Crowded field, as always. Wish I could include more. My five Best Actor picks are:
George Clooney is at his understated best playing the most professional of professional killers with a non-fussy attitude and an excellent sense of dramatic timing. The film's quiet, observational style is the perfect stage for the subtlety and detail of Clooney's performance. He doesn't need much dialogue; his face does all the talking.
Nicole Kidman is getting most of the press for her terrific performance in Rabbit Hole, but Aaron Eckhart is equally brilliant, playing a character who staunchly clings to every memory of his son in order to subdue a bitter rage that simmers just beneath a stoic front. Watching him finally lash out is painful but entirely understandable.
Eisenberg gives a highly mannered yet nuanced performance as Zuckerberg, or rather, a quasi-alternate-universe projection of Zuckerberg. He doesn't try to do an imitation, but carves out a unique and complicated social outsider who seems to suffer from both an inferiority and superiority complex all at once, wanting to belong, but on his own.
He’s the film's biggest asset, holding all 90 minutes of the movie almost entirely by himself, bringing not only a lot of energy and charisma, but also the restraint and tact to evoke his character's arc from blissful ignorance to his moment of epiphany. What I’ll ultimately remember 127 Hours as is a gripping performance piece from a skilled actor.
A wholly realized, lived-in performance that cuts close to the bone. Gosling turns himself inside out for Derek Cianfrance's devastating marital drama, embodying all the love, anger, fear, compassion, and regret that goes hand-in-hand with marriage all at once, but in different proportion and focus depending on the progression of his character.
Just missed: Javier Bardem in Biutiful, Jeff Bridges in True Grit, Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception, Robert Duvall in Get Low, Colin Firth in The King's Speech