Tuesday Top Ten – Actors & Actresses Still To Win An Oscar

My final Oscars-themed list is taking a look at those actors and actresses who have not yet won an Oscar, despite them having work that could very well be deemed Oscar-worthy. I mentioned on Twitter that I was surprised to discover some of these people had not won an Academy Award – there are certainly some shocks to come!
10. Johnny Depp


The man is a chameleon, and he has played some iconic characters over the years. There is no doubt over his capabilities as an actor, so he doesn’t need an Oscar to his name to remind us of how great he can be. A good job too, as despite three nominations for the prestigious awards over the years, he is yet to win anything.

9. Amy Adams


I’ll keep it brief, but Amy Adams has only gotten better as she has progressed throughout her career. The fact that she has not yet won an Oscar is beyond me, and what baffles me more is the fact that she wasn’t even nominated for her role in Arrival. The process undertaken by the people in charge of the Oscars baffles me sometimes, this being a prime example of that.

8. Matt Damon


Of all the people on this list, Matt Damon was the biggest surprise to me. Technically he has won an Oscar, but I’m talking about acting gongs here so his writing award doesn’t count. Out of his three nominations, I wish he would have won for his role as François Pienaar in Invictus – I really enjoyed that film and thought he did a terrific job as the South African rugby captain.

7. Mark Ruffalo


Another person I was a tad bitter about recently was Mark Ruffalo when he didn’t win for his role as Mike Rezendes in Spotlight. He may have been part of an ensemble in that film, but he is the person who stands out in my mind as being truly fantastic in what was a very affecting piece of cinema.

6.Samuel L. Jackson


Samuel L. Jackson is a name everybody knows. Something we’re not all that familiar with, however, is the fact that he is yet to win an Oscar. In fact, the only nomination he has ever received was for his role as Jules Winnifield in Pulp Fiction. He may be an internationally recognised actor, but not one whose work has been honoured by the Academy just yet.

5. Edward Norton


I mentioned last week that Edward Norton is someone who should’ve won an Oscar for his role in American History X. Little did I know that to this day, he is still only a nominee and not a winner of any Oscars. He is a very talented actor, and one who seems to be extremely underrated when it comes to these famous awards.

4. Jessica Chastain


She is one of my favourite actresses as she has brought to the screen a number of brilliant characters, but Jessica Chastain hasn’t won an Oscar yet either. Of the two roles she has been nominated for, I think she definitely deserved to win for her portrayal of Maya in Zero Dark Thirty, but she was equally as wonderful as Celia Foote, a very different character, in The Help too.

3. Sigourney Weaver


Sigourney Weaver was another shock for me here, because she hasn’t won an Oscar, nor has she really received that many nominations either. I was very surprised to discover that she has only ever been a nominee three times throughout her career. I’ve only seen her in one of her Oscar-nominated roles, but am in no doubt about what a significant figure she is, so this did nothing to lessen the blow.

2. Harrison Ford


He is the highest-grossing actor of all-time, and he has taken on some iconic roles in a career that only started properly in his thirties, but Harrison Ford is another well known actor that makes this list. And, much like Sigourney Weaver, he has had far less nominations than you may initially think. One nomination. That is all this man has had. Major bloody surprise if you ask me.

1. Brad Pitt


Finally we move onto Brad Pitt. Over the years he has been in some cracking films, and for his performances, he has received three nominations for. Of course, he’s never actually won for his acting. I think he was very good as Jeffrey Goines in Twelve Monkeys, and he perhaps should have won for that role.

That marks the end of this list, but also the end of this little series that took a look back at the Oscars over the years. There have been plenty of great performances and good films discussed during the course of these lists, and I’ve also been able to have bit of a moan about a few injustices that have also occurred at the different ceremonies that have taken place.

