What movie have you seen in the last ten years . . .

. . . staring a seasoned actor or a seasoned actress . . . where your disbelief was truly held in check? That you bought into their performance? That while you were watching the movie, you didn’t think that’s just so and so, so and so who gets a seven figure check for ‘acting.’

Just curious.

There are several, so I will just name a few that spring to mind randomly.

Tom Cruise in Collateral. His relentless hit man was so mesmerizing that I didn’t think about the guy playing him.

Same goes for Russell Crowe as the captain in Master and Commander; he completely immersed himself in the role as a 19th century leader and warrior.

The recently deceased Philip S. Hoffman really became Truman Capote, and I had no thoughts otherwise while watching the movie.

Thousands, but the one that came to mind first was Charlize Theron in Monster.

My 2nd was, like viva, Tom Cruise in Collateral.

Helen Mirren is always Helen Mirren. Except when she played The Queen.

Miranda Richardson in Spider. OMFG. I had no idea until the credits rolled and even then had to watch the whole movie over again because I was sure I misunderstood or something.

To be sure, there have been other performances I’ve bought into wholly, but this one just floored me, and it happens right in the middle of a bunch of other amazing performances.

Phillip Seymore Hoffman and Meryl Streep both in Doubt. This could have come off as very contrived. It really worked.

Gary Oldman as Sirius Black. He gets pretty immersed in his characters; there have been several times when I’ve watched him in a movie, thought “wow, this guy’s great, he should get more work” then check IMDB… whoops. THAT guy. Heck, when I saw the first poster for Goblet of Fire (his 2nd Potter movie), I saw that he was in it and thought “Awesome, I wonder who he’s going to play?”

Jack Black in Bernie.

A surprising one: Mariah Carey in Precious.

Let’s face it, Carey never showed signs of being a good actress. So herperformance in Precious was that much more amazing. (Gabourey Sidibe and Mo’Nique also gave great performances in that movie but as I had no negative expectations of them, I wasn’t as surprised.)

More recently, Christian Bale in American Hustle.

Jack Black in Bernie is a GREAT choice!

Daniel Day Lewis in Lincoln. As far as I was concerned, I was watching a documentary about Lincoln filmed by a time traveler.

It’s never happened. Well, not since I was a kid, I suppose. An unfortunate side effect of a lifetime of being fascinated with actors and acting. I may not recognize an actor, but I’m always aware of the craft on some level, even while enjoying the story on another.

Same thing for live theaters. I’m the one who thrills just as much to the action in the flies as on the stage. It’s the *process *of storytelling that I love.

All of them. I have no problem with suspension of disbelief.

Absolutely! Never seemed like the type of actor to pull that off, and Bernie was so well done overall.

Heath Ledger for Dark Knight, of course.

I’ll add Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained , since he made my skin peel in Ingourilous Basterds. In IB, I didn’t even open my snuck-in candy. Nor did I do that in DU because I thought he was still going to slaughter people.

That’s the one I was going to say. OTOH, in the same movie Sally Field was totally Sally Field.

Endorsing Charlize Theron in Monster as well.

Most recently, both Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club.

Or Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York (12 years past, but work with me here), or in Their Will Be Blood; or going past 10 years, pretty much anything Daniel Day-Lewis has ever appeared in.

Johnny Depp in Pirates 1. We accept it now, but it really was an amazing character he created there

Jack black in Bernie is another good one.

Colin Farrell in In Bruges.

Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight.

Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men.