As 2022 draws to a close, there’s a lot to look at and ponder, including those moments in film and television when we’ve paused, wowed, or completely devastated an actor. These moments, and performances, stay with us long after the story ends, and oftentimes register on a deeply personal level.
Here are some of the notable scene-stealers this year:
Weaver is an iconic actress who has worked with James Cameron to deliver incredibly successful scores many times. But it was still surprising to hear that she would appear in the “Avatar” sequel, considering the demise of her character Dr. Grace Augustine in 2009’s “Avatar” that launched the franchise. Visually speaking, however, the “Aliens” actress and director didn’t disappoint here, creating the character Weaver Kiri in the new film, a 14-year-old girl who looks uncannily like Dr. Augustine but is still herself. Kiri is one of the more mysterious and fascinating aspects of “Avatar: The Way of Water,” and a lot of that has to do with Weaver’s voice performance – who is said to ask her to draw on her own experiences as a teenager.
While most of the other actors in this blockbuster from A24 have scooped up heaps of accolades – and with good reason – Hsu’s portrayal of the daughter of Asian immigrants struggling with the burden of coming out to her mother is utterly vulnerable and heartbreaking. movie, helping the escalating narrative move forward. Hsu’s fierce performance surprises you, bringing the boisterous insanity of “Everything Everywhere” down to earth for a candid and dramatic parking lot scene that ultimately, though somewhat small, becomes the backbone of the whole thing.
As Valentina, the apologetic director of The White Lotus in Sicily, it was Impacciatore’s job to provide most of the local color in the earlier episodes of the second season of this buzzy HBO series. But when Mia (Beatrice Grann) casually asks Valentina mid-season if she’s gay, right there at a hotel reception, Impacciatore’s reaction can be a master class in scene study. It’s an inventive piece of acting that tells of life’s oppression and curiosity through a series of subdued facial expressions. (“White Lotus” from HBO, which, like CNN, is part of Warner Bros. Discovery.)
While many have been speculating about who will land the role of Madonna in her upcoming biopic (that honor has been extended to Julia Garner from “Ozark”), Wood has stepped up and presented her own insane version of Material Girl in this hilarious Roku opposite. Daniel Radcliffe, who sets aside factual correctness in order to proceed with satire. For all its absurdity, there is something just right about Wood’s portrayal, giving fans something else to watch other than reruns of the now-cancelled “Westworld.”
Starr’s portrayal of Homelander is one in the record books, repeatedly raising the terrifying question of what would happen if an amoral psychopath Superman masquerading as a hero in an Amazonian superhero satire. This was especially true of this year’s third season, Who witnessed the experience of the little-headed man in a maelstrom of emotions.
While many fans were (starting to) lose patience with June’s (Elisabeth Moss) shenanigans seemingly without consequence on Hulu’s fifth season, the seventh episode, titled “No Man’s Land,” was one of the best episodes of the entire series, and it was Thanks Strahovski. While the circumstances surrounding her character Serena’s predicament in the episode are somewhat absurd — she chooses to shoot her supposed accomplice and facilitate the escape for her nemesis June — the resulting sequence of her being born in a barn with June’s help is nothing short of fantastic television. Strahovski’s physical commitment to the part is only matched by her expressions once the tables are turned and she becomes a servant herself.
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