Thursday, January 17, 2013

2012 Denny Awards - Part 2 - Most Compelling Performances (Male)

Part 2/3 of my Annual "Denny Awards" ;-)
(Other Years' Awards)

Part I - Best Films
Part II - Most Compelling Performances / Character Roles (Male)
Part III - Most Compelling Performances / Character Roles (Female)

CHILD (male)

          Tom Holland (P) as the 10 year old Lucas in The Impossible [2012] (R - 4 Stars) who has to take care of his mother following the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.   
Honorable Mentions:
           Charlie Tahan (V/P) and Atticus Shaffer (V/P) as young Victor Frankenstein and Edgar E. Gore in Frankenweenie [2012] (PG / A-I - 3 1/2 Stars).
           Kodi Smit-McPhee (V/CR) as Norman and Tucker Albrizzi (V/P) his friend Niel in ParaNorman [2012] ( PG - 3 Stars)
           Daniel Huttlestone (P) as the little boy Gavroche who gets killed in Les Miserables (musical) [2012] (PG-13 / A-III - 3 Stars)  

TEEN (male)
             Logan Lerman (P) as Charlie and Ezra Miller (P) as Patrick in the teenage high school drama The Perks of Being a Wall Flower [2012] (PG-13 - 4 Stars)Along with Patrick's step-sister Sam (played by Emma Watson) the three prove the value of friendship in those high school years..

    Honorable Mentions:   
             Dane DeHaan (P), Alex Russell  (P) and Michael B. Jordan (P) as the three friends Andrew, Matt and Steve in the more sci-fi-y teenage high school drama Chronicle [2012] (PG-13 / A-III - 3 1/2 Stars).  Sometimes even "super powers" can't compensate for a tough life in a troubled home.
             Taylor Lautner (P) as Jacob Black in Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 [2012] (PG-13 / A-III - 3 1/2 Stars).  Jacob didn't get the girl in the story but from what I can gather from watching these films in the theaters, he definitely has an adoring fan base of his own ;-).

             Zac Efron (P) in the film's title role as a directionless young man who at the beginning of the film had to return home to his parents in 1960s Florida after being expelled from college for some unclear offense in The Paper Boy [2012] (R - 3 1/2 Stars).
     Honorable Mentions: 
              Karan Soni (P) as the talented but somewhat nerdy college student Arnou who needed to be reminded that he's "not going to be 21 forever" in Safety Not Guaranteed [2012] (R - 3 1/2 Stars).
            Robert Pattison of "Twilight Saga" fame as a young "corporate vampire" who spends most of his time riding in the back of coffin-like limo while making decisions that "effect millions" in Cosmopolis [2012] (R - 4 Stars).
              Wojciech Zielinski [IMDb][FPL][ENG-trans] (P) as Michal who almost "made it" in today's Poland and Tomasz Schuchardt [IMDb][FPL][ENG trans] (P) as his childhood best friend Janek who has to watch him crash in The Christening (orig. Chrzest) [2010] (UR would be R - Poland / subtitled - 3 1/2 Stars)
              Bradley Cooper as a struggling young writer who finally got his break by cheating in The Words [2012] (PG-13 / A-III - 4 Stars).  He comes to regret it, but how to fix things now? 
              Muhammad Afzal (P) as the 20-something Afzal, a humble water taxi operator in the Kashmir but with  many deep thoughts in his mind Valley of Saints [2012] (UR would be PG-13 - subtitled - 4 Stars.
             Ovanes Torosian (P) as a young Bulgarian college student traveling to his best friend's funeral in Avé [2011] (UR would be R - Bulgaria/subtitled - 4 Stars) with many questions about what life is all about.
             Onur Tukel (P) as the somewhat irreverent (and unemployed) young man living in New York nicknamed "Tuna" heading to his best friend's wedding in Richard's Wedding [2012] (UR would be R - 3 Stars) 
              Paul Dano as a young writer who's both lonely and suffering from writer's block in Ruby Sparks [2012] (R - 3 1/2 Stars).  Finally, he gets inspired in his writing (about a woman, literally "of his dreams") and BOOM she appears.  But now even if she is truly "his creation" wouldn't she be happier/better off if he let her be free?
             Jake Johnson (P) at the far end of "young adulthood", this 30-something journalist takes two rudderless interns under his wing in Safety Not Guaranteed [2012] (R - 3 1/2 Stars)

