Best Hollywood film performances of 2022: Timothée Chalamet to Michelle Yeoh and Mia Goth
From Timothée Chalamet in Bones And All to Mia Goth in Pearl, we rank the Best Hollywood Film performances of the year.
As the year comes to a close, we take a look back at some of the best performances from Hollywood in 2022. While ranked in no particular order, the list here includes rich, extraordinary work from actors that stood out irrespective of their screen time. Here is a snapshot of the finest performances from Hollywood of the year.
Cate Blanchett in Tár: Cate is all sorts of extraordinary in her performance as the titular orchestra conductor Lydia Tár in Todd Field's operatic examination of the abuse of power. The force of her performance is not in entertaining grand speeches (although the introduction alone gives the actor that groundwork) but in the way she is so utterly believable as the brilliant, EGOT-winning artist who knows her job. We genuinely believe in her pursuit of excellence, and her capability to preside over a set of musicians. In playing a genius, Cate has created an act of genius herself. In a career defined by exhilarating work, the Academy Award-winning actor creates a forensic, incisive portrait of an artist that may very well earn her the third Oscar.
Austin Butler in Elvis: Rarely do we see a performance that is so electric that as soon as the film gets over, one rushes to search about the actor instead. That is the effect Austin creates in his transformation as iconic singer Elvis "the Pelvis" Presley in Baz Luhrmann's musical biopic Elvis. Austin is electric - grinding and headlining his way to match the energy and ambition of the film and holds it together even in its wobbly, melodramatic moments. Then there are the moments when the parade of the most iconic songs- including Hound Dog and and Heartbreak Hotel, appear and Austin hits it out of the park. There's no denying the impact of Austin's sensational performance in Elvis.
Janelle Monáe in Glass Onion: When we first meet Janelle's Andi in the deviously fun sequel to Knives Out (2019), she has no time for fooling around to solve a puzzle. She breaks the wooden box with an axe and gets to the point. Janelle's performance also has the same effect in the ensemble whodunit, where she outdoes a cast that includes actors Daniel Craig, Edward Norton and Kate Hudson by a mile. This is a rich, perfectly orchestrated performance that could have gone wrong even with the slightest of misjudgement in character. That her performance gets even better in the second watch when we know what happened underlines that this is a performance too good to be missed.
Timothée Chalamet in Bones And All: Timothée plays Lee, a young cannibal who lures his victims based on their capacity to inflict some kind of injustice and hurt on someone else. It's a pattern that becomes slowly visible in Luca Guadagnino's masterful Bones And All, once his character opens up about his tortured past to Taylor Russell's Maren. Luca, who directed the young star to worldwide recognition in Call Me By Your Name sure knows how to use the temperance and volatility of the actor. Timothée's Lee is the aching, bruised heart at the centre of this film- not a single note in this quietly affecting performance feels out of place.
Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All At Once: Michelle delivered the performance of the year in Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert's Everything Everywhere All At Once, jumping from one multiverse to another without losing an iota of the emotional transparency. It's a once-in-a-lifetime role and Michelle powers through it with her decades-long expertise in physical action. Meanwhile, she is able to evoke a warmth that rescues her character Evelyn Wang above the reach of the interwoven screenplay, to provide a boundless, multi-dimensional control. Give her all the awards!
Tom Cruise in Top Gun Maverick: There's no one but Tom as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell who could pull off those insane action sequences in Top Gun Maverick. The actor returns to the role after 36 years and reinvents it with the fire and energy of a modern-day star. The cockpit sequences alone are in a league of their own but this is a movie-star performance at is very best, radiating with age and experience, unafraid to show his fears, frustrations and insecurities. Its a sure-footed performance from an actor that never fails to hold the attention of its audience.
Mia Goth in Pearl: Mia starred in Ti West's X and then followed it up in the prequel Pearl, in what might quite possibly be the most memorable doubly-billed performances of the year. She was unforgettable as both the young grungy woman and the old monster piled under tons of prosthetics. Above all this, her uninterrupted, six-minute long monologue in Pearl alone should stand as a testament to the actor's ability to unearth layers of vulnerability and desperation into the culmination of a monster. It's a hypnotic, shattering performance that rings of emotional truth.
Colin Farrell in The Banshees of Inisherin: Colin has had an amazing year, turning in not one but three great performances in After Yang, The Batman, Thirteen Lives. Yet he saved the best for the last, reuniting with his In Bruges (2008) director Martin McDonagh for The Banshees of Inisherin to play a tortured, kind Irishman named Pádraic. Colin is incredibly affecting as a man whose kindness disguises itself as masculine hurt, as his long-time friend Colm (Brendan Gleeson) refuses to talk to him one fine morning. He refuses to let go of the friend, yet realizes that his life suddenly feels purposeless without his friend. The scenes with his pet donkey Jenny alone will stop you in the tracks.
Special Mention: Brendan Fraser in The Whale, Tilda Swinton in The Eternal Daughter, Dakota Johnson in Cha Cha Real Smooth, Emma Thompson in Good Luck To You, Leo Grande and Keke Palmer in Nope