Wow, what a tremendous year for Mr. Serkis, especially considering that one of his roles had him both not on screen physically AND not speaking a word entirely. The other was arguably the most effective and well thought character in the entire film, and that one he at least got to voice. But can you believe that the one where’s he’s NOT speaking got him a bunch of Oscar buzz (though he sadly got snubbed)? Pretty mind blowing, right? Add snagging the Assistant Director position (plus another role) in the next two Hobbit films, and I doubt Andy Serkis had very much to complain about this past year.
Wow, it seems like Michael Fassbender came out of nowhere this year. In 2010, he was the one dude for Inglorious Basterds. Now, he took over a role that belonged to Ian McKellan in one of the most profitable franchises ever, co-starred in a film with both Viggo Mortensen and Keira Knightley, and is almost certainly soon to be Oscar-nominated. Between his star turns in Jane Eyre, X-Men: First Class, A Dangerous Method, and Shame, Fassbender has taken the world by storm. Fassbender is the pure definition of an actor who blew up in Hollywood, and the gravy train of success won’t be ending in 2012 either, with roles in both Haywire and Prometheus.
For the longest time, Ryan Gosling has just been known as the main dude from The Notebook. But in 2007, he proved himself as a promising actor in Lars in the Real Girl. In 2010, he continued to rise with the tremendous Blue Valentine. And now, in 2011, there’s no doubt about it; Ryan Gosling is a fantastic actor. His role in Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive was fantastic, especially considering how little dialogue he has. He delivered one of the funniest performances of the year in Crazy, Stupid, Love, and he was great in George Clooney’s The Ides of March. Gosling is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors, and 2011 proved just how good a performer he could be.
Speaking of George Clooney, the man has had quite a good year for himself. Not only did he get to write, direct, and star in his very well received political thriller The Ides of March, but the man also had the lead role in director Alexander Payne’s first film in seven years, The Descendants. That role has garnered George Clooney fantastic buzz and, at this point, he’s practically a lock for a year, Mr. Clooney. Not bad at all.
Finally, we have actor Ryan Reynolds, who I was at first hesitant to put on this list. Not because he didn’t have star performances this year—he certainly did—but the films he were in were bombs both critically and financially. Yeah, the lead in the superhero blockbuster Green Lantern and the starring role in the next comedy from the writers of The Hangover and the director of Wedding Crashers may sound appealing on paper, but both Green Lantern and The Change Up were big disappointments. Yeah, Reynolds was all over 2011, but after those last two films, who knows where he’ll be two years from now.
Between Fassbender and Chastain, I’m not entirely sure which is the MVP of the year. But certainly one of them is. Both had about four high profile acting gigs this year, and did valiantly in all of them. Chastain specifically made an impact on me personally. Before this year, I had no freaking idea who she was (and I wasn’t the only one feeling this way). Now, she’s an Academy Award winning actress. Quite the freshman year, huh? The Help, Take Shelter, The Debt, and Tree of Life— I doubt any actress would be upset with a year like that.
And there you have it! And discrepancies in our choices, or are we pretty much spot on? Tell us what you think in the comments!