Tuesday Top Ten – My All-Time Favourite Oscar Winning Performances

Another week has passed and we are one week closer to finding out the 2017 Oscars. To maintain this bit of Oscar buzz that I have going on here, this week i am taking a look back at some of my all-time favourite Oscar-winning performances. This list is a countdown, and doesn’t feature any performances from the 00’s as they were covered last week.

10. Nicolas Cage (Ben Sanderson, Leaving Las Vegas)


Perhaps Nicolas Cage’s best performance to date (and with what he has produced of late, maybe the best we’ll ever see of him) is his portrayal of Ben Sanderson, an ex-screenwriter who has lost everything and finds solace only at the bottom of the bottle. The film follows Ben as he slowly drinks himself to death. By no means is this an easy watch, but Cage makes it so that you cannot bring yourself to turn it off and escape what is a truly Oscar-worthy performance that takes a very long time to leave you once it’s finished.

9. Joe Pesci (Tommy DeVito, Goodfellas)


Arguably the greatest thing about this film is Joe Pesci’s critically-acclaimed performance as gangster Tommy DeVito. I will never forget watching the film for the first time during the school holidays a couple of summers ago. When it came to the infamous ‘Do you think I’m funny’ scene, I had the windows wide open and Pesci’s character was going hell for leather for the whole street to hear. Not only is it a tremendous performance, but it has fond memories for me of the time the postman got an insight into how I spend my days home alone.

8. Jodie Foster (Clarice Starling, The Silence Of The Lambs)


To have picked Anthony Hopkins here would have been predictable, so I’m actually going to sing the praises of Jodie Foster’s performance instead. She was wonderful as Clarice, the young FBI go-getter who gets assigned a really tough case. She was a joy to watch here, and was every bit the ideal match for Hopkins’ Hannibal – no mean feat, you could say.

7. Christoph Waltz (Dr. King Schultz, Django Unchained)


I stated that I wished I could have included this performance on my last list, but as Django Unchained came out in 2012, it was too little, too late. However, now that we’re onto all-time favourites, there’s nothing to stop me talking about Christoph Waltz’s turn as Dr. King Schultz – the bounty hunter with extreme class in Tarantino’s superb western. Every time I see Waltz’s name, I immediately pay attention because, as someone who wants to be an actress, there is always something to be learnt from him. Here I learnt that it wasn’t a fluke that he won his award for Inglorious Basterds. He is simply masterful.

6. Robert De Niro (Vito Corleone, The Godfather Part II)


I have so much admiration for Robert De Niro in this role because he took on someone who had been made famous by Marlon Brando in a previous film and then had to learn roughly half his dialogue in another language. You can’t say he didn’t earn his Oscar here. However, De Niro also managed to further remind audiences of the main theme from The Godfather – family. There are many tender moments we share with him during the film that make this and the whole trilogy so special.

5. Robin Williams (Sean Maguire, Good Will Hunting)


One of the best things about this film, and there are many to choose from, is Robin Williams’ life-affirming performance as therapist Dr. Sean Maguire. Williams was so good that you just wanted to spill your guts to him after watching the film. It was a serious role, no doubt about it, but he managed to give it his own special touch that made it feel so personal.  

4. Octavia Spencer (Minny Jackson, The Help)


If you were to ask me how I would describe this performance, the word I would use would be iconic. I watched part of the film before reading the book, and when I finally read the book, all I could hear as I was working my way through the chapters was Octavia Spencer’s voice as she took on Minny echoing in my head. She was fierce as the sassy little maid, and brought a lot of humour to a film that actually covered something very serious indeed, without causing you to forget what the main point of the film was in the first place. The only shameful thing about it is that she was the only cast member to win the award she was nominated for.

3. Jared Leto (Rayon, Dallas Buyers Club)


Jared Leto has been acting for a long time, and has starred in some very heavy-going films (need I mention Requiem For A Dream?). It is with his turn as Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club however that he proved to the world what a serious and capable actor he truly is. It is a very moving performance that he provide us with here, and after undergoing such an immense physical transformation as well, he is well deserving of his win.

