I know I said that our top 20 TV moments of the year was always my favorite post of the year to write, but I lied. It’s always our Best Performances of the year. It’s hard to cover everything that we consume pop culture wise in a calendar year on our little site, even with the two of us plus regular contributions from our three board members. (Hi Ladies, we love you and thanks for all your hard work this year!!) Thus, Sage and I always view this post as a bit of a catch-all for all the wonderful performers who made us feel things this year, be it every week on our TV screens or on our trips to the movie theatre. They made us laugh, they made us cry, they made us flail about, they made us curse them, and they made us sit back in awe of their talent. Here’s to the class of 2017! Your trophies are all in the mail. — Kim
1) Gal Gadot – Wonder Woman
It’s impossible to express just what Wonder Woman means to me, but I have to assume that the women and girls all over the world who also found something in this movie that they’d been missing for their entire moviegoing lives already get it. There are many reasons why Diana’s standalone movie is the most well-reviewed DC film since Christopher Nolan was on that Batman beat, but IMO, it all boils down to the fact that it’s the first one in years that’s had any kind of recognizably emotional center. And so much of that is due to Gal Gadot’s star-making performance.
And listen: this is not an easy character to sell. Diana of Themyscira must be good and true without being staid or boring. She’s single-minded and possibly misguided in her mission for some of the movie, but she can never seem naive. With her big, doe eyes and confident work (she GETS that Diana is more than a shield and some fight choreography, y’all), Gal makes the half-Amazon/half-god into a relateably vulnerable heroine who nonetheless can inspire men to follow her into battle and freed villagers to celebrate her name. — Sage
2) Holly Hunter and Ray Romano – The Big Sick
My favorite thing about The Big Sick is that yes, it’s a romantic comedy about how Kumail and Emily fell in love (IDK how many times I said “How is this REAL?” out loud) but it’s ALSO the story of how Kumail built a relationship with his future in-laws, Beth and Terry. Listen, I don’t know what Emily’s parents are like in real life but it my mind they are ACTUALLY Ray Romano and Holly Hunter because their dynamic together was that fucking perfect. Down to their height difference. (The way Holly Hunter plays up her diminutive stature to comic effect is everything.) It’s like the casting jackpot.
I have sung the praises of Ray Romano as a dramatic actor ever since his arc on Parenthood. As Terry, Romano is perfectly awkward as he makes the most of his signature droll delivery. (“So…uh…9/11.”) He’s aloof in a way that only someone being married so someone as strong and in your face as Beth can be. (It’s not QUITE Beta husband, more of a weariness that she’s going to fight until she gets her way, so she might as well get her way straight away.) While he’s a man of few words, it’s clear he’s a man who feels deeply and is carrying around a lot more than meets the eye. It’s a perfect contrast to Hunter’s Beth, who is all fire, ferocity, and wearing her heart on her sleeve. She’s probably a mom that would drive us all crazy IRL, a mom we wouldn’t truly appreciate until we were in our 40s, but at the same time she’s the Tiger Mom we all want in her corner. Together, they are the perfect movie parents and The Big Sick WORKS because we become as invested in Kumail’s relationship with them as we do with Emily. If not more so. — Kim
3) Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out
One of the best pop culture choices I made all year was to read almost nothing about Jordan Peele’s Get Out before seeing it. His psychological thriller about modern racism both insidious and blatant was deservedly a breakout moment for both the writer/director and his star, Daniel Kaluuya.
