The Best Performances of 2016: Part Two

As we’re nearing the end of the year, this is the perfect time to conclude the list that I started back in July (see HERE), where I picked my favourite performance from each of the films that I’ve seen in the cinema this year.

So far, the winners have been:

  • Adam Driver for Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens
  • Jennifer Jason Leigh for The Hateful Eight
  • Brie Larson for Room
  • Will Poulter for The Revenant
  • Ryan Reynolds for Deadpool
  • Alden Ehrenreich for Hail Caesar!
  • Anya Taylor-Joy for The Witch
  • Joel Edgerton for Midnight Special
  • Ben Affleck for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
  • Tom Holland for Captain America: Civil War
  • Kodi Smit-McPhee for X-Men: Apocalypse
  • Angourie Rice for The Nice Guys

Before I continue with the list, I’m going to be a little bold and add someone to list, despite not having actually seen his performance, not having seen the film yet. I’m adding them to my list based on overall blogger suggestions included in the first post and from general positive buzz on the blogosphere.

So my blind submission for this list is John Goodman for 10 Cloverfield Lane. I also considered adding Kate McKinnon for Ghostbusters – should I have or would that have been complete lunacy?

Anyway, back to the main event:

Star Trek Beyond – Sofia Boutella, though Chris Pine’s growing maturity is wonderful to see.

Suicide Squad – Will Smith; sorry Margot Robbie, my expectations for you were astronomical!

Kubo and the Two Strings – Charlize Theron, once again proving that she’s the best thing about anything she’s ever in!

Hell or High Water – A hard choice to be sure, I’m sure many people are either Team Pine or Team Bridges. For me though, it’s Chris Pine, clearly his greatest role yet, showing an increasing maturity.

War on Everyone – Another hard choice but for the wrong reasons! Michael Pena comes closest, but there are no definite standouts. So controversially, I’ll have to say No-one!

Hunt for the Wilderpeople – Juilan Dennison, though Rima Te Wiata is awesome too.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – A tough choice, its hard to overcome my bias towards Eva Green, but it goes to Terence Stamp. But I still love you, Evaaaaaa!

I, Daniel Blake – Hayley Squires

Arrival – Ah, who else? Amy Adams!

Doctor Strange – Don’t suppose I can give it to the cape?! Tough one. Ummmm, Tilda Swinton, though Cumberbatch, Ejiofor and Wong were strong contenders.

Nocturnal Animals – Aaron Taylor Johnson, but Gyllenhaal and Shannon are excellent too.

A United Kingdom – David Oyelowo

A Monster Calls – Felicity Jones

Manchester by the Sea – Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams will surely pick up some awards, but my choice would be Lucas Hedges – a wonderfully likable performance!

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Alan Tudyk

So, some amazing performances there but I guess that this list would be slightly incomplete without choosing an overall winner. Or winners, since I’ll be choosing an actor, actress and an overall ensemble performance.

Best Male Performance: Chris Pine for Hell or High Water


As mentioned before, it’s clearly his greatest role yet and, as also evidenced by Star Trek Beyond, he is maturing wonderfully as an actor and this year he has greatly impressed me with both films. But it’s in Hell or High Water that he truly shines, holding his own against the mighty Jeff Bridges and settling comfortably into this credible, excellently written character. And his agent gets a pay raise . . .

Best Female Performance: Hayley Squires for I, Daniel Blake


So many acting heavyweights in this list to choose from (Theron, Larson, Adams, Jones) but newcomer Hayley Squires gets my vote as she gives a flawless, immersive performance, helped greatly by the fact that her character is perfectly written. Delivering the most emotionally affecting scenes of 2016 (that food bank scene . . !), she gives puts so much passion and emotion into her performance and earns her place in my list alongside the acting giants.

Best Ensemble Performance: The Cast of Manchester by the Sea


Well, it certainly wasn’t going to be Suicide Squad! And I’m guessing that most would choose Nocturnal Animals for this category. But for me, the cast of this film form a formidable familial ensemble (I really wanted to say “fraternity” to complete the alliteration!), every performance is polished (director Kenneth Lonergan even used professional actors for the background extras) and all deliver spot on performances that will surely be recognised come awards season. Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Lucas Hedges, Kyle Chandler, Gretchen Mol, C. J. Wilson, Anna Baryshnikov and even Matthew Broderick are all great.

So that’s your lot. Any favourites of yours?

Stay tuned for my 2016 end-of-year cinema film summary extravaganza list thingy, going up tomorrow. Oh, how exciting!

5 thoughts on “The Best Performances of 2016: Part Two

  1. Bold choice, going with Smith over Robbie for Suicide Squad. Both were excellent, in my opinion. John Goodman was outstanding in 10 Cloverfield Lane, so I think that’s a good blind-add. As for Ghostbusters, I personally preferred Chris Hemsworth to McKinnon.


  2. Charlize THeron was great in Kubo but I liked Roony Mara’s performance more. Aaron Taylor Johnson was damn freaky and unrecognizable in Nocturnal Animals. I too liked Kate McKennon in Ghostbusters Great list

    Liked by 1 person

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