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8 Great Movie Performances You Probably Forgot About

Vertigo Films

TotalFilm just released their list of the 200 Greatest Movie Performances of All-Time. It’s an extremely thorough rundown of the actors and actresses who managed to go above and beyond in their portrayal of the characters they’ve been asked to bring to life. We’d have to guess that even the most diehard of film buffs would have trouble remembering all of them, but, as for us, we’ve narrowed down the selection to those that feature the top thespians of the ‘modern era’.

Tom Hardy as Michael Peterson in “Bronson”

Tom Hardy only recently became a household name with his performances in ‘Inception’ and ‘Warrior’, so it’d be tough to find a big group of film fans who knew about his turn as Michael Peterson in the 2008 fictionalized biopic ‘Bronson’. In it, Tom plays one of the United Kingdom’s most dangerous criminals who spent most of his life in solitary confinement then is later re-named Charles Bronson by his fight promoter. The film’s got a 77% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and it’s directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, who was behind the lens for 2011′s ‘Drive’.

Andrew Garfield as Eric Wilson / Jack Burridge in “Boy A”

The next Peter Parker first gained pop culture awareness with his role in ‘The Social Network’. A couple years prior to that film’s release, Andrew won the 2008 Best Actor BAFTA TV award for his turn as “Boy A” aka Eric Wilson, who was released from prison under the name Jack Burridge after serving a sentence for murdering a girl. The film’s received a 89% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Neil McCormick in “Mysterious Skin”

JGL’s become part of the Christopher Nolan crew (Hardy, Cotillard), and has really come into his own since his stint on Third Rock From the Sun (1996-2001). This 2004 drama tells the story of two boys who were sexually abused by their baseball coach, and how it affects them as young adults. Gordon-Levitt’s character is the reckless, sexually adventurous male ho, while the other retreats into a fantasy of alien abduction.

Sam Rockwell as Sam Bell in “Moon”

This sci-fi drama premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, won the Best British Independent Film at the BIFAs, and ‘Outstanding Debut by a British writer, director or producer’ at the BAFTAs. Meanwhile, Rockwell won the Best Actor Award at the Sitges Film Festival, the Golden Space Needle Award for Best Actor to go with 4 other nominations.

Antonio Banderas as Robert Ledgard in “Skin I Live In”

This Spanish thriller directed by Pedro Almodovar (Talk To Her, Volver) premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. Banderas received a Goya nomination for Best Actor and also has a Best Actor nomination at the 38th Saturn Awards set to take place in June. In the film, he plays a doctor who cultivates an artificial skin that is resistant to bug bites and burns. When he runs out of mice, he turns to humans for testing.

Angelina Jolie as Mariane Pearl in “A Mighty Heart”

This is a detailed account of the search for kidnapped Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002 as written by Mariane Pearl. It screened at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and went on to perform poorly at the box office, however, it was well-received by critics. Jolie was nominated for Best Actress at the Golden Globes, Golden Satellite, SAGs, Independent Spirit Awards, and Teen Choice Awards.

Ryan Gosling in “Half Nelson”

Gosling became every woman’s dream guy in 2004′s The Notebook, but it was his turn as an inner city middle school teacher in this 2006 drama that got him critical acclaim and an Oscar nom for Best Actor.

Marion Cotillard in “La Vie En Rose”

American audiences got their first glimpse of Marion in 2003′s ‘Big Fish’ then “re-discovered” her in 2010′s Inception. Sandwiched in between those was this performance in which she scored a ton of nominations and won the Oscar for Best Actress.

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