add to the Academy Awards’ record of infamy for black actresses on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. . This story made me appreciate the complexity of this year’s shows, which together create a broad picture of women of color.

We’ve already talked about Deadwyler giving us a solid emotional center as we roll through the classic beats of Till . Maternal instinct drives the main character of the fake nanny, Nikiatu Jusou , a Senegalese woman who keeps her son at home while working as a nanny in New York. The film stars Anna Diop, who delivers the dramatic moments necessary to underline the film’s gruesome ending and the humorous touches in its lighter moments.

A very different matrix is ​​embodied by Gabrielle Union in Bratton’s Elegance study . The character — based on Breton’s mother, who disowns him for being gay — has no obvious redeeming qualities, but Union infuses him with a sweetness that makes his unrelenting hatred all the more difficult to dislike.

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Viola Davis as Naniska, the tyrannical ruler of the King of Women , gives us a fascinating portrayal of the villain – even with her ugly fight scenes, it’s very easy to root for her. Sasu Mbedu’s relationship with Navi, a newbie as perceptive as she is, gives both actors room to stretch, and while I’m not a fan of the challenges the narrative brings, I do enjoy the verbal battle between the two. Two women

FROSCH was definitely a stronger year for women than for men. I loved Jeremy Pope in this review . From movement to nature – a clear vision – Pope’s theatrical experience lends expressiveness to the stage performance. Hey, Alice’s Black Sea is an open wound of emotional and sexual thirst, and this choice to play very close to the surface works wonderfully, breaking the distance between us and the main character as he navigates hostile spaces, be it his mother. gay apartment or labor camp.

As great as Raul Castillo is, he’s still the silent MVP (Team Richie forever!). As Sergeant Ellis and his ilk, he comes across as “supportive” in the best sense of the word, and could easily be overlooked if it weren’t for his painful honesty.

Rooney, a first-time stage actor, transitioned into an incredible film role, and I was thrilled that Jeremy Bishop was able to pull it off . A more intuitive show that sticks in my mind is Paul Mescale ‘s Aftersun. It’s heartbreaking to watch this young father hide his melancholy and try to create happy vacation memories with his 11-year-old daughter (Frankie Cariot, What’s Up). Mescal works hard to discover his body and is keenly aware of the hopelessness of his current life and the uncertainty of his future.

A similar quality distinguishes Brian Tyra Henry’s extremely refined work from Jennifer Lawrence’s Sidewalk . Both are excellent, but the film’s emotional source material gives Henry a careful opening as a down-on-his-luck mechanic from New Orleans.

John, you mentioned Farrell in Banshee, which I totally agree with, but praise his tragic work as Kaganada ‘s father-to-be, who wants to restore family harmony after Young. One production is characterized by emotional expressiveness, the other is elegantly restrained.

FROSH Mescal and Amin Henry; Both have a lot in common with this type of economy. And while Taylor Russell takes home most of the awards for his stunning portrayal of a handsome ogre in Luca Guadagnino’s Bones and All , Timothée Chalamet, the best actor of his generation, reminds us why. We can get to the point where we can calculate how good it is. Here, his creativity is amazing – every line is accompanied by music – but, unlike many of his peers, he never loses sight of the irony; He always focuses his behavior on the human factor. Both Call Me By Your Name and Little Women , Bones and All prove that Chalamet is a romantic lead, possessing the rare ability to turn sexual passion into genuine chemistry with his on-screen partner rather than kinship. locked in them. His actor

GYARKYE Henry Creates His Love For Brian Tyree – When Will We Get A 120 Minute Movie About Him? – and Jeremy Bishop.

But back to the ladies! Tilda Swinton’s dual performance in Eternal Daughter proved she’s a cut above us all, sliding between mother and daughter roles with ease. Of course, Ed Rutherford’s makeup and cinematography are key to the magic, but Swinton’s subtle physical cues—straight and slightly bent—along with some insightful facial expressions (the worried daughter’s wink, the mother’s knowing look) help define each character.

