5. Jonah Hill - Donnie Azoff - The Wolf of Wall Street
Jonah Hill is an actor some love or hate but one everyone knows for his comedic roles. Even in his Oscar nominated role for Moneyball he was a bit comedic but in Wolf of Wall Street, this is where Hill goes all out. I’m used to seeing Hill in different variations of himself that tend to bring laughter but Hill transforms himself in this role. He adopted a Long Island accent for the part which I was originally bit wary of but it perfectly meshed within the film’s context. Hill does have his moments of humor but it’s not the typical Jonah Hill humor. There’s a drug fight with Leo, him flipping out and being irrational at times but not once does he break character to become typical Jonah Hill. Hill becomes his character Donnie and he plays it so well that it isn’t even hard to accept him in the role. Jonah definitely earned his spot here for not showing he has the range but the fact he took a minimum paycheck to be in the film so he could work the talented Scorsese makes it a respectable performance.
4. Jake Gyllenhaal - Detective David Loki - Prisoners
Jake Gyllenhaal is one of the most underrated actors out there. Gyllenhaal is always willing to give a strong performance but his handsome nice guy persona tends to overshadow his roles. Recently Gyllenhaal has been tackling some interesting movies with intriguing roles He was fantastic in Source Code, played the cop role in End of Watch to perfection and he superbly shines in Prisoners. There is nothing nice guyish about Detective Loki. The man is a torn soul and there is no straight backstory for him. It’s all picked up by his actions and his desire for justice. It’s all evident due to Jake Gyllenhaal’s portrayal of the character. The way he sits, the way he interacts with others and his frustration with the case. Everything is explained throughout all those actions and not many actors can build a story for their character, Jake is one of few. One of my favorite moments is an interrogation scene which gives you an idea of why he was a runner up for Batman a couple of a years ago. Hands down one of Gyllenhaal’s more memorable performances and characters.
3. Michael Fassbender - Edwin Epps - 12 Years a Slave
Michael Fassbender has come a long way in the past couple of years. He’s one of the hottest actors n Hollywood right now. It would only be fitting for him to get award recognition for a role with longtime collaborator Steven McQueen. Of course Fassbender couldn’t be the lead in this film but McQueen gives him the perfect role to showcase his talents and he doesn’t disappoint. Edwin Epps is a psychotic character, sadistic, selfish and pathetic. Fassbender brings all those characteristics to life. This is quite a different role for Fassbender and he nails it down quite well. Fassbender gives you the sense that this man is a danger to himself and to everyone around him. Fassbender is in constant rage mode as Edwin Epps and this is definitely one of 2013’s standout supporting performances but a tad shy of being the best.
2. Jared Leto - Rayon - Dallas Buyers Club
Jared Leto is another underrated actor but he hasn’t made any films for a while. Instead he was focusing on his band 30 Seconds to Mars. This was quite the comeback film for the actor. Leto is completely unrecognizable in his role as Rayon. This isn’t the Jared Leto everyone is used to. There were at times I forgot this was Jared Leto. I really felt as if Rayon was a real person. Leto truly becomes a drug addicted transgender here, his feministic qualities are down to a pat and his tremendous weight loss to show someone suffering from aids and drugs was just mind blowing. Reason this didn’t end up being my number one performance of the year was because it was very similar to Walter Goggins’ performance as Venus (another transgender performance) in Sons but that doesn’t discredit Jared Leto at all because it’s a not a very easy role to play. Leto plays Rayon to the best of his ability but probably gives Rayon the much needed performance he or she (depending on how you look at it) required.
1. Ryan Gosling - Luke Glanton- Place Beyond the Pines
Ryan Gosling is one of the best working actors out there and has been on roll with movies ever since opting out of mainstream light to primarily focus on indie films. His performance as Luke Glanton has stood out to me all year, especially since the film came out early in the year. Gosling even opted to perform his insane stunts to add a sense of authenticy to the film’s biking sequences. Luke starts from a reckless badass who doesn’t seem to care for anything or anyone but when he realizes he has a son with a former ex, the character starts reevaluating his decisions. Gosling was the best choice for a role like this because of his liability and range. You really feel torn for Luke, he hasn’t made the best decisions in his life but he’s trying to make amends for it but there is this psychotic nature hidden in him and it’s one of his biggest flaws. What works so well is when those flaws start to show, Gosling’s token silences come right after. It makes Luke seem even more unbalanced than he really is. Even though Gosling is just in the movie for a short part of the movie, you still feel his presence all throughout the movie. Luke Glanton is different from typical award fare, Gosling gives it his best to make it one of the more memorable performances especially in a crowded year. The character is a joy to watch and Gosling does not play this as a supporting role but he plays it like a leading man and I loved every minute of it.
George Clooney (Gravity), Bradley Cooper (American Hustle/The Place Beyond the Pines), Colin Farrell (Saving Mr Banks), Sam Rockwell (The Way Way Back) Will Forte (Nebraska)