The Best Actors, Actresses and Directors of 2020–The 2020 Flickmetic Movie Awards
The season kicks off with the people! The people’s champs! Okay, my champs, whatever.
Hello everybody and welcome to 2020 Flickmetic Movie Awards! Over the course of the next week or so I will be giving accolades and showering praise, but I will also be condemning the worst movies of the year.
This article will be dedicated to the people that make this happen: the actors, actresses and directors. I understand that there are many people that lend their talents to the magic that is cinema, but I am not the Oscars so I am simplifying the process. In regards to the directors specifically, I am using them as a sort of catchall since they dip into every aspect of the film. I don’t mean this to be insulting to the wonderful designers, cinematographers and other artists in the industry–your work is appreciated and without you there are no movies.
I will be giving my top three in each category, and I deliberately worded it the way I did–best actor instead of best male performance, for example–because I actually factor in body of work along with individual performances. What this means is, you can theoretically win by just grinding out performances–even if they are bit parts–if I think you’re good, or even the best part, in all of them. Or, on the flipside, you could win based solely on one performance. It’s all up to me, I can break awards however I want!
Remember, you can click here to get back to the main awards page in order to navigate through the madness easier.
The Top 3 Best Actors of 2020
3: Mads Mikkelsen in Another Round
I have to get this out there: the guy just looks cool. I’m not saying that is why he won, but I have to admit it and he does play into it. He looks cool but he is so convincing with whatever emotion he wants to hit. In Another Round he is vulnerable, funny, angry and he can play a bored depressed guy. He never overplays it and he’s got an air of dignity that emanates from him. I’ve gotten really into Mikkelsen over the past decade and I guess this is the culmination of that.
2: Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
He was good in Da 5 Bloods too but it’s mostly for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. It’s incredibly expected and perhaps a little mundane to give an award to a guy who unfortunately passed but his final performance is totally deserving of it.
When you first see him he is a brash and arrogant little shit who wants to be a serious musician. But you find out that he’s a little demented with a lot of emotional scars. Boseman was so brilliant in bringing that out of the character while also being funny, crazy, charming and a frightening occasionally. You will be missed, Chadwick.
1: Riz Ahmed in Sound of Metal and Mogul Mowgli
Riz Ahmed killed it this year. His role in Sound of Metal was strong enough to win on a singular performance but then he pads his chances because of his body of work. He is also excellent in Mogul Mowgli.
If we’re being technical then you could say that both of his roles are similar. He’s a musician that has to deal with a serious health issue. Mogul Mowgli might have been easier for him because he’s a rapper in real life as well. It doesn’t matter though because both are complex characters that he nails, juggling a lot of different feelings from dynamic characters. Sound of Metal was especially impressive because he had to do a lot without as much dialogue since he was deaf, but he’s just engaging in general. He did some seriously heavy lifting this year.
Top 3 Actresses of 2020
3: Frances McDormand in Nomadland
What can be said about McDormand that hasn’t already been said? She’s a living legend and one of the most diverse actresses in the game. A few years ago she played an angry tornado of a woman in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and here she plays a pleasant person that everybody seems to love.
This is just another completely genuine, vulnerable and powerful–in the sense of it being both a great performance and the character herself being brave with who she is–by a master. She wears it on her face; it’s understated and she doesn’t overact, playing the character to perfection.
2: Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman 1984
This is where some of my readers go “huh?” but I love these oddball picks. I understand that putting Gadot ahead of the an absolute powerhouse performance seems silly but completely embodying a character is important to me. It doesn’t have to be the most demanding role–though she does hit some sad notes–but it has to feel honest.
Look, Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman. Even if you take out my undying desire for her physically you’re still left with a woman that is that character inside and out, recent apparent controversy be damned. She looks and acts like what you would want Wonder Woman to look like–she has the physicality, the demeanor, the charm. She can be both confident and vulnerable. She’s strong and compassionate. She brings the character to life. I can’t imagine anybody else playing her at this point.
This is not the first time I made a pick like this. For example, I believe Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool encompasses the same attributes. It’s just a fun role and he was made for it. Going farther back, I would do the same for Stallone as Rocky. What it comes down to is the fact that Gadot’s performance as Wonder Woman drives my enjoyment during the movie, and that counts for something.
1: Naomi Watts in Penguin Bloom
There’s a certain bias here because Watts has long been one of my favourite actresses, but her performance in Penguin Bloom is deserving of recognition. In a nutshell this is #justNaomiWattsthings because this is just her doing what we expect from her.
That means that it’s what you would imagine a best performance would be. She cries, she laughs, she’s hopeful and she’s depressed. She runs the spectrum of emotions but she knows when to put her foot on the gas and when to take it off. Even when she’s being awful to other people there’s still sympathy because of how she portrays this character.
Top 3 Best Directors
3: Miranda July for Kajillionaire
She took a story that could have been dry, or even funny but underwhelming and she put an odd and original spin on it. She gets a bunch of great performances, even if I didn’t give them awards. Some scenes are truly memorable with intriguing camera work and framing that elevate them beyond what they might have been otherwise. Kajillionaire ended up being a lot more interesting than I expected.
2: Chloé Zhao for Nomadland
When I saw The Rider I couldn’t help but notice that Zhao was held back a bit by the performance of Brady Jandreau. Even though it was based on his life it was evident that he was an inexperienced actor. With Nomadland she doesn’t have that issue because, as noted earlier, McDormand is a master.
Part of a director’s job is to get worthy performances out of their actors and in The Rider she failed that. But what I also noticed about her was her attention to detail and brilliance in how that film presented itself otherwise. Nomadland is gorgeous without being overly stylish; a film that understands the fundamentals and uses them perfectly while adding just enough flourish to not be conventional. She crushes every scene from a visual standpoint. I’m really excited to see what Zhao does with The Eternals.
1: Ninian Doff for Get Duked!
I think that I might be Ninian Doff. If I had any talent whatsoever Get Duked! is the movie I may have made. He was able to blend the chaos of a horror-comedy with inspired stylistic choices. His usage of wide-angle shots of the Scottish Highlands directly spoke to me.
And there you have it people, my picks for the best actors, actresses and directors. Disagree? Of course you do! No list can satisfy everybody and I know that I had some strange choices littered throughout. That’s what I love about lists. Tell me your own lists in the comments below because I would love to read them.
If he starred in a movie this year he would be the best actor. Screw it, can I change my number one pick to him anyway?