New from Kevin Wozniak on Kevflix: Best Movies of 2022: Best Performances of 2022

In my continued analysis of the best movies of 2022, here are my picks for the best performances in 2022. Every year this is the toughest list to make and every year I feel bad about leaving some performances off, but I think the performances I chose are all truly great and deserve all the recognition they get. 

Like previous years, I have broken the performances down by category, much like the Oscars, with Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress. For each category, I will list the “nominees” and then pick a winner and go further in-depth as to why that actor gave the best performance in their category.  All of the performances that I nominated are great and with how many good performances were given this year, each category could easily have ten performances.  Here are my picks for the best performances of 2022.

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Angela Bassett, Kerry Condon, Dakota Johnson, Lashana Lynch, Janelle Monáe

Angela BassettBlack Panther: Wakanda Forever

Kerry CondonThe Banshees of Inisherin

Dakota Johnson – Cha Cha Real Smooth

Lashana Lynch – The Woman King

Janelle MonáeGlass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

WINNER

Janelle Monáe as Andi in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (Netflix)

Janelle Monáe – Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

In an ensemble like the one in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, it’s usually tough for one performance to stand out amongst the immensely talented cast. But in Glass Onion, Janelle Monáe gave a performance that is hard to forget.

In a surprising dual performance, Monaé’s performance embodies everything we love about her as an actor. She starts off the movie playing Andi Brand, a steely, successful businesswoman who was screwed over by everyone attending a weekend getaway on billionaire tycoon Miles Bron’s (Edward Norton) Greek island. And then halfway through the movie, the film takes a wild twist and we find out that Andi was actually murdered and the Andi we thought we were watching was actually Andi’s homelier sister Helen pretending to be Andi in order to get information about her sister’s murder. Monaé crushes both roles, portraying Andi as a smart and cold corporate woman and Ellen as vengeful, crafty, and resourceful. It’s a brilliant, complicated, hilarious performance that Monaé knocks out of the park.

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ke Huy Quan, Miles Teller, Steven Yeun

Colin FarrellThe Batman

Brendan Gleeson – The Banshees of Inisherin

Ke Huy Quan – Everything Everywhere All at Once

Miles Teller Top Gun: Maverick

Steven Yeun – Nope

WINNER

Ke Huy Quan and Waymond Wang in Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24)
Ke Huy Quan and Waymond Wang in Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24)

Ke Huy Quan – Everything Everywhere All at Once

Sometimes there is just a performance that’s greatness is truly undeniable. You watch it and you immediately know that everything about it was perfect. The casting was perfect, the role of the actor was perfect, and the movie was perfect for that actor.

In 2022, that performance belonged to Ke Huy Quan in Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan’s multiverse action epic, Everything Everywhere All at Once. Kwan, an actor many know as Short Round from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, has been out of the limelight for years now. The Daniels’s casting of him was an inspired one and Quan took the opportunity to run with it.

The result was astonishing. Kwan gives several performances in the film, representing Waymond Wang in several different multiverses. From a timid husband to a badass warrior, to a debonair man filled with regret, Kwan is believable in whatever universe or costume he is in. But even with playing so many characters in so many worlds, Kwan is able to convey Waymond’s love and longing for his wife Evelyn through all of them, which is a key element to Waymond’s character and to the film as a whole.

 

BEST ACTRESS

Cate Blanchett, Rebecca Hall, Zoë Kravitz, Aubrey Plaza, Michelle Yeoh

Cate Blanchett – TÁR

Rebecca Hall – Resurrection

Zoë Kravitz – Kimi

Aubrey Plaza – Emily the Criminal

Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All at Once

WINNER

Rebecca Hall as Margaret in Resurrection (IFC)

Rebecca Hall – Resurrection

Rebecca Hall has been my Best Actress winner since I first saw Resurrection at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival last January. I loved several other performances throughout the year, but none of them beat Hall’s tremendous and unsettling work in the chilling thriller.

Hall plays Margaret, a successful businesswoman who lives a seemingly happy life with her daughter, who will soon be going away to college. But when a darkness from her past comes back into her life, Margaret’s life is flipped upside and turns into a living hell.

Hall’s performance is a tightrope act of watching a woman trying to not completely lose her mind. Margaret seems to have everything in order, but when her past returns and torments her, it changes everything. You are watching a woman try and keep it together while reliving her worst nightmare. Hall’s performance is capped by a stunning, single-take monologue where Margaret explains what happened to her growing up that is truly jaw-dropping. It’s a gripping, unhinged, haunting performance.

 

BEST ACTOR

Austin Butler, Colin Farrell, Song Kang-ho, Gabriel LaBelle, Jonathan Majors

Austin Butler – Elvis

Colin Farrell – The Banshees of Inisheerin

Song Kang-ho – Broker

Gabriel LaBelle – The Fabelmans

Jonathon Majors – Devotion

WINNER

Colin Farrell as Pádraic Súilleabháin in The Banshees of Inisherin (Searchlight)
Colin Farrell as Pádraic Súilleabháin in The Banshees of Inisherin (Searchlight)

Colin Farrell – The Banshees of Inisheerin

Colin Farrell’s performance in Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees of Inisherin is not only my pick for the best lead actor performance, but this is my favorite performance by any actor in 2022. Farrell plays Pádraic, a simple, happy man on the small Irish island of Inisherin whose best friend, out of the blue, decides he does not want to be friends with him anymore. Pádraic does not understand why or how this happened; whenever he asks about it, the situation only worsens. 

This is the best performance of Farrell’s career. A complex, layered, tragic performance about a happy man driven to anger and sadness. Despite Pádraic’s simplistic way of life and thinking, Farrell never undermines him and gives a showcase performance of empathy and sweetness. Farrell’s expressive eyebrows also deserve some recognition for how much emotion they add to the performance.

2022 was the year of Colin Farrell. The actor gave four outstanding performances in The Batman (where I also nominated him), After Yang, Thirteen Lives, and The Banshees of Inisherin. Farrell had been one of the most interesting actors working in Hollywood for years, but this was the year that he solidified himself as one of the very best.

 

 

 

 

 

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