2 Al Pacino (Frank Slade, Scent Of A Woman)


It would have been so wrong of me not to include good old Al on this list now that I finally had the opportunity. Personally, I would have thought that he would have won more that his single Oscar for his role as Frank Slade, especially after Serpico. Alas, this remains his only win, but it is an award he won for what is perhaps my favourite role of his outside the obvious Michael Corleone. Pacino did a marvellous job playing the blind ex-army serviceman, and that speech at the end must surely have been what swung it for the board that year.

1. Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump, Forrest Gump)


Forrest Gump is a film that runs for nearly two and a half hours, and that is roughly the time I spent smiling when I watched it for the first time years ago. This was solely because of Tom Hanks’ wonderful performance as the big-hearted man who had led a life to look back on and marvel at. After seeing much of his other work, I still say that this is my favourite performance by Hanks, and one that was very worthy of the Oscar it won. 

That wraps up my all-time favourite Oscar-winning performances. Maybe there have been a couple of surprises for you there, but I know for sure that those of you familiar with this site by now will know there were names mentioned there that were certain to make an appearance. Who would you include amongst your favourites? Let me know – we might just get ourselves a little discussion going!

Tuesday Top Ten – Best Oscar Winning Performances Of The 00’s

Last week, we received the nominations for this year’s Academy Awards, and I think it’s fair to say there were some shocks and surprises hidden amongst them. However, I also thought that the release of the nominees up for Oscars in 2017 has created the perfect opportunity for me to have my own little awards season celebrations. To start off, I’ve compiled a collection of my favourite Oscar winning performances of the noughties. I’ve chickened out a bit as they’re in no particular order, but these are ten of the most memorable performances of the most recent decade.
10. Hilary Swank (Maggie Fitzgerald, Million Dollar Baby)


Million Dollar Baby did so well at the Oscars in the year 2000 by winning four awards including Best Picture, but I think what makes this film so memorable for me two years after first watching it is Hilary Swank’s performance as the lead character, Maggie Fitzgerald – a young woman who dreams of becoming a boxer despite the many hardships she’s faced in life. It was such a moving performance in a film that certainly isn’t one you’d watch if you needed your mood lifting, but the fact that I can remember so many different parts of her performance after all this time says something, hence why I’ve included her here.

9. Forest Whitaker (Idi Amin, The Last King Of Scotland)


To watch Forest Whitaker become this Ugandan dictator, you wouldn’t believe that he was portraying a real person. Idi Amin was a very charismatic leader that hid his agenda behind charm and magnetism, and Whitaker captured these characteristics wonderfully with this Oscar-winning performance. It was chilling to watch his transformation from the start of the film right to the end. It showed just what this Whitaker’s capabilities are as an actor, and is, again, a performance that hasn’t completely left me behind just yet.

8. Russell Crowe (Maximus, Gladiator) 


I may have chosen this performance purely because I loved the film so much, but it cannot be denied that Russell Crowe was on form as Maximus in this epic tale of revenge in Ancient Rome. It is yet another performance that I haven’t seen in some time so it is a bit fuzzy, but I do remember revelling in every moment of the film, and every second of Crowe’s performance. It is absolutely appropriate to say that this is a creation of epic proportions, with terrific contributions from everyone involved.

7. Christian Bale (Dicky Eklund, The Fighter)


I have to be honest, this list is dredging up some right blasts from the past. I think it was 2013 when I saw The Fighter, the story of Micky Ward and his rise through the ranks with the help of his brother, Dicky Eklund, played by the ever-brilliant Christian Bale. Bale finally got the recognition for his skill set that he had been deserving for at last five years before that with his Oscar win for the role. It was another performance that saw Bale undergo a significant physical transformation, although his acting alone would have been enough here.