It’s through the eyes of the British actor that the audience experiences Chris’ trip to his white girlfriend’s poisonous family home. Everyone around him LOOKS like they’re doing more, but Daniel gives the everyman performance that grounds the movie, as Chris’ state-of-mind moves from good-natured trepidation to amusement to fear to pure, defiant, adrenaline-fueled survival. As if we weren’t already looking forward to Black Panther, the Marvel movie’s INSANE cast includes him in his first major role since Get Out. All signs point to this role being the very tip of the iceberg of what he can do. –Sage
4) Tiffany Haddish – Girls Trip
Girls Trip is the comedy of the year and Tiffany Haddish gave the comic performance of the year and anyone else who says otherwise is wrong, wrong, wrong. Just about every review of the movie compared Haddish’s performance as the loud, crass, and fiercely loyal Dina to Melissa McCarthy’s breakout (and Oscar nominated) performance in Bridesmaids. And rightly so. The performance is giddy, fearless, and completely balls to the wall. She gives everything she has and then some and it shows on the screen. I laughed all my mascara off and then she also made me cry genuine tears.
Because here’s the thing with Tiffany Haddish: underneath all the gags about smuggling drugs in her booty or teaching the entire nation a very valuable lesson about grapefruits, Haddish has made Dina a fully rounded and multi-dimensional character. Yeah, she will be the first person who will be like “HOLD MY EARRINGS” when she encounters your shitty cheating husband, but she will ALSO be the first person who will hold your hair back when you vomit. “I know you think I’m a joke,” Dina admits when the girls have the predictable third-act bust-up. “But I LOVE y’all.” May we all have a Dina in our lives, honestly. Dinas make the world that much more bright and exciting. And citrusy. — Kim
5) Jon Bernthal – The Punisher
Frank Castle simply doesn’t work as a character — especially as a CENTRAL character — unless you can be inside his head and start to understand why vengeance is the only option available to him. Jon Bernthal takes it a step further and actually lets you see Frank’s beating heart.
There’s a reason why his portrayal of the Punisher elevated Daredevil Season 2 and prompted the first side character spin-off in the Netflix Marvel universe. In Jon’s capable hands, the dichotomy of Frank — the swaggering badassery and the deep, deep wounds — both come from precisely the same place. Sure, the man is alone a lot. But Jon’s version of this character really shines when he’s opposite someone, whether it’s Ben Barnes’ turncoat Billy Russo, Ebon Moss Bachrach’s basement-dwelling accidental brother-in-arms Micro, or Deborah Ann Woll’s Karen Page, Frank’s guardian angel/partner in crime, depending on the situation. (The man is an A-plus scene partner. That’s the theater training.) This is a person who’s been failed by the institutions he’s put his trust in, betrayed by men he considered family, lost absolutely everything that made him who he is, and yet, he STILL seeks out human connection. He STILL wants to know if Billy has shame or regret. Yes, he’s a problematic figure. But he’s also a magnificently complicated one. –Sage
6) D’Arcy Carden – The Good Place
The Good Place is the reason why that SAG Award for Best Ensemble exists (even though like most Mike Schurr shows, the voting body at large refuses to nominate them for some unknown reason). Every single person on the show is fantastic from Ted Danson to the extras that populate the Good Place. So how did we even choose a sole cast member for this list? To me, the choice was simple: D’Arcy Carden plays a living version of Siri. The fact that she’s an AI dictates that she essentially has to deliver all of her lines in a monotone with the same smile on her face. Even within those limitations, D’Arcy gives Janet a rich emotional life that’s made even richer by the fact that Janet isn’t built to understand all the emotions that she’s experiencing. It’s an incredibly subtle performance that relies on vocal inflection (The way she cheerfully chants “Kill me, Kill me, Kill me” absolutely slays me) and facial expressions and maintaining a slightly vacant look in her eyes. It’s an incredibly difficult role and D’arcy makes it look easy. — Kim
7) Allison Janney – I, Tonya
Look, Allison Janney has never done anything wrong in her life, ever. But this could be the year that the multi-Emmy winner gets her first Oscar gold. The part of Tonya Harding’s exacting and decidedly un-cuddly mother LaVona was written with Allison in mind. And yeah, it’s showy (there’s a fur coat and a live bird) in a way that usually prompts voters to respond.
