It’s easy to render eye-of-the-beholder opinions about the best movies, greatest actors and best looking and all that, but one must be up on their knowledge of motion picture history to extract the greatest performances of all time. This category isn’t based on star power, good looks or box office receipts, but powerful acting and a roles where the player inextricably became the very character he/she portrayed.
Academy Awards, in my opinion, do not always do justice to the most deserving. Robert Duvall’s portrayal of an obsessed minister in “The Apostle” should have easily landed him the Oscar in 1997. Rather, Jack Nicholson walked away with the award for his every-day-Nicholson performance in “As Good As It Gets.” In terms of powerful acting, there was no comparison.
Same goes for Jody Foster’s 1994 portrayal in “Nell” which far excelled Jessica Lange who won for “Blue Sky.”
So… Oscars notwithstanding, and starting off with the male actors for this blog, here are my picks for top ten movie performances of all time….(adding a few honorable mentions at the end). Feel welcome to weigh in.
1) Robert Deniro – Raging Bull
2) Daniel Day Lewis – My Left Foot
3) Robert Duvall – The Apostle
4) Jack Nicholson – One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
5) Al Pacino – Scent Of A Woman
6) Samuel L. Jackson – Pulp Fiction
7) Jamie Lee Foxx – Ray
8) Tom Hanks – Cast Away
9) Marlon Brando – The Godfather
10) Jack Nicholson – The Shining
Honorable Mention: (which means — it was tough excluding these guys from the top ten)
Ben Kingsley – Gandhi
Gene Hackman – French Connection
Morgan Freeman – Shawshank Redemption
Rod Steiger – The Pawnbroker
Billy Bob Thornton – Sling Blade
Ralph Fiennes – English Patient
Geoffrey Rush – Shine