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

Patricia Tallman Night Of The Living Dead

The ‘Night of the Living Dead’ Remake Gives Barbara the Depth She Deserves


Resurrected by stuntwoman Patricia Tallman, Barbara gained three dimensions in the 1990 zombie movie.

Will Smith Fresh Prince Acting

‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ Was Will Smith’s Acting School


The future superstar cut his teeth with the sitcom’s most famous “very special” episodes.

Jennifer Carpenter Emily Rose

‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose’ Reinvented the Possession Performance


For its 15th anniversary, we look at how Jennifer Carpenter’s factual take on demonic possession subverted every expectation we had from the exorcism subgenre.

Michael Shannon Take Shelter

An Ode to Michael Shannon in ‘Take Shelter’


Sometimes a great performance is made in the quietest moments.

Jeon Do Yeon in Secret Sunshine

The Power of Jeon Do-yeon’s Silence in ‘Secret Sunshine’


Jeon delivers a jaw-dropping performance as a grieving mother.

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Freddie Miles Talented Mr Ripley

The Talented Mr. Hoffman: Philip Seymour Hoffman as Freddie Miles


Stealing every scene he appears in, Hoffman’s performance in ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ is an early career triumph.

Anthony Perkins Psycho

Anthony Perkins Will Always Frighten Us in ‘Psycho’


60 years ago, ‘Psycho’ set the gold standard for handsome homicidal maniacs. In this column, Jacob Trussell explores Anthony Perkins’ performance as Norman Bates.

Kane Hodder

Kane Hodder Breathed Life Into Jason Voorhees


Hodder was the first actor to make the undead icon from ‘Friday the 13th’ suddenly feel alive.

The Shining

Jack Nicholson Originated the Nicolas Cage Freakout In ‘The Shining’


Yes, we know, Stanley Kubrick’s film isn’t like Stephen King’s novel, but we’re just here for Nicholson’s raging Jack Torrance!