I was a figure skater at the time when the Tonya and Nancy scandal dominated national news, so I know from stage mothers. LaVona is one of the worst examples I’ve ever seen, but she shares her core, driving emotions with the less offensive kind: these are women who feel like life has screwed them over. They never had enough; they never achieved enough; they were overlooked and undervalued. But their children are their chance to do it all over, and they’ll stop at NOTHING to see them succeed. So let’s not let the aggressively stylistic tone of this movie diminish what Allison does. Because she has the uncanny ability to drill down to the truth of someone who can be written off as a kook. She has the balls to be your invitation to look in on a very ugly part of human nature. With Allison playing her, LaVona is a downright Shakespearean villain. –Sage
8) Elisabeth Moss – The Handmaid’s Tale
I think what I love the most about Elisabeth Moss in The Handmaid’s Tale is how QUIET the performance is and how much of it relies on what is not being said. Offred lives in a society that endeavors to completely silence women and reduces them to objects and baby-making machines. (Sound familiar?) So Offred has to be careful with her words, lest she be punished for them. That’s not to say that she is silent all the time, and often her chosen words are words of defiance. Where we truly get to know Offred though is through her inner monologue and her sarcastic asides and that’s where Elisabeth Moss shines.
In an interview with Vulture, showrunner Bruce Miller revealed that Elisabeth memorizes all of Offred’s voiceover dialogue. At first I was like HOLY SHIT that is so much (which it IS, don’t get me wrong) but the more I thought about it the more it made complete sense. It would be literally impossible to match ADR work to an acting performance if you didn’t know EXACTLY what your character was thinking or feeling at the time. So much of Moss’ performance relies on her eyes, on a carefully timed eyebrows raise, or on the way her lips are pursed. Everything is so specific because she knows EXACTLY what her character is thinking at all times. It’s a masterclass in acting and in character work that leaves me in awe. — Kim
9) Finn Wolfhard – It
I never expected a killer clown nightmare to be one of the most charming movies I’ve ever seen about friendship, childhood, and the fraternity of the outcast. But It had its priorities in the right place, placing the core comradeship of the Losers Club ahead of the horrific reign of Pennywise. (It is a secret coming-of-age movie, with a horror twist.) Each one of them was pitch-perfect, but the standout was Finn Wolfhard — so sensitive and wise beyond his years in Stranger Things — as potty-mouthed blusterer (and future stand-up success) Richie Tozier.
It was a genius choice to let this movie veer into the R rating, because Finn has a glorious talent for cussing, the likes of which have not been seen since Peter Capaldi as Malcolm Tucker. Richie is that friend we all had, who couldn’t help exaggerating everything that had ever and WOULD never happen to him. But the one thing he’s serious about is his immovable loyalty to his crew. It’s Finn’s last monologue — screamed, in the sewers underneath Derry — that sums up the kamikaze fellowship that sends the creature and his dead lights packing in the end. Be strong, swear whenever the shit you feel like it, and — no matter what you’ve been through up until that point — kill the fucking clown. Beep beep, Richie. — Sage
10) Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird
Honestly, who does Saoirse Ronan think she is? She’s twenty-three years old and practically every major performance she turns in is worthy of an Oscar nomination, especially when it comes to playing a young woman on the brink of adulthood. (See also: Brooklyn) Lady Bird is a damn near perfect movie and as Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson, Saoirse is perfect. (Sage: She’s Irish, how the hell is she so good at playing an American teen?) The film chronicles Lady Bird’s senior year in high school and my favorite thing about it is that it is COMPLETELY a slice of life film. There’s no handy resolution tied up in a pretty little bow at the end of the movie. There’s no major crisis or reckoning that Lady Bird has to face. It’s literally just the highs and lows of being eighteen, which is quite possibly the scariest age ever, as you are right on the cusp of making choices that will shape the rest of your life.
