By disappointment media Staff
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Sean Boelman's Pick: Kyle Marvin, The Climb
Michael Angelo Covino’s lovely and darkly hilarious buddy comedy The Climb is one of the best depictions of friendship to grace the screen this year, largely thanks to the chemistry between real-life friends Covino and Kyle Marvin. And while Covino is great as the eternal screw-up who drags everyone around him down, Marvin steals the show as his lovably goofy and endearingly forgiving best friend. Whether struggling to cycle up a steep incline or failing to seduce his girlfriend with an embarrassingly funny dance, Marvin is absolutely wonderful in his role. He holds his own against his more experienced co-stars, turning a role that easily could have been little more than a vector of development for the flawed protagonist into something far more enjoyable and memorable. As he wrote the film with Covino, it’s clear that these roles were written for themselves, but we can expect great things from him in less specific roles too.
Camden Ferrell's Pick: Daveed Diggs, Hamilton
Hamilton, the live stage recording of the hit Broadway musical, was one of the best movies of the year, in part due to its outstanding supporting actor performance from Daveed Diggs. He delivers an undeniably energetic and vibrant dual turn as Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson. He radiates joy and has a lively stage presence in many of his numbers while also proving to be a formidable foe to Hamilton in act two. He especially shines in songs like "Guns and Ships" and "Washington on Your Side". Playing two fundamentally different roles is a challenge, but Diggs effortlessly adopts both characters and creates some truly engaging turns. He gracefully handles the rapid-fire raps, the witty banter, and the show's enjoyable choreography. There is phenomenal chemistry between Diggs and his co-stars, and his palpable charisma is one of the shining moments in film this year.
Dan Skip Allen's Pick: Leslie Odom Jr., One Night in Miami
Leslie Odom Jr. is best known as one of the stars of the hit Broadway play Hamilton. But since his fame on Broadway, he has ventured out into the medium of film, starring opposite Cynthia Erivo in Harriet as William Still, and that was just dipping his toes in the water. His role as Sam Cooke in One Night in Miami is one he really could sink his teeth into. Odom Jr. starred opposite Kingsley Ben-Adir as Malcolm X, Aldis Hodge as Jim Brown, and Eli Goree as Muhammad Ali/Cassius Clay. He stood toe to toe with Ben-Adir and the others from the very beginning of the film. Like Sam Cooke, his discussions with Malcolm X opened up some new avenues of thought for him, making him think about all the aspects of being a black man in America during the civil rights movement. He even had some conscious thought-provoking moments of his own. Odom Jr. has started coming into his own as a character actor to reckon with in the future.
Sarah Williams's Pick: Orion Lee, First Cow
Orion Lee as First Cow's King-Lu is a large part of what made that movie so genuine. Amidst the rugged landscape, his character is soft-spoken and steady, with this articulate charm that stands out among a landscape of men either silent or gruff. Lee's performance isn't a flashy one, but it has the sort of heart that adds so much warmth and depth to a character, one that quietly blends, hardly telling actor from character, that is noteworthy for how it lingers. First Cow is quite accuracy-centric as a period film, with the actors taking on survival training and fully loving and breathing as their frontiersmen for a bit, and the comfort in their characters shows. Without being showy, Orion Lee makes a simple foil for our lead, John Magaro's Cookie, memorably heartfelt, and it's the kind of simple, subtle, warm acting role that's overlooked.
Adam Donato's Pick: Jim Carrey, Sonic the Hedgehog
Remember Jim Carrey from the ’90s? Well, he’s back in a big way. One of the reasons Ron Howard's version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas works so well is that Carrey is very animated and over the top. So seeing him flex this strength again as another animated villain is perfect. Sonic the Hedgehog works as a movie, but without Carrey as Robotnik, it would have been painfully generic and bad. His relationship and chemistry with his henchman, Agent Stone, is absolutely hilarious. Not to mention, the "Where Evil Grows" dance number is one of the greatest scenes in any movie ever. What happened to the cartoonish villain who revels in being evil despite their goofiness? Seeing as the film was a success at the box office, it’s exciting to see where Carrey will get to go in the sequel, especially after where his character is at the end of the movie. It’s just really nice to see Jim Carrey harnessing what made him so great in the past. Thanks for coming back.
What were your favorite performances of 2020? Let us know!
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