You’re Next, I was not a fan of this actor. I thought his performances in movies like The House of the Devil and The Signal were amateurish and self-aware, like he was an actor indicating that he was playing dark. Then came You’re Next, and I was impressed he was able to keep his usual tics in check and make his character come alive through a bizarre sense of practicality. As further evidence, I saw an early screening of Ti West’s next movie The Sacrament, in which Bowen has the lead, and he is also strong at playing regular guys in extreme circumstances.
Riddick convinced me that I am a fan of this ridiculously over-the-top actor. Whenever I see him in a movie now, I get a big smile on my face. I first became familiar with Molla as the absurdly entertaining villain Johnny Tapia in Bad Boys II (where I dubbed him the Cuban John Stamos), but it’s Riddick where he gets huge laughs by saying single words like “NUUUUUUUUUUUNEZZZZ” combined with a facial expression that has to be seen to be believed. Jordi Molla is one of my favorite heels in movies today.
The Spectacular Now that Teller’s performance in the movie works so much for me because it almost acts as an apology or psychological profile of the party-boys he played in Project X and 21 & Over. Teller is so good in The Spectacular Now, finding a way to play an alcoholic that seems completely original (i.e. equally self-aware and self-destructive). He challenges the audience with his character’s decisions in a way not unlike Denzel Washington in Flight. I’m a bit worried about Teller because in the trailer for the upcoming That Awkward Moment he appears to be channeling Vince Vaughn again (like he did in 21 & Over). Besides, that movie is all about Imogen Poots. 2014 is the year of Poots.
To the Wonder. She’s by far the best thing in that movie, perhaps because she photographs so well and is great at displaying emotion non-verbally. Her face is extremely expressive, showing the audience a full range of heartbreak without much dialogue. She’d be great for a Sofia Coppola movie.
Cowboys & Aliens that didn’t take advantage of anything other than her appearance. But in Drinking Buddies and to some extent The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Wilde shows she is adept at comedy and drama when she’s allowed to play an actual person that doesn’t only exist to react off of her male leads.
Spring Breakers, it is Hudgens who most captures the spirit of that challenging and provocative movie. When coupled with the equally subversive Sucker Punch, I’m starting to wonder if Vanessa Hudgens in some kind of secret feminist genius or it’s simply a coincidence that she’s in two of the best movies in recent years at exploring young female exploitation. Even if I’m wrong and it’s dumb luck more than talent, I am interested to see where this actress will go next with her career.
Who turned the corner for you in 2013?
Also, be sure to check back in next week when Patrick and I take a look at our favorite performances of the year.