The whole reason the movie works is because Saoirse knows this character so intimately right from the start. Lady Bird is a dreamer, who feels too big for Sacramento, yet she’s terrified of actually getting out there and seeing what the world has to offer. She has no idea what she actually wants. She’s desperate to fit in (even ditching her lifelong best friend in the name of the popular girl) and desperate for love in a way that only an eighteen year old can be. She clashes with her overbearing but well-meaning mom (a BRILLIANT Laurie Metcalf) and she suffers from crippling bouts of self-doubt. (The prom dress shopping scene, you guys.) And through the entire thing, Saoirse is so unbelievably grounded in the character. You never question her, you never see the seams of the performance or the obvious work she’s put in. It’s probably why awards aren’t thrown at her in a regular basis cause she’s not ACTING. She’s LIVING. She makes it look easy when it’s anything but. — Kim
11) Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer – Call Me By Your Name
Their biggest competition was a night custodian and a sea monster, but Call Me By Your Name‘s Elio and Oliver — or Oliver and Elio — are our fictional love story of 2017. Armie and Timothee are a package deal in this respect. You can’t nominate the one without the other, because the whole damn point of the book and the movie is that these two men BECOME each other, in a sense, over one rambling, sexually charged Italian summer.
If you’ve read the novel, you know that while much of the minimal dialogue appears in the movie exactly as it was originally written, Timothee had the challenge of internalizing and then expressing pages and pages of Elio’s narration. Where in one medium, we’re told EXACTLY how Elio feels when Oliver argues the etymology of the word “apricot” with his father or is seen around town with a local hottie, the movie leaves it up for the young actor’s performance to fill in those blanks and let you provide the words. And if you work backwards, as I did, you’ll gain a renewed appreciation for every shade of his performance, from teenage pettiness to a premature resignation that this will all end, and soon. What the book does not describe and is all Timothee’s own is Elio’s physicality, spunky and hesitant all at once. The turn of a heel, the shift of a shoulder. All of it is being used and used well.
Oliver, on the other hand, is very much the mystery in both versions. Armie gives him that well-meant reservation that can easily be misinterpreted as coldness. Oliver unfolds to Elio and the audience at the very same time, to the point that every “Later!” sounds remarkably different from the last. I think for many years he’s been trying to show the world what kind of artist he is, and finally we’re getting the picture. The two of them together are magic. Wanting and desire never had it so good. –Sage
12) Patrick Stewart – Logan
Logan was one of the best movies I saw in 2017 and I NEVER want to see it again. As far as I am concerned this movie is the last of the X-Men franchise and we never need to make another one again. The movie is gritty, it’s intense, and it’s fucking heartbreaking.
It was a BRILLIANT decision to not have Logan focus entirely on…well…Logan but instead make it a swan song for both Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart’s Charles Xavier, who shaped so much of Logan’s hero journey. It’s incredibly tough to watch Charles at 90, suffering from dementia when for so long his brilliant brain was such an integral part of his entire identity. It’s heartbreaking to know that he’s lost complete control of his powers and has been relying on Logan to keep him locked away in a metal bunker to protect the world from him, especially when all he ever wanted was to show the world that mutants were SAFE and EQUAL. Stewart, as he does in every performance he ever gives goes in with this concept wholeheartedly. His rage and his grief at how his life has turned out is palpable. He is a completely broken man, crippled both by illness and by grief. And yet, his signature wit and snark is always present. Even as he slips away, he still clings to the pieces of himself that made him stand apart. It’s incredibly beautiful and bittersweet and quite possibly one of the best performances Patrick Stewart has given over the course of his long and fruitful career. — Kim
13) David Harbour – Stranger Things
In every tweet he tweets, Instagram he posts, and SAG Awards speech he gives, David Harbour lets the world know how completely he’s accepted the character of Chief Jim Hopper into his own life. And I like a guy who isn’t afraid to admit all the ways in which he and his most famous role intersect.