6. Sean Penn (Harvey Milk, Milk)


When I was working through the contenders for this list, two performances from Sean Penn were in contention – his turn as Jimmy Markum in Mystic River, and this performance as Harvey Milk, America’s first openly gay politician. I loved this very insightful biopic about Harvey’s political career, and so much of this was down to Penn’s unbelievably moving performance as the title character. I have told so many people about this film since seeing it last year as I think it is a story that more need to know about, and Penn makes the telling of it so much more impactful as well.

5. Denzel Washington (Alfonso Harris, Training Day)


It would be wrong of me not to include Denzel Washington in this list. He was another charismatic character as the dodgy detective, and what I think is so great about his performance is that you never really know what side of the law this guy is really on. Despite this though, the way Washington portrayed Harris made it hard for me to dislike him. Was he an anti-hero? Or was he the real villain? I’m not entirely sure, and I keep going back to the each time hoping to find answers to those questions, but because of how Washington plays it, I’m never quite sure.

4. Julia Roberts (Erin Brockovich, Erin Brockovich)


My favourite performance by Julia Roberts was her turn as Erin Brockovich. I was forced to see the film by my mum who is a hardcore fan of the actress, and I’m so glad she made me see it. She showed every bit of determination that seeped out of every part of the real Erin Brockovich’s being and really was a joy to watch as she took on the water companies and won. For anyone who hasn’t seen the film, I would highly recommend it – it is a fascinating watch made all the more so by Roberts’ tour-de-force performance.

3. Christoph Waltz (Hans Landa, Inglorious Basterds)


A character that many have argued to be the best ever created by Quentin Tarantino is Hans Landa in Inglorious Basterds. Christoph Waltz is someone I will always happily watch purely because of his performances in both the Tarantino films he has starred in, although I couldn’t pick Django Unchained over this as it was made in 2012. This was a performance with which you could just soak up every ounce of evil that radiated from the character, and I doubt many other people could tell me an actor who could have played it better.

2. Daniel Day-Lewis (Daniel Plainview, There Will Be Blood)


The final two films on this list went head to head in the same year. Winning Best Actor in 2008 was Daniel Day-Lewis for his portrayal of greedy oil prospector Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood. Day-Lewis is always memorable no matter what role he takes on. It is in epics like this film that I believe he is often at his best. The story that unfolded surrounding Plainview’s life would not have been anywhere near as riveting if it wasn’t for the show put on by Day-Lewis – it is a film that I think is elevated so far solely because of his work.

1. Javier Bardem (Anton Chigurh, No Country For Old Men)


Quite possibly one of my favourite performances ever in one of my all-time favourite films was given to us by Javier Bardem – one of my favourite actors (as you can see, he made bit of an impact here). No Country For Old Men won a number of Oscars in 2008, and was often pitted against the previous film I spoke about. As Anton Chigurh, super villain extraordinaire, Bardem was spectacular. His performance was talked about for months after in my house, and is still referenced at some points now. It was an award that Bardem deserved every part of, and if I had to name my number one favourite Oscar-winning performance from the noughties, this would be it.

It’s fair to say that sometimes in the past, the Academy have gotten it wrong, and I’m sure they will continue to have some outrageous slip-ups in future. I hope you will agree with me, however, that they got things right with this lot. As always, let me know what your thoughts are, and stay tuned for another Oscars run-down next Tuesday!

Tuesday Top Ten – My Favourite British Actors 

Yesterday’s review of Killer Elite and lack of any other inspiration for a Top Ten has meant that this week’s countdown is going to take a look at my favourite British actors. For the first time in a couple of weeks, I have managed to put the list in an order as well, so you’re properly spoilt with this one. Let’s get started!

10. Anthony Hopkins


Before any riots start, the only reason Anthony Hopkins only just makes this top ten is because I have only seen one film… THAT film. Yes, The Silence Of The Lambs is the film that shows Hopkins in all his glory, and proves that you don’t have to come directly from Hollywood to shake audiences for generations to come. In fact, West Glamorgan in Wales will do you just fine.

