Saturday, April 2, 2016

Top 100 Actors: Part I (#100 - 96)

My life is never complete until I am in the middle of massive countdowns and silly projects like these, so naturally, I have decided to take another stab at my top 100 favorite actors. My previous list was too influenced by outside opinion, and I felt I had to make amends by presenting a more legitimate favorites list. Also, it has been roughly 5 years since my previous list, so I think I have definitely seen enough movies since then to warrant making this again with a largely new set of actors.

Acocompanied by a small, un-numbered list of my favorite performances (personal favorites ontop) and a brief write-up about what I love so much about them, here they are: my 100 favorite actors.

100. Tom Courtenay

One of the few actors I have seen who can so effectively draw his emotions inward, only releasing into showy outbursts when he absolutely needs to. Being able to show this level of restraint is admirable, and only helps make him an actor I can respect for his willingness to allow the spotlight to shine on his co-stars. But flashiness isn't everything, and Courtenay's subtly emotional performances are always the backbone of his movies.

Favorite performances:
The Dresser
45 Years
Doctor Zhivago

99. Mads Mikkelsen

Though the majority of his filmography is Danish, and I have missed out on most of his performances, the ones I have seen have left a strong impression on me. An actor who can go from one extreme to the other, Mads is one of those performers who can be the most despicable villain imaginable, or become one of the most sympathetic characters you will ever see. No matter what you're seeing him in, and no matter how little material he has to work with, your eye is instantly drawn to him and he never disappoints.

Favorite performances:
The Hunt
Casino Royale
Valhalla Rising

98. Hugo Weaving

Who do you call when you need an iconic modern screen villain? Hugo Weaving, of course. From his incredible voice work in Transformers, to his memorable Red Skull in Captain America (definitely the highlights in both films, I might add) and the incomparably menacing Agent Smith, few actors can handle varied villainous roles quite like him. But that's not all he can do - just check out his unforgettable turn as V. With once of the great voices in modern cinema, Weaving is always a strong presence, making every movie he's in better as a whole just by him being there.

Favorite performances:
V For Vendetta
The Matrix
Lord Of The Rings
Cloud Atlas
The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert

97. Sam Rockwell

One of the greatest character actors of his generation, Sam Rockwell is the kind of guy you can throw into any movie and he will make his role work, regardless of the writing. He has never given a bad performance, and is almost always the best actor in whatever movie he's in (remember, I said "almost"). The fact he can hold his own alongside such greats as Tom Hanks and Alan Rickman (as well as being able to one-up Nic Cage on the scene-stealing level) is a testament to that fact. Excellent at sliding into any role, Rockwell has an energy, comedic delivery, and dramatic edge to his acting like few others.

Favorite performances:
The Way Way Back
The Green Mile
Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind
Seven Psychopaths

96. Marcello Mastroianni

One of the few actors with the ability to stand out as the highlight of not just one, but TWO of Fellini's most impressive and well-regarded films, Mastroianni is practically the essence of Italian "cool". Most remembered for giving smooth, charming performances, he is also a terrifically dynamic actor who can easily steal movies away with his emotionally resonant characterizations. Largely appearing in Italian movies throughout the '60s - '90s, this isn't a guy most casual film fans will be familiar with, but deserves as much recognition as most of the popular American actors of his time - if not more.

Favorite performances:

A Special Day
Everybody's Fine
Divorce - Italian Style
La Dolce Vita

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