We got to know Hopper in season 1. But when Stranger Things returned for a sophomore year, so much had changed. The local police chief gets a second shot at being a dad, both to Will, who’s dealing with the effects of the Upside Down, and Eleven, his secret charge. He watched Joyce be happy and in love with a new guy who was basically his opposite and held her when she cried over his death. He continued to hit ALL our buttons by being the quintessential guy who is far from perfect but nonetheless unquestionably GOOD. And you have to love an actor who’s as generous as Harbour is with scene partners who are less than half his age. For his humor, heroism, and yes, being daddy as all hell, the coolest adult in all of Hawkins makes out 2017 list. –Sage
14) Oscar Isaac – Hamlet
I swear to God, I had been hearing about Oscar Isaac’s production of Hamlet for years. (In reality, it had only been talked about since April 2016, but you know. Timey-wimey.) It was originally going to be at New York’s Theatre for a New Audience, but the show parted ways with the theatre when they didn’t fully agree with director Sam Gold’s vision. Enter The Public Theater which gave Oscar a big breakthrough early in his career with multiple appearances in its annual Shakespeare in the Park summer productions. And let’s be real, this production was always meant to be at the Public. We all got memberships and queued up the day tickets went on sale so we could see Poe Dameron take on Shakespeare’s greatest role. We got second row seats. It’s a miracle that I am still alive to type this post after seeing it, to be completely honest.
Because not only did Oscar make Shakespeare’s language his bitch, making pages upon pages of poetry sound like everyday conversation, he did it in an array of threadbare t-shirts, grandpa cardigans, and for an entire act, a pair of tiny black briefs. (His thighs PROBABLY deserved one of our honorable mentions.) His Hamlet was both manic and incredibly shrewd as he cycled through all the stages of grief, save for acceptance; it was a complete portrait of a young man who doesn’t know how to deal with the loss of a parent. It was mesmerizing and made 3+ hours feel more like 30 minutes. — Kim
15) Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
If there was one silver lining to the crime against humanity that was 2017, it was the amplification and increased acceptance of female rage. And no character embodied that concept more over the last year in film like Frances McDormand’s grieving mother Mildred in Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri. As a woman who lost her daughter to an act of sexual violence, Mildred has no interest in treading softly, being liked, or giving anyone the benefit of the doubt. And no one does “do not fuck with me” like Frances McDormand. Her fury is smart and sarcastic, an almost undetectable flinch the only clue Frances will give you that Mildred has any guilt about how her one and only mission affects the people in her town. She doesn’t get what she wants in the end, but at least Mildred gets to let everyone in a 15-mile radius know that she is pissed the fuck off. And sometimes when life takes something precious from you, the best you can hope for is to be heard. –Sage
16) Charlize Theron – Atomic Blonde
You know someone is a badass when she gets into training for her James Bond-esque spy thriller and her trainer is like “WELP she’s really good at this, we should up the intensity level.”
In a summer that also gave us Diana Prince, it was SO interesting to see Charlize’s Lorraine Broughton follow so quickly after her because they are so wildly different and equally important depictions of powerful women. Where Diana is warm and emotional, Lorraine is chillingly cold (even though she is clearly haunted AF), her steely facade cracking only rarely. She is a woman of few words, choosing to speak through her actions. (The STUNTS in this movie, y’all. They blow my mind and Charlize did 90% of them.) It’s a role that ONLY Charlize Theron could pull off, and given that this is her second appearance on this list for one of her action roles (the first being Mad Max‘s Imperator Furiosa, natch), I am just asking when we will all get the Charlize action franchise we deserve. Another go-around with Lorraine would be a nice start. — Kim
17) Kyle McLachlan – Twin Peaks