9. Dominic West


This man was a big part of my life for a very long time when I worked my way through five seasons of The Wire last year, and I thought he was great. He’s been in a few films I’ve seen since, and also that other show, The Affair, which I’m not so fond of. Nonetheless, Dominic West has proved that the northern boys can do it, although I think private education may have also helped him out a little.

8. Daniel Day-Lewis


There is so much that can be said about Daniel Day-Lewis. He is a truly magnificent actor who can seemingly take on any role and just absolutely own it. He’s the only actor have ever won three Best Actor Oscars, and each was for a role that was so very different to the last. Day-Lewis just has a way of becoming whoever he seems to set his mind to, and Old Blighty is very proud of him for that.

7. Tim Roth


Another very gifted character actor is Tim Roth. Much like Day-Lewis, he doesn’t play characters, he becomes them. He is also talented when it comes to accents, something that all British actors have be if they want success across the pond, it would appear. However, Roth’s accent was so good in Reservoir Dogs that I didn’t question it – I mean, why would you? It wasn’t until I heard his character in Pulp Fiction that I looked him up, and there was London written as his place of birth. 

6. Idris Elba


Idris Elba spent three years starring opposite West in The Wire and he was fantastic. Since then he has become a household name here in his home country after taking lead roles in the TV series Luther and a number of films. It’s kind of disheartening to think that if it hadn’t have been for The Wire, we may never have heard of Elba though, or at least not until much later, as British screens, much like last year’s Oscars, used to be quite lacking in diversity. 

5. Jason Statham


This bloke epitomises the British gangster film. Jason Statham is that man who Guy Ritchie always has in mind when he’s making a film – you only need to look at Snatch and Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels for proof. Yes, his acting can be questionable at times, but he’s been in some bloody brilliant all-out in-your-face action films and he has a special place in my heart for these reasons – plus, he’s from Derbyshire, which is pretty local to me.

4. James McAvoy


After seeing Split at the weekend, James McAvoy has quickly risen through the ranks for me. He has incredible acting skills, and has shown this on a number of occasions, not just recently. The Last King Of Scotland ring any bells? That was a while ago now, wasn’t it? I’ve always been aware of him, but he’s now well and truly in the spotlight for me. 

3. Christian Bale


It took American audiences a while to cotton on to the fact that the guy who played Batman for so long was not one of their own. This was something that Christian Bale actually tried to hide from the public, speaking with his put-on American accent in interviews. He is yet another chameleonic actor, with famous performances in The Machinist and American Psycho making up just a fraction of his filmography.

2. Tom Hardy


I think everyone loves a cheeky bit of Tom Hardy. He has been one of the top British actors in recent years, and it’s not hard to see why. During his career he has provided us with some absolutely fabulous performances in a variety of genres, and has made his mark on TV screens in the last couple of years with appearances in Peaky Blinders as Alfie Solomons. He surely will remain a favourite for years to come.

1. Clive Owen


My favourite British actor however has to be Clive Owen. I’ve loved his work since first seeing him in Children Of Men, and have watched a number of his films since (Closer and Inside Man are a couple). What makes him my favourite Brit actor is that he is about as close as you can get to a working class actor in this country, something that has become bit of a rarity lately. And, coming from Coventry, he’s another one who is reasonably local to me.

There you have it – another week, and another top ten is out the way. You had my favourite actors ages ago, and this list has brought things a little closer to home. It’s been fun for me to look through what big names have come from the British Isles over the years, and some of the iconic performances they have been responsible for. However, glancing over the names has revealed to me that it is getting tougher for aspiring actors and actresses to make a career for themselves in Britain if they’re anything below middle-class. Nonetheless, there is plenty of talent to be found here, even if you need to look a bit harder for it.

Rillington Place – If these walls could talk…

A three-part story about infamous serial killer John Christie and the murders that took happened at 10 Rillington Place during the 1940s and early 1950s.

