The 10 Best Acting Performances Other Than The Best Actor Nominees at Oscars 2023: A lot of things factor into an actor or a film getting a nomination for any award. In fact, the Academy has a notoriously long history of snubbing many deserving performances. Of course, you can argue that snubs are part of every award show. But given how the Oscars are still regarded as the pinnacle of excellence when it comes to movies, an Oscar snub is more hurtful than anything else.

Sure, we all can say that awards do not matter and simply label Oscar as “shit” and move on. However, can we really deny the fact that for an actor, “that recognition” somewhat matters? For eg, Colin Farrell, one of the greatest working actors of our time, never received a nomination before securing a spot in this year’s best actor category thanks to his fantastic performance in “The Banshees of Inisherin. Farell is still a known face. Let’s consider someone like Andrea Riseborough, a really talented actor who has been working for a long time but never really got the fame. An Oscar nomination for such an actor is a huge deal which finally happened this year for the movie, “To Leslie.”

The fact that Riseborough’s deserving nomination actually being a result of a huge celebrity campaign organized by the “To Leslie” director and his wife is reason enough for us to question the credibility of the people behind the nominations. And if that was not enough, the nomination getting scrutinized is a clear indication of how biased these people are. Anyway, instead of getting into that, we are actually going to talk about the snubs of this year in the Best Actor category for both male and female actors.

Unsurprisingly, like every single time, there are a lot of acting performances that were as good as the nominated ones, or, I dare say, some were even better. Hence, making this list was not really an easy thing, not that I am complaining. In case you are wondering about the process here, what I mainly emphasized on are certain prejudices of the Academy, putting things inside a spectrum that has no boundaries and the overall impact on the performances.

10. Frankie Corio | Aftersun

10 Best Acting Performances

Charlotte Wells’s masterful debut “Aftersun” deservingly received a lot of love from the critics and the audience alike. Paul Mescal, the lead star of the father-daughter coming-of-age drama, got his maiden Oscar nod for the film. But Mescal’s eleven-year-old co-star Frankie Corio did not get one despite giving a performance as impactful as her screen dad.

In fact, considering the story is actually told from the perspective of her character Sophie, Corio is both the heart and soul of the movie, which would not be what it is without her delivering such a natural performance. The Academy has nominated child actors in the top acting categories before, which is why it is even more surprising to see such a performance that is filled with warmth and earnestness going unnoticed.

9. Lauren LaVera | Terrifier 2

10 Best Acting Performances

In a year of sequels surpassing the first parts, Damian Leone’s 2016 follow-up managed to reach a height where probably no other horror film has ever gone. Instead of following the tried and tested straightforward slasher pattern, Leone develops a proper narrative with a mysterious origin story. The result is a very charming, Wonder Woman-esque, mythical heroine standing tall against the evil Art the Clown.

In her first proper lead role, young actress Lauren LaVera shines like the brightest star and smashes it out of the park. Backed by a solidly written narrative, LaVera comes up with her version of a horror heroine who is spirited, inquisitive, and courageous but not without fear and anxiety, which only makes the character humane in stark contrast to the opponent.

Of course, given her film being a genre product that too of a small stature, LaVera could not possibly get the nomination in this world. However, in an ideal and fair world, she would have been showered with award glory.

8. David Howard Thornton | Terrifier 2

10 Best Acting Performances

The Terrifier movies can as well be described with the use of three words. Art the Clown. The entity that is most likely not human is the “everything” of the franchise. And with a worthy opponent in the sequel, Art appears to be million times more menacing than the first part.

David Howard Thornton’s wordless performance as the titular clown is very hard to describe even with words like chilling, scary, and nightmare-inducing because anything I say would be an understatement. We probably have to wait a thousand more years for the Oscars to appreciate a wordless lead performance in a low-budget slasher sequel. But for now, we can continue to do the word-of-mouth publicity of Terrifier 2 and increase the number of horror fanatics in the cult. I guess that is the only way for us to let Thornton know that we see him, and we can’t wait to see what terrifying act Art comes up with in the next part, whenever that happens.

7. Regina Hall | Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul

10 Best Acting Performances

One of the best movies of last year, Adamma Ebo’s “Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul,” based on her own 2018 short, went very much unnoticed. That is sort of understandable, given the subject matter of capitalization of religious belief with a comedic spin is probably way too much for the award juries to digest.

However, with that said, the film’s lead star, Regina Hall, most certainly deserved a nod for her absolutely brilliant performance. As the wife of a Pastor (Sterling K. Brown, who was also great) trying to save their church and reputation after an alleged sex scandal involving the man, Hall’s Trinity is a dynamite waiting to explode with a ticking clock running throughout the movie. Regina Hall is a known name otherwise. She is the first African-American recipient of the New York Critics Circle Best Actress. The role brought her many other awards and gave her everything in what can possibly be labeled as her career’s best act yet. Sadly though, it didn’t have many takers and went completely under the radar by the time the award season commenced.

6. Taylor Russell | Bones and All

10 Best Acting Performances

Even though Luca Guadagnino is a director who has received a substantial amount of award glory, including some from the Academy, his latest being hailed as a cannibal horror romance was probably way too raw to get any of that.

This is really sad for its lead star, Taylor Russell, who has delivered a genuinely star-making, breakout performance here. Russell plays Maren, a young adult with cannibalistic tendencies who find a new meaning in life after meeting and eventually falling for a young drifter Lee (played by a fantastic Timothée Chalamet), who also has the same impulses. In a film that is full of gruesome imagery and unsanitized violence, Russel’s Maren comes off as an epitome of tenderness and even hope, to an extent.