Most revivals require their stars to get back into the swing of playing a character they’d left behind long ago. But was there ever any doubt that the 25-years-later reboot of Twin Peaks would ask its actors for more? Once again, Kyle McLachlan is the focal point of the show, but not, as you might have expected, as Agent Cooper. Instead, Kyle pulled triple duty — as Cooper, briefly, but also as his malicious replacement Evil Dale and the harmless shell of his tulpa, insurance agent Dougie Jones. Each of these characters not only moves through the world in a different way, but they’re also representative of the forces (ancient, as we now know) that move through Twin Peaks and have orchestrated everything that’s gone on there. It’s a tall order for any actor, especially without much of a linear narrative to go off of. Yet Kyle imbues Dougie with a goofy obliviousness that launched a thousand memes (“HELLOOOOOOOO”) AND somehow still establishes a rapport with Janey-E and Dougie Jr. that pays off in emotional spades when Cooper returns to himself and thanks them for taking care of him. He makes Evil Dale the second coming of BOB, just with a little more forethought and follow-through. And I already talked about my eternal love for Agent Cooper in our TV moments of the year post, and how good and right it felt to see the actor shift back into that reassuring and still vibrant performance. Was the whole thing too weird to guarantee Kyle an Emmy nomination? Possibly. But he and The Return gave us television we’ll be unraveling and admiring for years to come. –Sage
18) Scott Michael Foster – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
We were POSITIVE that no one could fill the giant Greg Serrano shaped holes in our hearts when Santino Fontana left Crazy Ex-Girlfriend after a handful of episodes in season two. Enter Nathaniel Plimpton. At first it seemed like Nathaniel would just be a sarcastic foil for Rebecca and just another obstacle on the way to her happily ever after with Josh Chan. (Hmmm…JUST LIKE GREG WAS.) I wanted them to have hot hate sex within 5 minutes of his first episode. THEY wanted to have hot hate sex within 5 minutes of his first episode.
But then, as Crazy Ex-Girlfriend tends to always do, all of a sudden Nathaniel became more than just Rebecca’s snarky hot new boss. He is a Harry Potter nerd. He is a man with extreme emotional issues stemming from a Dad who taught him that showing emotion (and needing naps) was a sign of weakness. He’s the kind of guy who will fly out Rebecca’s absentee father first class so he can be at her wedding and he’s the kind of guy who says “Have fun flying coach, DICK” when said absentee father proves himself to be the terrible person Rebecca always knew he was. We’ve delved deeper into Nathaniel in season three as he both navigates his very real feelings for Rebecca and as her suicide attempt dredged up repressed memories of his own. So much of Nathaniel’s evolution can be chalked up to the writing but let’s not underestimate the impact of the man playing him. Scott Michael Foster GETS this material and he always goes all out with it. He gets that perfect balance of silly and serious and dark humor that makes Crazy Ex-Girlfriend the boldest comedy on TV right now. He has a perpetual twinkle in his eye and he delivers good music number, be it the perfect Ed Sheeran send-up (that’s RUINED “Thinking Out Loud” for me) or a Chainsmokers-esque number about going to the zoo. I can’t wait to see what he’ll do in the second half of this season. — Kim
19) Portia Doubleday – Mr. Robot
The secret of Mr. Robot is that Elliot’s analog isn’t Mr. Robot. It’s actually Angela Moss.
Rami Malek and Christian Slater deservedly got the fanfare in the first season of the show. But as its continued, the women of Mr. Robot have revealed themselves to be the series’ semi-secret weapons. Portia Doubleday has particularly blown me away, her arc taking off beautifully from the start of Season 2 and her possible defection to E Corp moving through her fateful and life-changing meeting with Whiterose and then to her betrayal of Elliot and destructive commitment to her own cause. It’s so much more than a downward spiral. And though you’ve probably questioned whether Angela is working for the Dark Army on good information of not, Portia ensures that you will NEVER question whether she herself believes it. In Season 3, Angela is a woman who believes that she can turn back time and is willing to do anything, even exploit the mental illness of the person who is closest to in the world, in order to do that. But when that artifice comes crashing down (and in one of the most stunning scenes of these new episodes), Angela and Elliot are just kids again, taking turns making wishes that they know won’t come true. It’s tragic and fragile, but real enough for them to hold onto. Mr. Robot is all about the unreliability of reality, and Portia Doubleday is just as skilled at walking that line as her more nominated male costars. –Sage
20) Mark Hamill – The Last Jedi
La la la la I can’t hear all the haters crying about how The Last Jedi ruined the Star Wars franchise and Luke Skywalker’s legacy when the brilliance of Mark Hamill’s performance is JUST that loud. Much of the complaints I have read (once I lifted my personal embargo on all things The Last Jedi) focused around Luke’s arc, that the disillusioned and bitter Luke that completely removed himself from society wasn’t the Luke Skywalker that we had all grown up loving. The Luke Skywalker we knew would have never walked away from a fight, would have never turned his back on the Jedi order that he had worked so hard to rebuild.
