Samuel Brace with the best TV and film performances of 2017 so far…
Having already discussed the top TV shows of 2017 so far, it’s time we cast our gaze towards the standout acting performances, in either TV or film, of the year to date. There have been many truly wonderful turns given, spreading across an array of genres and in both mediums. From veteran performers to rising stars, we’ve really been treated during 2017’s first half, so let’s take a look at what’s what, at the best performances in TV and film so far in 2017.
James McAvoy – Split
The return to form of M. Night Shyamalan was impressive indeed, but what was equally as powerful as the film itself was the central performance of one James McAvoy. Here playing a bevy of different characters, all facets of one disturbed mind, McAvoy had full licence to display every ounce of talent that fills his soul, simultaneously making us weep and laugh, recoil and cheer. His performance had pretty much everything, and with news that McAvoy will be returning for the film’s sequel, Glass, we will be appreciating his accomplishment here for some time still to come.
Carrie Coon – The Leftovers
Not only did Carrie Coon give one of the best performances of the year in the final season of The Leftovers – may its glory be everlasting – but she is quickly establishing herself as one of the best actors working today, period. Coon as Nora takes us through every emotion conceivable during this darn right miraculous turn, able to elicit contempt and utter love from us in equally powerful doses. Coon is an incredibly versatile performer, as her simultaneous turn on Fargo aptly demonstrates, but it’s her accomplishments on The Leftovers that will stand the test of time. Devastating is probably her most apt descriptor.
Justin Theroux – The Leftovers
Devastating is also a word that applies equally to this man. What Justin Theroux was able to achieve during his Leftovers run was immaculate, and it all accumulated in a near perfect turn in the show’s last set of episodes. Theroux has always been a good actor, but here he provides us with something else, something more, able to chain himself to the utter depths of despair while carrying us all right on his back. His performance in the show’s final episode, matched perfectly by Carrie Coon – you could say they were made for each other – also displayed another wonderful side to his skills, charming us all into loving once more, only before breaking our hearts again with a performance of such emotional density that Hollywood’s biggest stars could only hope to match.
Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge/Silence
If you are looking for the greatest actor working in movies today, you don’t have to look any further than Andrew Garfield. Early 2017 – late 2016 in other parts of the world – was the time when Garfield cemented his position with two truly astonishing performances. His turns in both Hacksaw Ridge and Silence, as men of unshakeable faith and the utmost integrity, will live long in the memory. You will rarely see two better performances by one actor in such quick succession, or an actor capable of conveying such relatable integrity in his characters. Instead of shaming us for our own lack of conviction, Garfield’s performances here instead only inspire us to be better. These were truly redoubtable turns and the fact that neither was able to land him an Oscar is a crying shame indeed.
Jude Law – The Young Pope
It wasn’t enough that The Young Pope turned out to be the best TV offering of the first part of the year, but it also showed the world the exquisite and all encompassing talents of its star, Jude Law. Not the first name that comes to mind for such plaudits, but all this praise has rarely been more deserving by an actor than he. Law was able to take one of TV’s most complicated characters and break him down piece by piece, revealing to the audience the very DNA of just who Pope Pius XIII/Lenny is. Law had to do an awful lot here as the new American pope, with the character’s fire and brimstone tendencies, Machiavellian mentality, but also with a person that’s as nakedly vulnerable as any other on screen today. The Young Pope deals heavily in conveying God’s weight, but its Law’s grandiose performance that is perhaps heaviest of all.
What are you favourite performances of the year so far? Let us know in the comments below…