In many ways, Russell’s performance reminds you of Sissy Spacek in Terrence Malick’s Badlands (1973), another violent film that is coincidentally about two young lovers running through the American wilderness. Bones and All, at the core, is the coming-of-age tale of Maren sort of mirrors Russell in real life, who is finally getting the recognition that she deserves after being there for a while.

5. Zar Amir Ebrahimi | Holy Spider

Holy Spider

Zar Amir Ebrahimi was originally the casting director of director Ali Abbasi’s serial-killer drama “Holy Spider.” She got the lead actress part after the original actress dropped out at the last moment. Considering the fact that for her performance in the film, Ebrahimi went on to win best actress at the Cannes Film Festival, we ought to believe that everything happens for a good reason, after all.

Ebrahimi plays journalist Rahimi, who investigates a serial killer named Saeed Hanei in the holy Iranian City of Mashhad. Despite primarily being a serial killer movie, Abbasi cleverly infuses the narrative with relevant issues like the deep-rooted misogyny of a patriarchal society. Ebrahimi plays her part with fierce sincerity, along with a lot of justified anger in her eyes and bouts of frustration on her face. She is absolutely marvelous in this movie, and her performance getting snubbed by the Oscars is absolutely blasphemous, especially after the Cannes win.

4. Maika Monroe | Watcher


In 2014, young actress Maika Monroe starred in a movie called “It Follows.” The film is about a teenager being followed by an evil, mostly invisible entity. The movie went on to become a cult and also established Monroe as the latest “Scream Queen.” Eight years after that, a now-established Monroe stars in “Watcher,” where she plays a young woman who moves to Budapest with her husband and then discovers that someone is stalking her. What terrifies her more is the news reports of a serial killer preying on the city’s young women.

Even with a premise eerily similar to “It Follows,” Monroe’s latest, directed by debutant Chloe Okuno, stands on its own thanks to a very different treatment. And, of course, due to the performance of the lead actress. Although a genre film, it extensively sheds light on grave issues like women’s safety and inherent patriarchy, along with paranoia and anxiety. This gives Monroe an opportunity to explore her character’s varying emotional states.

From the opening to the closing scene, Monroe carries the film on her shoulder and delivers an award-worthy performance. It is a shame that the film and the performance did not get the deserving love.

3. Mia Goth | Pearl


The only possible way we can logically explain Mia Goth not getting a nomination in the best actress category is the jury members completely ignored the film because we all know that the Academy does not recognize the horror genre.

Pearl, the prequel to Ti West’s X, is a glorious pitch-perfect film that is excellent in every single department. The script is very cleverly written where West purposefully set the story in 1918, the time of the Spanish Flu pandemic, which mirrors the pandemic of our time and also works as a nuanced commentary. With that fantastic script in hand, Mia Goth channels all her insane acting skill into tracing the origin story of the X villain. Her performance is so magnificent that you can’t take your eyes off it for a moment. Not to mention, even someone like Martin Scorsese had trouble sleeping after seeing it, which only speaks volumes.

Goth might not get recognition from Academy Awards. Still, there is no stopping her as we will get another riveting Mia Goth performance in the sequel of X. MaXXXine is coming this year with Goth reprising the title character of Maxine from the first film.

2. Robert Pattinson | The Batman

The Batman

When Robert Pattinson was cast as the caped crusader in Matt Reeves’s film, there were many unenthusiastic responses. Even though Pattison has established himself as one of the most sought out young actors by working in several Indies for over a decade, a large section of the audience still recognized him as the sparkling vampire from Twilight.

Not that it matters, but with The Batman, Pattinson has managed to shut them up all at once. From the very first moment when he starts to narrate, he just owns it. Director Matt Reeves plays it smart by using the comic “Batman Year two” as the primary source material. It allows Pattinson to pull off an emo Batman who is only in his sophomore year of Crime fighting. He is still dealing with his mental health issues and using eyeliner and dark glasses to hide everything in Public. And most essentially, when he is in the suit (which is also not particularly advanced), he introduces himself as “Vengeance.”

Pattinson’s avant-garde Batman performance did not receive the award love, possibly because it is not as expressive as Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker. But it does not need to be like that as well. All we care about is Pattinson putting on that dark glass and eating a piece of berry, literally channeling his own weird personality for which we love him to an unhealthy amount.

1. Tang Wei | Decision to Leave

Decision To Leave

Not too long ago, Korean auteur Park Chan-wook’s “Decision to Leave” was tipped as a huge award contender. That is why the film being entirely shut out of the nominations was kind of surprising. I guess it’s the strange, hyper-stylized editing structure of the film, where multiple viewing becomes essential to fully grasp “what is happening,” which did not sit well with the juries. However, the same thing is the very reason for the film being much more than a regular murder mystery. And yes, its female lead, played by Tang Wei, is the best thing about it, without a shred of doubt.

In the film, police detective Hae-jun (played by Hae il Park) gets investigates the death of a middle-aged businessman. Wei plays Seo-rae, the much younger Chinese widow of the dead man with a personality that can be described with every kind of word, from quirky to intense to mysterious to sensuous and whatnot. As the film progresses, Hae-Jun obsesses over Seo-rae and eventually falls for her. The same thing also happens to the audience as well, not to mention.

It would not be an understatement if I say Wei has redefined the “femme fatale” character by portraying a character that’s so enigmatic. At the same time, you can’t help but see her with love and empathy. Oscar did not recognize her. However, Wei’s Seo-rae will probably stay in our minds till the end of time.

Also Read: 10 Best Robert Pattinson Movie Performances

Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes

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