But that’s where I disagree with the people who cry foul. “This is not going to end the way you think,” Luke tells Rey (and us) all throughout the entire movie. Luke has SEEN SHIT. He has seen how power corrupts, even when it is given with the best intentions. He’s seen it all go wrong and he’s seen where he was to blame for it. It’s all there in every haunted expression that comes across his haggard face, it’s there in every moment of fear in his eyes as he witnesses how strong the force is in Rey. So TO ME, it makes perfect sense that Luke would walk away. I applaud Rian Johnson for making that bold decision, and I applaud Mark Hamill for GOING THERE despite his own apparent reservations. It’s a marvelously cynical performance, from the moment Luke tosses away the lightsaber that Rey hands him to the way he walks away from her training in pure and utter frustration. And do you want to know why it works and why it is so important that Luke is in a dark and twisty place for so much of the movie? Because ULTIMATELY Luke Skywalker does not let his bitterness and disappointment and cynicism win. He dusts off his shoulder (literally) and gets back in the fight because he has the smallest kernel of hope that he can make a difference after all. It’s the WHOLE POINT of the movie and it’s the whole reason why Luke’s legacy, in my opinion, remains intact. — Kim
1) Beau Gadsdon – “Kiwi”
Naturally, when it was time for Harry Styles to turn the hardest rock song on his album into a video, the concept included children, baked goods, and puppies — plus one badass, food-fightin’ little girl as his own avatar. Beau, who also played young Jyn in Rogue One, is giving us that strut, that thousand-yard stare, and an impressive army crawl, never mind how hard she’s pulling off that Harry patterned suit. Her whole demeanor says “it’s none of your business,” and thus, she became one of our Big Moods of 2017. –Sage
2) Cate Blanchett – Thor: Ragnarok
I feel like the entire cast of Thor: Ragnarok was having a contest as to who could have the most fun. It was a hard fought contest (honestly, the decision to lean into Chris Hemsworth’s comic genius is the best choice this franchise could have made) but I gotta give it to two-time Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett. In her goth wig, killer eye make-up, and bad-ass leather, no one was having more fun that she was. Just look at that smirk. — Kim
3) Jessica Biel – The Sinner
I’m not saying that I doubted Jessica Biel, but it’s a true fact that she doesn’t do as many projects annually as other name actors and I have really never known what to expect from her. But what a project to pick for her first foray into prestige TV. The Sinner is Tennessee Williams by way of upstate New York, and Cora is the unreliable narrator The Girl on the Train WISHES she was. With her bangs hanging in her eyes and her clipped nails digging into her palms, the formerly “normal” young wife and mother is a puzzle you begin to regret wanting to solve. Jessica’s work is appropriately minimalist and haunting, and I hope casting directors are sitting up and paying attention. — Sage
4) Keala Settle – The Greatest Showman
The Greatest Showman is a candy-colored, glitter-filled, let’s pretend P.T. Barnum wasn’t a HORRIBLE person revisionist mess and I loved every second of it. The highlight of the movie is the showstopping number “This Is Me” which is led by Broadway baby Keala Settle as the Bearded Lady. It is fierce, it is defiant, it is empowering. And Keala just SANGS. I dare you not to get goosebumps or be moved to tears. — Kim
What were your favorite performances of 2017? Let us know in the comments.