Hollywood 2010: Best Actors (Lead)

The movie year, which ends today at midnight, was a very good one for films, both American and foreign. Though there were few brilliant films (The Social Network, Carlos, Mesrine), there were many good ones.  In some cases, an actor’s towering performance elevated a whole film, as was the case of Michael Douglas in the little-seen indie, Solitary Man.

Over the next week, we’ll run daily columns that single out the achievements in various categories, such as Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, etc.

For purposes of convenience, we will follow the Academy’s established categories.   The Oscar nominations will be announced on Tuesday, January 25, 2011.
I consider myself an auteurist critic, who deems the director the most important creative force behind the cameras, and thus would like to begin this annual summation with the list of the most impressive filmmakers of the year. (Read Part One).
 
Best Actors: In alphabetical order
 
Lead performances we admire:
Javier Bardem, Biutiful (Mexico)
Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Vincent Cassel, Mesrine (French)
Michael Douglas, Solitary Man
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network 
Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours
Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine
Ewan McGregor, The Ghost Writer
Tahar Rahim, A Prophet (French)
Edgar Ramirez, Carlos (French)
Actors: Runners Ups
 
Lead performances we like:
 
Ben Affleck, The Town
George Clooney, The American
Leonardo DiCaprio, Inception
Stephen Dorff, Somewhere
Robert Duvall, Get Low
Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter
.