Quite who Reg Christie (Tim Roth) is is something that is hard the ascertain. The man has a checkered history, evident in the strain in his relationship with wife of fifteen years Ethel (Samantha Morton). After he finishes a spell in prison, they move to Rillington Place – the place where many sinister goings on are to take place over the coming years.

When I saw BBC’s preview for Rillington Place, I was aware that there was a man who looked a lot like Tim Roth in the lead role. As it turned out, I was right with my guess at who the actor was, and when this was confirmed I knew straightaway that I would be watching this three-part drama after being very impressed by his work in Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. It turns out that he impressed me yet again with his work here, so I was glad I took a gamble on this period-set mini-series.

Roth, as you know by what I’ve already said, was tremendous as Reg, and I’d probably say that this was the best performance I’ve seen by him. He had a presence on-screen that made you feel uneasy just watching him walk into a room. When it came to his character’s speech, Roth has said that he went for an Alan Bennett-esque dialect, which I have to say was very effective in making the character complete. There was something very chilling about the way he spoke, and how calm he remained in every situation. He absolutely nailed the character if you ask me, and delivered a masterclass in acting with every minute of this drama.

Samantha Morton was equally as good as Ethel. It was hard to know which side she was on throughout the whole thing, which I think showed very well how torn her character was. What I really liked about Ethel though was the hidden power she possessed. She was the only character in the story who could make Reg lose it, and we saw this a couple of times. Morton did a terrific job of showing the most important aspect of Ethel, which was that she was essentially an abused wife, and although this was apparent from the beginning, it became much clearer as the story played out.

The storyline for Rillington Place was a retelling of the events that played out there in the 40s and 50s. What I had expected of the show was quite different to what I got – I thought I would have seen far more of the murders happen, but as it was, this was not the case. Was I disappointed by this fact? Not really. The performances more than made up for the lack of action that took place on-screen which I think is one of the biggest complements they each could get.

On the whole, Rillington Place is a short drama full of top-drawer performances. The cast provide plenty for you to be entertained with, and the dark subject matter of this show makes it the kind of period drama that I think those of us who prefer not to look back on the olden days through rose-tinted specs can fully appreciate. If you like Ripper Street, as I am also a huge fan of, then Rillington Place will definitely be right up your alley. 

Be our guest?

Hello everyone!
Today I have a question to ask, and that question is….
Would you like to be a guest on the podcast, Talking Stars?

The show was set up a few months back by Darren and Damien from Movie Reviews 101 new Riley On Film respectively, and now Becky from Film Music Central and myself are also on board as hosts as well (what can I say, we had such a great time when we were guests ourselves!)
As we look to branch out and expand the show, we are constantly looking for guests to come and talk films with us.

We have a rough outline of a schedule for the next few months which you are more than welcome to get on board with. The plan is as follows – 

2016

14th -16th October – 15th Kate Winslet (Damien and Jay)

21st – 23nd October – James Wan Horror (Saw, Dead Silence, Insidious, The Conjuring)

28th – 30th October – What Horrors Have You Seen This Month?

4th – 6th November – Foreign Film Discussion.

11th – 13th November – Leonardo DiCaprio

18th – 20th November – Nocturnal Animals/Arrival

25th – 27th November – November Round Up Viewing

2nd – 4th December – Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them

9th – 11th December – John Malkovich

16th – 18th December – Animation in 2016 (Moana, Kubo, Finding Dory, Secret Life of Pets, Angry Birds, Sausage Party, Zootropolis, Storks, Ice Age)

23rd-25th December – Christmas Favourites

30th – 1st Dec/Jan – December Round Up Viewing

2017

6th – 8th Jan – Star Wars Rogue One

13th – 15th Jan – 5 Anticipated Films for 2017

20th – 22nd Jan – Passengers/Assassin’s Creed (did it save video game movies)

