It is the eternal question. Does the movie make the actors or does the cast make the film? While there is truly no right or wrong answer, there are definitely cases where a great performance stands out in an otherwise not so stellar film. Here are the best roles from mediocre films.
Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)
How good was Malek’s performances in the Queen biopic? He did such an amazing job, he was able to convince some people that it was one of the best movies of the year. Bohemian Rhapsody is a fine little movie about a legendary band, but it is also very generic. Malek’s eye opening performance saves this from being just another movie about a rock band.
Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)
It would seem that the best performances are not found in the best movies. Great acting can make a films seem like they are something they are not. Joker is a great example. It had me fooled. After the initial reaction wears off, it becomes clear there is nothing aside from the outstanding performance from Phoenix.
Nicholas Cage (Mandy)
The surreal horror movie from Panos Cosmatos has aged well. That being said, it was never all that great to begin with. Visually stunning and filled with over the top moments, the movie became a favorite due to Cage’s outrageous performance. The story itself is trippy fun, but is vastly overrated. (The Cheddar Goblin may be partially responsible.)
Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump)
At the time of its release, Forrest Gump was hailed as a generational move. The film was quoted and parodied everywhere. It went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture in a year when there were at least three better movies. Today, Pulp Fiction is recognized as one of the most important movies of all time while Gump has its six Oscars and a mixed reputation. Hanks took a sweet and safe film and raised it to another level.
Sharon Stone (Basic Instinct)
Basic Instinct is one of the most infamous films of the 1990s. The story is about a police detective who gets caught up in a torrid affair with the prime suspect in a brutal murder. Few people remember the actual story, however. Stone is great in a star making performance. The leg crossing scene garnered the most controversy, but there was so much more in the role. Catherine Tramell will go down as one of the greatest femme fatales of all time and it is due to Stone.
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