The Great Performances

Acting is an art form, and behind every iconic character is an artist expressing themselves. The Great Performances is a recurring column in which Jacob Trussell explores the art behind some of cinema’s best roles.

If you are new to reading this column, we suggest starting with these entries:

Browse the archive for The Great Performances below

Anne Hathaway Colossal

Anne Hathaway Nails the Nuances of Sobriety in ‘Colossal’

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As a woman in recovery caught between inner demons and gigantic monsters, Hathaway captures the unique struggles of staying on the wagon when the world goes to pot in Nacho Vigalondo’s genre-defying cult hit.

Bill Paxton Frailty

‘Frailty’ is Bill Paxton’s Most Underrated Performance

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Part devoted dad, part contract killer for God, everyone’s favorite character actor found the perfect balance of heart and horror in the Southern Gothic cult classic.

Moonlight

Mahershala Ali Only Needed 20 Minutes to Win an Oscar for ‘Moonlight’

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Some actors need a whole movie to prove themselves Oscar worthy, but Ali did it in a fraction of the time with his deeply moving performance in Barry Jenkins’ modern classic.

Hereditary Toni Collette

Toni Collette Deserved an Oscar Nomination for ‘Hereditary’

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She may have been snubbed by the Academy, but Collette made a profound impact on audiences with her captivating performance in Ari Aster’s modern horror classic.

Get Out Commentary

Why Daniel Kaluuya is So Effective in ‘Get Out’

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Jordan Peele’s hit film was destined to become a new horror classic, but it’s narrative backbone is carried by Kaluuya’s magnetic performance as Chris Washington.

Liza Minnelli Cabaret

The Impact Liza Minnelli and ‘Cabaret’ Had on Movie Musicals

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As chanteuse Sally Bowles, Minnelli conveys the soul of her character through song, dance, and dramatic specificity.

Terry O'quinn In The Stepfather

Terry O’Quinn is an All-American Psycho in ‘The Stepfather’

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In this edition of The Great Performances, we celebrate the actor’s work in his first lead role.

Courteney Cox In Scream

Courteney Cox Gave Heart to the Heartless in ‘Scream’

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Cox smartly resisted making her character, Gale Weathers, a stereotype of tabloid journalism by playing her with compassion in Wes Craven’s meta-horror classic.

Christmas Evil

Brandon Maggart Delivers a Killer Santa Character Study in ‘Christmas Evil’

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In the pantheon of Killer Santa movies, the conversation begins and ends with Maggart’s quietly tragic performance in Lewis Jackson’s holiday horror classic.