Ford On Film

Chronicles of a silver screen addict

Wrapping up the Fordonfilm End of Year Awards: Best Supporting Actress, Best Actress and Best Actor

I apologise for my tardiness; due to a lot of work, personal problems and various other things taking up my time, I haven’t been able to devote as much time as I would have liked. With that in mind, I’m going to combine three into one and rank the best supporting actress, best actress and best actor of 2013.

Also, I should have pointed out right from the start that there are masses of films I haven’t seen from last year; some I didn’t get to see, some I had little interest in and some that weren’t released over here in the UK until just after 2013. Here are just some of the films getting great reviews I have yet to see:

  • 12 Years A Slave
  • Captain Phillips
  • American Hustle
  • Nebraska
  • Blue Jasmine
  • Stoker
  • Saving Mr. Banks
  • Les Misérables
  • Frances Ha
  • Philomena
  • Blue is the Warmest Colour
  • Filth
  • The Great Beauty
  • Behind the Candelabra
  • Before Midnight
  • Lincoln
  • Rush

As you can see, there are many critically acclaimed films I’m still catching up on, which may explain why some of your choices for any of these awards. With that explanation out of the way, let’s rank the three best supporting actress turns of 2013.


Lili Taylor – The Conjuring

The Conjuring 6

Horror films rarely feature award worthy performances, but James Wan’s rather brilliant The Conjuring was a rare exception. Though good when being the loving Mum haunted by demons, Taylor was at her best in the final stretch; possessed, demented, murderous. In a film overshadowed by loud noises, psychological terror and horrific imagery, Taylor still managed to shine through and give a terrific performance.


Kristin Scott Thomas – Only God Forgives

Only God Forgives 3

I gave my award for Most Disappointing film to Nicolas Winding Refn’s unpleasant, glacially paced Bangkok crime drama and stand by it; it’s pretty rubbish. However, despite having one of the most hateable characters portrayed on screen, Scott Thomas sunk her teeth into her juiciest role in years and delivered in spades. Going against type, Scott Thomas is completely white trash, abusing foreigners, making incestual jokes and generally being the coldest, nastiest character of 2013.


Joanna Vanderham – What Maisie Knew

what maisie knew 1

One of the most underrated films of the year, What Maisie Knew is a raw emotional experience, centring on a bitter divorce as seen through the eyes of a six year old girl. Despite top billing going to very well respected veterans Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan, the best adult performance was actually the relatively unknown Scottish actress Vanderham. Too young for the troubles she was surrounded by, Vanderham’s character is one of the only truly sympathetic characters in the film, and the scene in which she breaks down, locked out of her own apartment, was heartbreaking. I keep my fingers crossed that Vanderham will get plenty more work off the top of this.

Now, let us move on to the hotly contested Best Actress award:


Onata Aprile – What Maisie Knew

what maisie knew

One of the best child performances of all time, six year old Aprile stole the entire film with her wise-beyond-years performance as the young girl caught in the middle of a bitter divorce between her parents. The absolute heart of the film, Aprile gave an astonishingly good portrayal, and it’s a shame that few people caught this film.


Naomi Watts – The Impossible

The Impossible

The most brutal non-horror of the year, The Impossible was a tough watch; emotionally and physically violent, immensely sad and absolutely terrifying. Watts’ character was one of the most unfortunate characters shown on screen last year. As if getting caught in the middle of a Tsunami wasn’t traumatic enough, she got stabbed by a tree branch, lost her family and lost a near fatal amount of blood. And yet, Watts gave her character strength and courage, and never allowed the film to become melodrama or wallowing, for which she should be applauded.


Sandra Bullock – Gravity


Predictable, maybe, but the critics and audiences are right: This is her best ever performance. Carrying the film from the opening moments right to the closing credits, Bullock could have been lost in with the kinetic direction and mind blowing visual FX, but she shone through and kept us gripped, shocked and tense for the length of the film. It seems unlikely she’ll win the Oscar (and she already won for the truly awful The Blind Side), but come the night of the awards, she’d make a worthy winner.

And finally, my three picks for the best actors of 2013!


Frank Langella – Robot and Frank

Robot & Frank

Possibly the most underrated film of the year, and certainly the most charming, indie comedy drama sci-fi Robot and Frank was held together magnificently by a wonderful performance by Langella. At 76, Langella just keeps getting better and it was great to see a film about old age featuring one of our most beloved and legendary character actors. If you haven’t already seen Robot and Frank, just go and watch it now. You won’t be disappointed!


Ewan McGregor – The Impossible

the impossible 2

I will always have a soft spot for McGregor after his portrayal of Renton in my all time favourite film, Trainspotting. Despite making some mediocre films recently (Perfect Sense, Haywire, Jack the Giant Slayer), I always hold out hope for a great McGregor performance, and this year we got one of his all time best in The Impossible. Playing a father desperately searching for his son and wife, McGregor took us through the wringer of emotions, and a scene in which he broke down on the phone was possibly the saddest scene of 2013.


Simon Pegg – The World’s End

The World's End

Perhaps a surprising choice, but I absolutely loved seeing Pegg play an antihero and almost total arsehole. Usually playing straight laced or totally sympathetic, manic depressive Gary King gave Pegg his meatiest ever role and some proper emotion. Funny in the right places, touching in others, and occasionally going for a full emotional breakdown, Pegg was the real emotional core of the otherwise OTT comedy The World’s End, and, as gratitude to the brilliant work he has done over the last few years and his best ever performance in 2013, Simon Pegg is my Best Actor of 2013.

I hope you’ve enjoyed The Fordonfilm Year End Awards 2013, and here’s hoping next year’s awards are just as terrific! Thanks for reading!

By Harry Ford


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