Best Actor 2019

For the films of 2019

Who is your pick for the best leading actor of 2019?

Antonio Banderas - Pain and Glory
Leonardo DiCaprio - Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood
No votes
Adam Driver - Marriage Story
Joaquin Phoenix - Joker
Jonathan Pryce - The Two Popes
No votes
Total votes: 16

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Re: Best Actor 2019

Postby criddic3 » Wed Mar 03, 2021 11:21 am

Adam Driver was an emotional powerhouse in Marriage Story. Banderas was terrific, too.
I enjoyed DiCaprio's performance, but I would replace Phoenix and Pryce with Adam Sandler and Eddie Murphy.
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Re: Best Actor 2019

Postby Okri » Wed Mar 03, 2021 7:48 am

Banderas was my easy pick. I think Pain and Glory is a genuinely major work from Almodovar and Banderas brings so much to it with their shared history. Driver's next in line. The vehicles for DiCaprio and Phoenix don't work for me, truth be told, and their work doesn't fully cohere for me either.

Pryce is fine, but it's one of those nominations that exists for trivia's sake.

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Re: Best Actor 2019

Postby Reza » Mon Mar 01, 2021 11:16 pm

1. Joaquin Phoenix
2. Antonio Banderas
3. Adam Driver
4. Jonathan Pryce
5. Leonardo DiCaprio

De Niro (The Irishman) would have been my #3 if nominated.

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Re: Best Actor 2019

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Mar 01, 2021 4:06 pm

Phoenix was my choice last year - one of only four times that I agreed with all of Oscar's acting choices. The others were 1963 (Poitier, Neal, Douglas, Rutherford), 1983 (Duvall, MacLaine, Nicholson, Hunt), and 1989 (Day-Lewis, Tandy, Washington, Fricker). 1963 was the only year I agreed with all top six awards.

This was a strong group of nominees. The only one I left out of my top five picks was Banderas in exchange for Robert De Niro in The Irishman, and that was a tough call.

I had nominated Banderas for Almodovar's The Skin I Live In in 2011 along with Michael Fassbender in Shame over George Clooney in The Descendants and Brad Pitt in Moneyball and gave my award to Gary Oldman in Tinker Tailor Solider Spy over Jean Dujardin in The Artist.

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Re: Best Actor 2019

Postby CalWilliam » Mon Mar 01, 2021 2:27 pm

Antonio Banderas gives the most beautiful and introspective performance in this category and fully deserved to win. Also Pain and Glory is one of Pedro Almodóvar's very best films.

I like Driver and DiCaprio very much, as well as the movies they're in. Joker doesn't work at all for me, but Phoenix is undeniably a virtuoso. Pryce is fine, but he's obviously dubbed when speaking Spanish.

Banderas all the way, in the best performance of his career. I also recommend you to check the rest of his work with Almodóvar, specially Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!
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Re: Best Actor 2019

Postby Sabin » Mon Mar 01, 2021 1:28 pm

I still haven't seen Antonio Banderas for Pain and Glory. I'll check it out in the coming weeks. It's certainly well past time I did so.

We're now living in a world where cinema feels almost dead but in 2019 it felt alive in a way that it hadn't in ages. I'm sure somebody could write something up about how every year of or before a disaster (2001, 2007, 2019) turns out to be great but I won't bother. It was a year of surprises and revelations. Like watching Parasite for the first time. Or equally as astonishing was watching Adam Sandler give perhaps the performance of the year in Uncut Gems. Howard Ratner, manically scanning for an opening in a film that plays like a basketball finals where coincidentally everyone is passing a "rock" back and forth, was the character of the year. The National Board of Review couldn't deny it. Whether or not Sandler was just that good or the film was just a good show, he put on such a good show it's hard to care. He should've been a contender.

I find myself thinking the rest of the performances are a bit samey.

Sandler would've creeped Joaquin Phoenix's Joker back into a state of silence. I liked Todd Phillips' Joker a bit more than most on this board because I just found it a compelling voyeuristic thing. Jonathan Rosenbaum apparently prefers it to Taxi Driver by saying the film never invites us to identify with Joker and we simply watch him like a rat in a cage. He's not wrong. It's a very flailing, physical performance by an actor whose acting (for me) too often gets in the way of creating a full character. I always come away thinking of moments rather than a human being. Despite the fact that Joker never makes it clear how we're supposed to think about this person, I think he does a pretty good job of conveying a meltdown. It's a good show.

Leonardo DiCaprio is a bit underrated in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, I think. He's incredibly funny as Rick Dalton, a faded 1950s actor coming into the end of the 1960s. He's neurotic, needy, self-sabotaging, and always on the edge of a meltdown. I don't know why everyone loves the Spaun Ranch section of the film. DiCaprio's horrible turned revelatory day on set is the full meal for me and features some of the actor's best work ever. In fact the more I think about it, this is the first time in ages where it feels like the actor has dredged up something personal.

Before awards season, I thought Adam Driver might sweep but Marriage Story turned out to be a less-hot ticket. I'm fine with how that turned out as I'm not much of a fan of the film. Noah Baumbach is one of my favorite filmmakers whose movies routinely turn me off. I saw a delightful tweet last year: "Everyone is crying during Marriage Story. It's about two theater people who break up. This is a good thing." Anyway, Marriage Story might be his best performance to date by virtue of he simply gets more to do. His "Being Alive" solo, the way he underplays his slashing of his wrists, etc. He's in Millennial Ted Kramer territory (well, it plays like Gen X Ted Kramer) and a win wouldn't be out of place considering he's probably the one aspect more responsible for keeping Marriage Story (and his cheating character) from being obnoxious.

Jonathan Pryce for me is the weakest link of the bunch. He's perfectly fine but one year later I have paralyzing little to say about the film or the performance. He's fine. It's exactly what one would expect from having Jonathan Pryce play a pope. I wasn't that compelled by the film. Jonathan Pryce elevates the material simply because he is a pleasure to watch but as the film digs into his past he becomes a more dull passenger to the film simply telling us things.

I'll watch Antonio Banderas and make a choice then but it's a very strong lineup without a clear favorite for me.
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Re: Best Actor 2019

Postby mlrg » Mon Mar 01, 2021 8:57 am

Voted for Joaquin Phoenix, a truly deserving and magnificent winner in a very respectful lineup.

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Best Actor 2019

Postby CalWilliam » Mon Mar 01, 2021 7:56 am

Time to go back a year and recover from Golden Globes' hangover. Share your thoughts.
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