Posts Tagged ‘villains’

Best of 2019: Top 10 Movie Characters

And so it is on this joyous Christmas Day that we raise our glasses to the cinematic characters that jumped off the big screen and our streaming devices in 2019; holding up parts of a story that were otherwise flagging, stealing scenes on the regular, or simply sticking with us after the credits rolled on their stories. I saw a lot of movies this year so I had a pretty great pool from which to draw.

Whether due to an acting performance, visual design, writing or a combination of all three, these are my ten favourite movie characters of 2019. As is usually the case on these lists, you tend to be more interesting to me if you’re a supporting character or a villain; but there were a few kinda-exceptions to that de facto rule this year.

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VR BEST OF 2019 DISCLAIMER

This list represents my opinion only. I am not asserting any kind of superiority or self-importance by presenting it as I have. My opinion is not fact. To agree with me 100% is rarer than an EA game without microtransactions. Respectful disagreement is most welcome.

THERE ARE SPOILERS ON THIS PAGE!

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10. Jack – Mary Poppins Returns

Step right up and see the majesty that is Lin Manuel Miranda in full flight, snacking on scenery like only a man with musical theatre in his blood can. Taking on the surrogate role of the working-class sage / super Poppins fanboy made famous by the great Dick Van Dyke’s chimney sweep Bert, Miranda’s clear glee at being on the screen in such a huge Disney production helps sell Jack the lamplighter’s contagious energy like nothing else. When you choose to make a sequel that by design repeats the musical beats and character archetypes of its iconic predecessor, direct comparisons were always going to be made; but the Hamilton man holds his own in Van Dyke’s shadow. At the very least, his cockney accent is better.

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Best of 2018: Top 10 Movie Characters

There sure were some characters worth remembering at the cinema this year. Half of them weren’t even from superhero movies! No protagonists this time around – Well, maybe one, technically – It’s almost all supporting characters or villains, which seems to be this list’s default form if left unsupervised. Most of this list is filled by actors who aren’t big names – at least in Hollywood – which is always fun to see too.

There are some spoilers ahead. In fact this might be my spoiler-iest character list ever, simply because so many of these characters are defined by what they achieve (and don’t achieve) in their movies.

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VR BEST OF 2018 DISCLAIMER

This list represents my opinion only. I am not asserting any kind of superiority or self-importance by presenting it as I have. My opinion is not fact. If you actually agree with me 100%, that’s odd, but let’s have a beer. Respectful disagreement is most welcome.

Some spoilers ahead.

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10. Eleanor – Crazy Rich Asians

One of the reasons that Crazy Rich Asians works so well is that it has memorable characters stuffed into every nook of its runtime. I could have gone with Awkwafina’s sweet-hearted comic relief Peik Lin, or Gemma Chan’s near-perfect protagonist-in-waiting Astrid, but I’m going to put Eleanor, matriarch of the uber-wealthy Young family, at the top of this page. In what feels like a grandstand Hollywood comeback role, Michelle Yeoh glides across the screen with measured tact and an arsenal of emotional weaponry she is not afraid to use if it means protecting her family’s legacy. From the opening scene, which well and truly exists in service of the character, to the final moment she locks eyes with our protagonist across a crowded room, Eleanor never completely drops her guard and yet it’s somehow still so easy to empathise with her plight. Yeoh’s graceful performance exhibits danger and safety in equal measure and it greatly strengthens the movie.

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Best of 2015: Top 10 Movie Characters

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I entered this year’s run of countdowns resigned to the somewhat depressing knowledge that my schedule would prevent me from watching any Boxing Day films, but at the very least that allows for one positive: I no longer have anything stopping me from spreading out my movie-themed countdowns throughout the ten day period, rather than bunching them up towards the post-December 26th half. So I’m going to cling to that positive, and show you my favourite movie characters from 2015.

This isn’t a lengthy or particularly competitive list – Out of what I watched this year I could only come up with one honorable mention – but I do think it’s a strong list nonetheless. Hollywood put some pretty magnetic characters onto the big screen in 2015, and it’s good to see that for once, it wasn’t just the villains that got all the good moments and lines. There are more “good guys” and morally ambiguous folk on my character list this year than any previous edition, so take that how you will.

Also, give that I’m talking about what makes characters memorable, mild spoilers will come up.

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VR BEST OF 2015 DISCLAIMER
This list represents my opinion only. I am not asserting any kind of superiority or self-importance by presenting it as I have. My opinion is not fact. If you actually agree with me 100%, that’s weird. Cool, but definitely weird. Respectful disagreement is most welcome.

SPOILERS FOLLOW.
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10. M – Spectre

Ralph Fiennes is one of those actors who tends to improve the quality of most movies he’s in, which made him a fine choice to replace Dame Judi Dench in a role that she had well and truly made her own for almost two decades. Fiennes’ M is just as visibly affected by outside pressures in Spectre as Dench’s ever was, but his penchant for keeping up appearances is more prominent, making his seething rage at both his political situation and the cocky young upstart at its head tremendous fun to watch. He bares his troubles through gritted teeth and then, when he finally gets to take action, the catharsis is palpable.

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