As you’ve presumably noticed, critics’ awards and year-end-list-making seasons are upon us, and though the Oscar nominations are a good month or so away, it’s pretty easy, from the names that have dominated the conversation thus far, to tell which ones we’re gonna see on those ballots (Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tom Hanks, Robert Redford, Joaquin Phoenix, Jared Leto, and June Squibb all seem pretty safe bets). But there was so much fine acting in motion pictures this year that some genuinely great performances are in danger of being ignored — so consider this a “for your consideration” post, spotlighting a few excellent actors whom not enough people are talking about.
Lindsay Burdge in A Teacher
Newcomer Burdge gives one of the most morally tricky performances of the year, playing a high school teacher in the middle of a wildly inappropriate affair with a student. It’s a bold, risky piece of work — she lays it all out, masterfully conveying how the relationship’s taboo nature initially gives it an extra charge, but ultimately reverts her into an unsteadily lovesick teenager.