Best acting ever?!

Seriously the best acting I have ever seen is that of Daniel Day-Lewis in my left foot and the most recent one: Life is beautiful with Roberto Benigni.

Those are probably the movies in which these two actors best acted.
Which do you think is the best movie?

There are some movies where the actors are portraying characters so unlike themselves, that it’s obvious they are just awesome actors. Dustin Hoffman playing Raymond in Rain Man is an example that comes to mind. Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth is another.

Then there are movies where the actor seems to just be “playing” himself. Sylvester Stallone in Rocky, for instance, or Marlon Brando in Streetcar Named Desire.

I can’t say which was the best acting per se, but they all deserved to be honored for their roles, because they made you believe that they were the character. And that is the whole point.

How about Billy Bob Thornton in “Slingblade”?

Contestant #3

Peter O’Toole in “Lawrence of Arabia.”
He was brilliant in that role.

If you’re hot, that’s good.
If you’re cool, that’s good.

I don’t get it.

I thought that Rainman was a great movie, Dustin Hoffman acted very well in it, but it was a very similar role to the one that Daniel Day- Lewis played in “My left foot” wasn’t it?

C3 isn’t that the one where Billy Bob Thornton won his Oscar? Good movie.

I’ll probably get slapped upside the head for saying this but, I haven’t seen Laurence of Arabia!?
Sorry, I’ll have to see it.

littlejohn, you can’t SERIOUSLY be comparing Daniel Day Lewis in My Left Foot and Roberto Benigni in Life is Beautiful, CAN you? They are not even in the same universe!

Benigni’s film was absolutely wonderful, and he was delightful in it, but I’d hardly call it great acting, much less the greatest acting ever! he mostly did what he always does, which he does very well, but really…

Day-Lewis was brilliant. Hoffman was a bit too mannered for my taste in Rainman. Billy Bob Thornton knocked my socks off, not only with the performance, but the screenplay. (Which is what he won the Oscar for. He lost the acting Oscar to Geoffrey Rush, who also did a great job in “Shine”.)

But these are all scenery-chewing roles with lots of physical and mental weirdness that makes the easy to showboat in. They are also all men. Let’s take a look at more subtle, powerful performances and the ladies:

Streep is always top of the line, no matter what she’s in. But I think her best would be Sophie’s Choice (with Kevin Kline doing some pretty great acting himself) and Silkwood. Two more different characters you will not find, and she made both of them absolutely real and believable.

Gregory Peck in “Too Kill a Mockingbird”

Holly Hunter was absolute perfection in “The Piano” - which is really an incredible piece of acting since she did not speak one word in the whole movie.

Jodie Foster in just about anything.

Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday in “Tombstone” - I’d watch that performance on a contiuous loop for hours.

George C. Scott as Patton.

For some current examples of A+ perfomrances, check out the (11 year old!) Haley Joel Osment in “The Sixth Sense”, and Chris Cooper and Kevin Spacey in “American Beauty” (along with everyone else, and everything else in that movie, which I think is pretty much perfect on every imaginable level.)

So, there’s my nickels and dimes.

This is a non-smoking area. If we see you smoking, we will assume you are on fire and act accordingly.

Oh yeah, and for another very flashy, but pitch-perfect performance: Leonardo DiCaprio in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”. Astonishing.

This is a non-smoking area. If we see you smoking, we will assume you are on fire and act accordingly.

Robbie Benson.I am so kidding :smiley:

BURP! “excuse me.”;D

Stoidela’s Gilbert Grape reference reminded me how much I like Johnny Depp’s movies. He seems to be able to play oddballs and make them all seem very human (as well as different from all the other oddballs he’s played.) I loved his take on Hunter Thompson in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” In my opinion, he came across as the perfect cross between the man himself and one of Ralph Steadman’s cartoons. He was also great as Edward Scissorhands.

I haven’t seen The Astronaut’s Wife, so I might be going out on a big limb with this one.

I vote for Jeremy Irons as the twin gynecologists in “Dead Ringers.” Despite the fact that “they” are physically indistinguishable when standing side by side, you immediately can tell which twin is which, thanks to Irons’ masterful performance.

“My hovercraft is full of eels.”

Bill Clinton saying “I did not have sex with THAT WOMAN!” :slight_smile:

C#3, you hit that one RIGHT on! Billy Bob Thornton is so good in that role- he also wrote and directed that movie. Slingblade- an all time great flick- if you haven’t seen it- RENT IT.

My second nomination would be for Tom Hanks in Philadelphia. Tore my heart out.

Some mornings it just doesn’t seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps.

Val Kilmer was amazing in ‘The Doors’. A mediocre movie, but Kilmer WAS Jim Morrison. Right down to a dead-on singing voice.

Jane Fonda in Klute.

If you’ve seen it, you know.

  • Orson Welles in Citizen Kane

  • Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption

  • John Travolta (oh hell, AND Samuel L. Jackson !) in Pulp Fiction

  • Meryll Streep in Sophie’s Choice

  • Al Pacino in the Godfather III, shooting scene in front of the Sicilian theatre

  • Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman

  • Al Pacino in general

Did I say I was a Pacino fan :wink:


“You know how complex women are”

  • Neil Peart, Rush (1993)

It’s silly to pick one performance as the best of all time, especially since great acting takes many forms. Some especially good performances include:


Tom Hanks in BIG.

Katherine Hepburn in BRINGING UP BABY.

John Wayne in FORT APACHE.

Harvey Keitel in just about anything, but especially MEAN STREETS and THELMA AND LOUISE.

Gwyneth Paltrow in SLIDING DOORS.

I’m sure I’m forgetting a few.

Well the best acting to me…
Being defined as the actor being the role…

Was Keanu Reeves as Ted in the Bill and Ted movies! That man is Ted!

Only partially joking-

How about Elizabeth Taylor in “Whose Afriad Of Virginia Wolfe?” She was fantastic.

Lillian Gish in almost anything, but specifically "The Wind, “Whales of August,” “Broken Blossoms.”

Constance Talmadge and Mae Marsh in “Intolerance.”

Joan Crawford in “Rain.”

Celia Johnson in “Brief Encounter.”

Jean Hagen in “Singin’ in the Rain.”

Me, when I apologized for shutting my editor’s fingers in the filing cabinet.

The keanu stuff reminds me of another great performance…I think we tend to neglect comedic roles, just like the Acadamy does, but Sean Penn in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” was just jaw-dropping. Talk about being that guy.

And of course, Penn is always a stunner, with “Dead Man Walking” being the premiere example. He was ROBBED by the acadamy when they gave Nicholas Cage the Oscar for “Leaving Las Vegas” - it was a good performance, but it was totally one-note. He was the same guy all the way through the movie, with no “arc”, as they say. Penn was amazing, real, and shattering.

This is a non-smoking area. If we see you smoking, we will assume you are on fire and act accordingly.