Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael Fassbender and the top ten performances in 2012 not to receive an Oscar Nomination

Some might call this a snub list but I actually had a tough time deciding who would make the cut because I think for the most part everyone nominated in the acting categories were well-deserved.  But one can always find a few actors who had excellent performances without anyone taking notice.  Javier Bardem did a fine job as the villain in SKYFALL, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña play ambitious young cops in South Central L.A. with ease, Marion Cotillard was good as usual in the foreign film RUST AND BONE, and Dwight Henry was a natural in his first acting gig as Hushpuppy’s father Wink in BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, but not everyone can make the list.  So here are the Top Ten Performances from 2012 not to receive an Oscar Nomination.

Helen Mirren in Hitchcock

10. Helen Mirren in HITCHCOCK – This delightful film about the making of PSYCHO got lost in all the Oscar shuffle.  Any fans of the Master of Horror will be tickled to pieces at all the Hitchcock film references and subtle comedic parallels.  Anthony Hopkins does a nice satirical take as Alfred but Helen Mirren gives his wife Alma Reville a genuine gravitational weight that pulls the film together.

9. Joseph Gordon-Levitt in LOOPER – Clearly the filmmakers cast Bruce Willis because he is so good at playing action with charisma that pops off screen.  But the star of the film is Joseph Gordon-Levitt who was clearly hired as the talent, adapting mannerism, facial expressions and even the body type of a younger Bruce Willis.  No one plays Bruce Willis better than Bruce Willis but Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the closest you’ll get adding a much needed emotional depth.

Elle Fanning in Ginger & Rosa

8. Elle Fanning in GINGER & ROSA – Consistently churning out impressive performances, these Fanning girls are something else. As the younger sister to Dakota Fanning, Elle is equally as talented.  The relatively unseen film is a fairly direct story showcasing some amazing perfomances.  Most notably from Elle who portrays a young girl coming of age, bottling emotions with restrained maturity through unthinkable dramatic situations.

7. Ewan McGregor/Tom Holland in THE IMPOSSIBLE – Naomi Watts received a well-deserved nomination as the mother but Ewan McGregor also does an exceptional job as a father searching for his wife and son.  In one particular scene he uses a phone to call back home and the overwhelming weight of the situation overcomes him with frightened tears that are infectious.  Tom Holland as the eldest son is fabulous in a nearly leading role that finds his character growing up way too quickly. But his arc in helping others is one we can all learn from.

Michael Fassbender in Prometheus

6. Michael Fassbender in PROMETHEUS – As the advanced android David, Michael Fassbender portrays emotionless with deep human understanding.  It’s a testament to his acting that he made a villainous, lifeless role the most likable character in the picture. It’s sick how good he is and his performance electrifies the screen, elevating the flawed film to better heights.

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