The Fifties for 2012: Best Actor
So, before the bread goes totally stale, and before it gets too awkward to exclude early-autumn highlights like the beautifully played Hello I Must Be Going, the richly conceived Looper, and the impeccably constructed How to Survive a Plague, here begins this year's midway honor roll...
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum for 21 Jump Street, for impeccable and uproarious chemistry even while carving out distinctive personas, winking at the past while wholly delivering in the now;
Tommy Lee Jones for Hope Springs, for his 101 variations on ornery reticence, many flavored with humor, desire, or embarrassment, and just barely signaling a will to improve;
Clarke Peters for Red Hook Summer, for conveying Enoch's decency and his indecency with fresh approaches, across Spike Lee's vertiginous range of heightened and quiet styles;
Joaquin Phoenix for The Master, for hewing to a wormy, clammy core of inarticulate longing and self-reviling discomfort even when he showboats, and for the first processing; and
Channing Tatum for Magic Mike, for emanating a total ease in his body and his relationships but a gnawing unease in his circumstances, all in a relaxed, Soderberghian key.
Honorable mentions are led by Michael Fuith in Michael and then rounded out by Adam Scott in Friends with Kids, Anders Danielsen Lie in Oslo, August 31st, Lucas Pittaway in The Snowtown Murders, and Liam Neeson in The Grey.