27th – 29th Jan – January Round Up Viewing

3rd – 5th Feb – Talking Star Awards (to be named)

10th – 12th Feb – Romantic Comedies

17th – 19th Feb – Oscar Predictions

24th – 26th Feb – February Round Up Viewing

3rd – 5th March – The Dark Tower (rel 17th Feb)

10th – 12th March – Resident Evil Franchise Look Back (rel 24th Feb)

17th – 19th March – Kong Skull Island (rel 10th March)

24th – 26th March – Summer Movie Prediction

Alternatively, if there is anything you are particularly interested in chatting about, you can let us know and we’ll look to pencil you in sometime soon!

If you are interested, you can:
Comment below
Tweet me (@filmandtv101)

Or drop me an email (filmandtv101withkiracomerford@outlook.com)
I hope to hear from you all very soon 🙂
Kira xx

My Top Ten Favourite Actors

So, now I think it’s time that I did something on the people I would watch regardless of what ever they were in. Bear with, there’s quite a few…

Bruce Willis

 I have my parents to thank as the reason for why I’m such a fan of Brucie. If ever they happened to be stuck for something to watch and they found a Bruce Willis film, it would be that they would stick with. I remember when I was younger I got sent to bed early after they found Die Hard With A Vengeance one night, just as it got to the infamous billboard scene. Years later, they found Die Hard 4.0 (Live Free Or Die Hard) and I was allowed to watch it. After that, they recorded all the other films in the franchise and I got to watch them, and after that, I was allowed to watch more or less whatever took my fancy. So I not only like Willis as he is almost always a bad-ass action hero, he corrupted the innocence that my parents thought I had kept until I was fourteen and this meant I could watch anything. I have seen 21 of his films to date and will happily watch many more.

Al Pacino

 Pacino only came to me after recently watching The Godfather Trilogy, and I was blown away by him. As I’m pretty sure I said in my reviews for each of the three films, he was menacing as Michael Corleone and there was an air of real unpredictability about him. I couldn’t quite decide for myself whether he was one of the good guys, or one of the bad. Since watching them, Pacino’s acting really stuck in my mind and I decided to keep an eye out for any of his films to come on TV. So far I’ve only found Scent Of A Woman, but I will hunt down the likes of Heat, Dog Day Afternoon and Serpico as I would love to see more of the man’s wonderful performances.

Bradley Cooper

 The story of how I came to know of Bradley Cooper and his acting is remarkably sad. I was watching TV one day and a Haagen-Dazs advert came on and he was in it. At the time, I didn’t have a clue who he was, so I went straight to Google to find out exactly that and what he was in. I’ll put my hands up now and admit that this only because I thought he was rather nice to look at. But after seeing the likes of The Place Beyond The Pines and Silver Linings Playbook alongside many others, I can confirm he can act as well. After first discovering him a couple of years ago, I can definitely say that after a variety of many wonderful performances ranging from from highly comedic roles in The Hangover Trilogy and gritty parts such as his role of Chris Kyle in American Sniper, plus a very charming personality and a handsome face and ripped body, Mr Cooper will, for a long time, be one of my favourites.

Denzel Washington

 Anything this man is in has got to be worth watching. There are so many characters he can play, both good and bad. Again, the main reason I’m a fan of Denzel Washington is due to the fact that my parents are, therefore anything he is in must be watched. My favourite film he has been in that I have seen has to be Training Day. His character was great fun to watch and he says he was great fun to play. Whilst I don’t know too much about Washington, he does seem like a real genuine man who just loves his job, and if that’s the case, he will remain just as enjoyable to watch for years to come.