ADULT (male/unattached/no kids)
              Daniel Craig (P) as Agent 007 James Bond in Skyfall [2012] (PG-13 / A-III - 3 1/2 Stars).  Can there really be anybody else?  Well, maybe ... ;-)

             Liam Neeson (P) as the rifleman Ottway, stranded with seven others in the wilds of Alaska in The Grey [2012] (R/L - 3 1/2 Stars. Honestly, given the recent tragedies in Neeson's life perhaps, his current "Answer to Job."
    Honorable Mentions:
             Denzel Washington (P) as veteran airline pilot "Whip" Whitaker in Flight [2012] (R / O - 3 1/2 Stars) in a great Parable about someone who is both very talented and a mess.  Can even a "Miracle Worker" be Saved if he doesn't deal with his Demons first?
             Adel Yaraghi (P) as Adel, an amiable 40-something Iranian "ad exec" living in Tehran and getting married for the first time who doesn't understand why Leila, his fiancee' would be so insistent on him "quitting smoking" in Meeting Leila (orig. Ashnaee ba Leila) [2011] (UR would be PG-13 - Iran/Subtitled - 3 1/2 Stars)
             Tyler Perry (P) as Wesley Deeds, a good son, and a future good husband, who uses his position as a wealthy man to help young mother who comes into his life who is in need in Tyler Perry's Good Deeds [2012] (PG-13 - 3 1/2 Stars).  His involvement changes his life but changes it for the better allowing him to become "Good' Deeds.

ADULT (male/married/parent)
            Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña, two cops, one single later engaged, the other married with a family in End of Watch [2012] ( R / O - 4 Stars).  In a parish with some 100 families of police officers, I can attest, their dialogue is authentic ;-).

    Honorable Mentions:
           Liam Neeson (P) as the tough guy Brian Mills, a former CIA assassin trying to work his way back into his estranged family in Taken 2 [2012] (PG-13 / A-III - 3 Stars).  Okay, he was rarely "there" for his wife and daughter in the past, but did they have any @$%# idea what he went through to "put dinner on their table?" ;-)  
           Hugh Jackman (P) as Jean Valjean, himself saved by a kindly grandfatherly Bishop, serving as the good adoptive father to Cossette in Les Miserables (musical) [2012] (PG-13 / A-III - 3 Stars)

ELDER (male)
              Jonithen Jackson (P) as Jacob the grandfatherly patriarch of a family of Marshall Islanders who he had in good part moved from the Marshall Islands to the Big Island of Hawaii during his lifetime in The Land of Eb [2012] (UR would be PG-13 - 3 Stars).  Now Jacob was dying (of cancer) and has to come to terms with the fact that he's not going to be able to finish the various projects that he's started. 
    Honorable Mentions:
             Ian McCellen (P) as the Grand Wizard Gandalf in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey [2012] (PG-13 / A-II - 4 Stars) who calls the reluctant hobbit Bilbo Baggins on "an Adventure."
             Frank Langella (P) as Frank in Robot & Frank [2012] ( PG-13 / 3 1/2 Stars). Okay, he wasn't the best of fathers.  Indeed, he spent most of his adult life in jail.  Now he's "out" but he's old and alone and his kids live far away.  At least his son though bought him "a robot" to take care of him... ;-).
             Billy Crystal (P) as Arty in Parental Guidance [2012] (PG / A-I - 3 Stars).  During most of his adult life, Arty "ruled" his family.  A radio announcer, Arty had dreamed of becoming the "voice" of his beloved (first New York then San Francisco) Giants.  Now near the end of his life, even he realizes that this isn't going to happen.  But what of his relationships wife, who did not mind traveling around the country as Arty pursued his dream, and now adult daughter with a family of her own, who did?

              Chris Evans (P) as Captain America and Robert Downey, Jr (P) as Tony Stark in The Avengers [2012] ( PG-13 / A-III - 3 1/2 Stars) two great visions of "America" (The United States) personified.
    Honorable Mentions:
             Javier Bardem (P) as the Julian Assange-like character Silva in Skyfall [2012] (PG-13 / A-III - 3 1/2 Stars)
             Liam Neeson (P) as former CIA assassin Brian Mills just trying trying to be accepted by his wife and daughter again in Taken 2 [2012] (PG-13 / A-III - 3 Stars).
             Daniel Craig (P) as Agent 007 James Bond in Skyfall [2012] (PG-13 / A-III - 3 1/2 Stars)
             Ian McCellen (P) as the Grand Wizard Gandalf in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey [2012] (PG-13 / A-II - 4 Stars).

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