Best actors of 2023. Cooper, De Niro, Mescal – they were the best!  Do you agree with these types?

The Oscars are in a few months and the nominations for the Golden Statues probably won't exactly match the list below, due to the fact that these lists are based on the premiere calendar. That's why I've included the names of actors and actresses from films that premiered in cinemas in Poland in 2023. I don't include roles in films that I saw at film festivals in the list, but those whose premiere in Poland will take place next year. Here is my personal list of the best male roles in movies.

Bradley Cooper He should be nominated for an Oscar for Best Director for A Star Is Born. It was likely stolen from him by Paweł Pawlikowski, who unexpectedly received a nomination in this category for “Cold War.” Now Cooper is back with a new film that proves he may have a future as Clint Eastwood. It is worth looking at the acting meeting of the gentlemen in Eastwood's The Getaway through this lens. Maybe their conversation at the dinner table is more personal than we think.

An overview of the career of American conductor Leonard Bernstein “Artist and conductor of a band” It lacks the charm of Cooper's directorial debut and is an incomplete film. Despite the fantastical scenes, many strong emotional threads and Matthew Libatique's gorgeous cinematography, this biopic lacks a clue to show who Bernstein really was. Cooper, on the other hand, creates a meaty and complex role, despite the weaknesses of the script. In a duet with Carey, Mulligan shows the complex meanderings of Felicia Montealegre's love and Bernstein's love. A beautiful love, but also full of sacrifices. The scene of Felicia leaving in her husband's arms is a feat of acting, accomplished with just a breath and a minimum of a grimace. On the other hand, Cooper is also expressive. The perfect recreation of a 6-minute concert with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Bernstein in 1973 is impressive. Cooper has been preparing for this scene for several years, and it shows in every second of it. For that reason alone, I hope next year's Oscars go to him.

In the last quarter of a century Robert De Niro He did a lot to squander his greatness in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Consecutive roles in B-grade comedies, low-quality action films, video-on-demand productions – this is how De Niro got money to develop his restaurant and hotel empire in New York's Tribeca area. During this time, he had roles that reminded him of his greatness. Create Bloody Rings by David O. Russell (Oscar nomination for “Silver Linings Playbook”), painted an interesting portrait of Bernie Madoff in Barry Levinson's “The Arch-Cheater” and returned to the legendary duo with Martin Scorsese In “The Irishman”.

But only this year “Blood Moon Time” Scorsese gave De Niro room to express himself. Together with Leonardo DiCaprio, they form a duo that perfectly matches their roles in the 1993 movie “Boys' World.” But this time, the relationship between uncle and son has become even more terrible. His character William Hill (a historical figure) can be placed next to the most important sociopaths and psychopaths that De Niro created in the cinema of his friend Scorsese. Hale is a cold and ruthless sociopath, hiding behind his uncle's kindly face whose evil is covered up by a charming smile. It is a devilish temptation. The banality of evil in all its glory. Will there be a third Oscar for Bobby? He's been waiting for this for 43 years!

Robert Downey Jr. He received two Academy Award nominations in his career for various films such as 'Chaplin' and 'Tropical Eggs'. He created magnetic roles for Robert Altman, Oliver Stone, Mike Figgis (remember his poignant episode about a gay man dying of AIDS in “One Night”), Richard Linklater and David Fincher. Years of addiction problems separated him from the Hollywood mainstream. He's back in style with the role of Tony Stark in the Avengers universe and Sherlock Holmes in Guy Ritchie's crazy interpretation.

plays a role “Oppenheimersee” Christopher Nolan mentions that Downey Jr. He has the acting fire that was hidden under Iron Man's iron. Louis Strauss is the scheming head of the Atomic Energy Commission, who straddles the line between classic villain and tragic figure. Downey jr. He is almost physically unrecognizable, and at the same time it's not the makeup that makes his role unique. Downey jr. He brings to it all his baggage of boyish impudence, which he juxtaposes with Strauss's Washington sarcasm and calculation. I'm counting on a gold statuette to play a supporting role for the artist who pulls off the Stark costume so spectacularly. This role could also be a turning point in the career of the actor who has been imbued with the spirit of independent and avant-garde cinema since childhood. He talked about it in Netflix's excellent documentary “Sr” last year, about his relationship with his father, an icon of independent cinema – Robert Downey Sr. Or maybe it's time to make your directorial debut?

“After the sun” It is a very tender and impressionistic poetic portrait of childhood, maturing into fatherhood, depression and love, woven with hidden meanings. Charlotte Wells He has made one of the most profound and saddening films about depression I have ever seen. This would not be possible without great creation Paola Mescala. Known for his great Ordinary People, the 27-year-old Irish actor creates a poignant and nuanced portrait of a broken man, torn between fatherhood and the desire to explore the life of a young man. The Last Dance to the beat of Queen's song “Under Pressure” will go down in cinema history, and Mescal faces great pressure not to ruin his promising career.

“See Naples and die” – a quote from Goethe that is well known, but has lost its force over the years. Naples, located at the foot of Vesuvius, has always attracted visitors with its beauty and repelled with its ugliness. It attracted and absorbed, because as a port city it was a hotbed of disease and epidemics. Just read Gustau Herling-Grudzinski, who brilliantly described all the contradictions present in the capital of Campania. Naples fascinates and terrifies. It makes you fall in love and kills you.

“Nostalgia for the past” Mario Martone It is a very Neapolitan story, where the sweetness is overshadowed by a very pungent bitterness. The story of a man who wants to confront his demons returning to the Camorra-infested area of ​​Rione Sanitta is one of the distinct DNA of Naples. Pierfrancesco Favino, who in Marco Bellocchio's masterpiece “The Traitor” tore off the mask of the prominent Sicilian mafioso Cosa Nostra, now plays a Neapolitan who cannot shake off his heritage, even despite changing his religion. Could you never leave Naples? Will Naples ever recover from someone escaping from it to the end of the world? Martone created a Neapolitan tale of lost dreams, filial love and the illusory power of nostalgia, and Favino created a multi-dimensional character of a man who seems to have it all. And there is nothing.

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