Clive Owen

 Clive Owen was someone I only just discovered last year, and in all honesty, I am amazed it took that long for him to come to light. A film I had wanted to watch for ages, Children Of Men, finally came on TV and it turned out that he was in it. I didn’t really know who he was, but I decided to find out more about him and the films he had starred in. I found out that he comes from Coventry, which is probably only half an hours’ drive from where I live. I also learnt that his rise to fame was a real rags to riches story and those are things that just make me happy. I then made it my mission that summer to watch whatever he was in that I could find, and he has been in some terrific film, and also a wonderful TV series called The Knick.

Clint Eastwood

 I think every time he comes up, I always at some point in the conversation refer to him as the ultimate hard man, words to that effect. Clint Eastwood is one of Hollywood’s most iconic actors and has been in our screens for more than half a decade now. He has not only acted, but he has directed many great films. He has certainly come a long way from the days of The Dollars Trilogy, now starring in a fistful of modern day masterpieces. The way I see him is always going to be as Dirty Harry, and whenever I watch Eastwood, he always makes my day.

Matthew McConaughey

 He is someone whose films I’ve only just very recently started to watch, but Matthew McConaughey is already undoubtedly one of my favourite actors. I had watched The Lincoln Lawyer a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it, but it wasn’t until I watched season one of True Detective that I realised how much of a big deal he was. I went on to watch Dallas Buyers Club and Killer Joe and would love to see Mud as I think anything post-2010 from him might just be terrific. Not only is he a great actor, McConaughey seems to be a really chilled, down-to-earth guy who just enjoys the life he was so lucky to fall into. In an interview with the SAG Foundation, he said himself that it was purely by being in the right place at the right time that he got to where he is today, and he appears to be really grateful for the good luck he has been blessed with. However, probably my favourite thing about him is he is very witty, and he has some brilliant stories to tell about his rise to fame.

Robert De Niro

 I think he’s been a big thing ever since he won his first Oscar as a young don Vito Corleone in The Godfather Part II, but Robert De Niro is also someone whose films I have felt compelled to watch only recently. There is something about him that tells you that no matter what he’s in, or what kind of character he plays, there is no way on this earth De Niro is going to take any crap off of anybody. He is a very diverse actor who has been around a long time, and there are a huge number of his films I am still to watch. I look forward to them.

Jake Gyllenhaal

 

 Jake Gyllenhaal is, as anyone who read my feature on new films I’m looking forward to this year, the most recent actor that I have taken a shine to *wink, wink*. This kid commits fully to any role he is in. The first film I saw him in was the go-to DVD of my   school’s science department on the last day of term, The Day After Tomorrow. After that, it was End Of Watch. But it wasn’t until I saw Nightcrawler that I really sat up and paid attention to him, which is rather worrying as he was total psychopath in that. What can I say? I like dangerous men. I really like the very tough roles that Gyllenhaal doesn’t seem to ever shy away from, and I think he pulls them off brilliantly. Plus, he is so, so, so fit – I think I might have forgotten everything to mention that.

Javier Bardem

 The roles most know him for are that of Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men and Raoul Silva in Skyfall, and ever since watching the first film, Javier Bardem has most certainly been someone I’m a huge fan of. It just seems to me that he gives an absolute masterclass is whatever he appears. Take The Counselor, for example – I watched it purely because he was in it, and even though it wasn’t the greatest film I had ever seen, Bardem nailed his part and made watching it worthwhile. I just love his work, possibly because it comes with fond memories. When I watched No Country For Old Men for the first time, I jumped so spectacularly at one particular scene that I threw an entire can of Coke over my mum and we couldn’t play the film for ten minutes after until we’d gotten changed and stopped laughing. Dearest Javier’s wondrous acting has gifted us with good times. I even watched a Spanish film recently because I wanted to see more of his work. A review for The Sea Inside will follow shortly.

So, there’s the list of my favourite actors. A few honourable mentions include Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hardy, Robin Williams, Morgan Freeman, Woody Harrelson, Forest Whitaker and Tom Hanks. They are all so wonderful in their own ways and I am happy to say I have witnessed their work. Do you agree that they are brilliant? Or who would you include on your list?