Top 10 Performances of 2013: #10

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10. Lupita Nyong’o: 12 Years A Slave

In the months since I posted my 12 Years piece on tumblr, the world has rightfully fallen in love with Ms. Nyong’o and it is safe to say she is an unknown no longer. The utter despair and pain captured in her performance continues to resonate.  This is the sort of performance you can feel in your bones and makes you squirm in your seat.  The whole film is like that, really, but her performance stands out in this respect because her situation is so uniquely desperate and hopeless.  She’s literally hard to watch at times, not because of the brutality she endures, but because the despair and sense of being trapped is so complete and dire in her face, in her actions, her voice.  Great work in what ought to be a star-making performance.  Now, if only the American film industry created roles for black women…

Top 10 Performances of 2013

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1. Adele Exarchopoulos: Blue Is the Warmest Color

Some actors have “that face,” other actors have “those eyes.” Exarchopolous has both. Her’s was not the most polished performance this year, or the most mature, but it is the one that effected me the most emotionally. It’s the one that stuck in my head and refused to leave. I don’t think it sentimental for one to give marks for that: cinema, by it’s very nature is an art of manipulation of the emotions of the viewer, and actors are the vessels through which the viewers emphasize with the characters.  Continue reading