We’ve talked a lot about solo shows, but do you have a favorite set?

ROONEY Banshee may have favorite actor of the year. Martin McDonagh has already hailed Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as Ireland’s greatest comedy duo in Bruges , but he delves into the surprisingly touching story of a lifelong friendship that gradually leads the pair to a tumultuous crisis. The results of their argument are played out with varying degrees of humor and seriousness by all the actors, especially Kerry Condon as Padraic Farrell and Barry Keoghan as the silly but intelligent daughter of the village police. But there isn’t a weak link here, each responding to Jagan’s melodies and the wonderful musicality of McDonagh’s language like finely tuned instruments.

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FROSCH ‘s star-studded cast of Women Who Talk are also central to this film’s effectiveness – although, to my surprise, Rooney Mara’s quiet, light turn was my favorite (I’m not usually a Rooney Mara person) and Ben Whishaw’s only male. the roles of the female partners in the invasion were the ones I found least (mostly) believable. I like the weather).

One of the most powerful and perfect groups of the year was James Gray’s devastating memoir Armageddon Time . In the 1980s As members of a middle-class Jewish family, Anne Hathaway, Jeremy Strong, Anthony Hopkins (an incredible but divine actor) and Banks Repetta are funny, moving and – in one surprising scene – terrifying.

Not surprisingly , he’s a great team player given his work on the board. But Hathaway, as the loving but concerned mother, was a revelation. He can be too big, too obvious for supporting roles (I mean his low-key role as her husband in Todd Haynes ‘ Dark Waters and even Brokeback ). But she shuffles under Gray’s strong hand to lend her star power. stars More character and size than on the page, without spoiling his work, destroyed his colleagues.

I found Rooney very strong during Armageddon . He’s scary when he explodes, as you mentioned, but there’s something terrifying about the stubborn way he acts around this guy. As a father who does not know how to communicate with his son, he conveys a painful awareness of his own shortcomings.

GYARKYE About the kids: Laura Wandel’s Children on the Playground , a Belgian drama about the nature of a Darwinian schoolyard, was unique. Maya Vanderbeek and Gunter Durrett are siblings whose relationship is strained by the feudal dynamics of their first school. Vanderbeek, in particular, excels in a role that must go through a slow and painful transition that displays a lot of emotion and a lack of clarity. He captures the emotions of his character – the anxiety of the first day of school, the despair of realizing that his brother is being bullied, the agony of helplessness and the fury of hatred – convincingly, stunningly.

Were there any new features that surprised you? I thought Kelly Reyes made her debut in Catching Pretty as an ex-boxer who goes on a destruction-style journey to save her little sister. Most of the movie didn’t work for me, but I was impressed by the substance of Reyes’ performance and the beauty of his fight scenes.

FROSCH Jack Lowden is an actor who has been working steadily for a decade, but has never been on my radar. Terence Davies’ portrayal of the English World War I veteran and poet Siegfried Sassoon in “Dear Blessing” is funny, sad, and measured: a biography, by God, a biography without peacocks and panthers!

GYARKYE Did someone surprise you? An unexpected turn for me came from Anna Kendrick in Alice, Dear Alice, which comes out at the end of the year. As a woman in an abusive relationship, Kendrick sheds her comedic guise, embraces a brutal sensibility, moving from vulnerability to unsettling tenacity and back again.

ROONEY I don’t usually watch MCU movies for the great acting, but Angela Bassett’s firepower was forever captured in Black Panther: Wakanda . Queen Ramonda is extremely calm, but with sadness, pride, and don’t get me wrong, Joan Crawford. Thanks to Letitia Wright’s work on the powerful character and the support of Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o and Dominique Thorne, the Marvel blockbuster also recognizes that 2022 is the most influential year for women on screen.

A version of this story first appeared in the Dec. 7 issue of The Hollywood Reporter. Click here to subscribe .

Review of the movie Liberation (2022).

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