The Great Performances

Acting is an art form, and behind every iconic character is an artist expressing themselves. The Great Performances is a recurring column in which Jacob Trussell explores the art behind some of cinema’s best roles.

If you are new to reading this column, we suggest starting with these entries:

Browse the archive for The Great Performances below

Mia Goth In Pearl

How Mia Goth’s Pearl Stole the (Horror) Show in 2022

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Between X and Pearl, Goth delivered some of the best performances we’ve ever seen in a single year of horror.

Best Ebenezer Scrooge Performance

Who Gave the Best Ebenezer Scrooge Performance?

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We sketch out what goes into an effective Scrooge performance and which actors best conveyed the spirit of Charles Dickens infamous miser.

No Country For Old Men Cast

3 Scenes Showcasing the Incredible Cast of ‘No Country for Old Men’

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The film is filled with knockout performances from every member of its cast, but these three sequences specifically highlight the breathtaking nuanced layered through the Coen Brothers masterpiece.

Addams Family Cast

How Does the Cast of ‘The Addams Family’ Compare to the Original New Yorker Cartoons?

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Charles Addams’ famous family have been pop culture icons for over 80 years, but just how similar were his original cartoons to the star-studded cast of Barry Sonnenfeld’s big screen adaptations?

Brendan Fraser The Mummy

Brendan Fraser is So Much More Than An Indiana Jones Clone in ‘The Mummy’

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His character may be cut from the same cloth as Harrison Ford’s most celebrated role, but Fraser brings key elements to Rick O’Connell that makes his performance more than a mere pastiche.

Jamie Lee Curtis Halloween

Jamie Lee Curtis and the Fractured Arc of Laurie Strode in ‘Halloween’

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We’re diving into Curtis’ accomplished performances as one of the most famous final girls in horror film history across the ‘Halloween’ franchise.

Patrick Swayze Dirty Dancing

The Graceful Masculinity of Patrick Swayze in ‘Dirty Dancing’

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As Johnny Castle, Swayze was able to demonstrate his natural strengths as a dancer and an actor interested in deconstructing masculine archetypes.

Lupita Nyongo Us Performance

The Powerful Performance(s) of Lupita Nyong’o in ‘Us’

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Marrying tenets of avant-garde theater and natural acting methods, Nyong’o delivered a masterclass in playing opposite sides of the same coin in Jordan Peele’s doppelgänger horror film.

Thief James Caan Diner

James Caan’s Best Performance is the Most Compelling Scene in ‘Thief’

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Michael Mann’s debut feature film contains arguably the ten best minutes late actor James Caan ever put to celluloid.