100 Best Performances of 2017


In honor of the announcement of the nominations for the 90th Academy Awards this morning, which are, save for a few disappointing omissions, genuinely very exciting, I announce my choices for the 100 best acting performances of the year, across film, television, and theatre.


  1. Brooklynn Kimberly Prince, “The Florida Project”
  1. Rebecca Hall, “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women”
  1. Aubrey Plaza, “Ingrid Goes West”
  1. Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”
  1. Judi Dench, “Victoria and Abdul / Murder on the Orient Express”
  1. Elizabeth Marvel, “The Myerowitz Stories”
  1. Nicole Kidman / Colin Farrell, “The Beguiled / The Killing of a Sacred Deer”
  1. Domhnall Gleeson, “Goodbye Christopher Robin / mother!”
  1. Christian Bale / Rosamund Pike, “Hostiles”
  1. Millicent Simmonds / Oakes Fegley, “Wonderstruck”
  1. Tilda Swinton “Okja”
  1. Edie Falco / Jenny Slate, “Landline”
  1. Kristen Stewart, “Personal Shopper”
  1. Elisabeth Moss, “The Square”
  1. Daniel Kaluuya / Betty Gabriel, “Get Out”
  1. Jack Black, “Jumanji”
  1. Rachel Weisz, “My Cousin Rachel”
  1. Alec Secareanu, “God’s Own Country”
  1. Kirsten Dunst, “The Beguiled”
  1. Emma Stone, “Battle of the Sexes”
  1. Claire Foy / Andrew Garfield, “Breathe”
  1. Meryl Streep, “The Post”
  1. Ben Stiller, “Brad’s Status”
  1. Rebecca Spence, “Princess Cyd”
  1. Cynthia Nixon, “A Quiet Passion”
  1. Salma Hayek, “Beatriz at Dinner”
  1. James McAvoy, “Split / Atomic Blonde”
  1. Jessica Chastain, “Molly’s Game / The Zookeeper’s Wife”
  1. Melissa Leo / Margaret Qualley, “Novitiate”
  1. Charlie Hunnam, “The Lost City of Z”
  1. Michelle Williams, “All the Money in the World / Wonderstruck / (sigh) The Greatest Showman”
  1. Daniel Day-Lewis / Leslie Manville, “Phantom Thread”
  1. Garrett Hedlund / Carey Mulligan, “Mudbound”
  1. Robert Pattinson, “Good Time”
  1. Kate Winslet, “Wonder Wheel / The Mountain Between Us”
  1. Michael Stuhlbarg “Call Me By Your Name / The Post / The Shape of Water”
  1. Haley Lu Richardson, “Columbus”
  1. Diane Kruger, “In The Fade”
  1. Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
  1. Nahuel Perez Biscayart, “Beats Per Minute”
  1. Tatianna Maslany / Jake Gyllenhaal, “Stronger”
  1. Hong Chau, “Downsizing”
  1. Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
  1. Gary Oldman, “The Darkest Hour”
  1. Vicky Krieps, “Phantom Thread”
  1. Saoirse Roman / Laurie Metcalf, “Ladybird”
  1. Allison Janney / Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
  1. Florence Pugh, “Lady Macbeth”
  1. Annette Benning / Jamie Bell, “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool”
  1. Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me By Your Name”


  1. Joan Cusack, “A Series of Unfortunate Events”
  1. Adrienne C. Moore, “Orange Is The New Black”
  1. Evan Peters / Sarah Paulson, “American Horror Story: Cult”
  1. Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Miasel”
  1. Amy Landecker, “Transparent”
  1. Emmy Rossum, “Shameless”
  1. Joshua Jackson / Maura Tierney, “The Affair”
  1. Michelle Dockery, “Godless / Good Behavior”
  1. Alison Brie / Betty Gilpin, “GLOW”
  1. Robin Wright, “House of Cards”
  1. Rob Delaney / Sharon Horgan, “Catastrophe”
  1. Kerry Bishé / Mackenzie Davis, “Halt and Catch Fire”
  1. Olivia Cooke, “Bates Motel”
  1. Samantha Morton / Leslie Manville, “Harlots”
  1. Aubrey Plaza, “Legion”
  1. Jonathan Groff, “Mindhunter”
  1. Christine Baranski / Cush Jumbo, “The Good Fight”
  1. Noah Schnapp, “Stranger Things”
  1. Abbi Jacobson / Ilana Glazer, “Broad City”
  1. Olivia Colman, “Broadchurch”
  1. Cast of Will and Grace, “Will and Grace”
  1. Jessica Lange / Susan Sarandon / Judy Davis, “Feud: Bette vs. Joan”
  1. Julia Garner, “Ozark / The Americans”
  1. Ewan McGregor / Mary Elizabeth Winstead / David Thewlis, “Fargo”
  1. Jude Law, “The Young Pope”
  1. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
  1. Maggie Gyllenhaal, “The Deuce”
  1. Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
  1. Melissa McCarthy / Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”
  1. Vanessa Kirby / Claire Foy, “The Crown”
  1. Sarah Gadon, “Alias Grace”
  1. Carrie Coon, “The Leftovers / Fargo”
  1. Cast of Game of Thrones, “Game of Thrones”
  1. Nicole Kidman / Reese Witherspoon / Laura Dern, “Big Little Lies”
  1. Tatianna Maslany, “Orphan Black”
  1. Keri Russell / Matthew Rhys, “The Americans”


  1. Eva Noblezada, “Miss Saigon” / Katrina Lenk, “Indecent”
  1. Caroline O’Connor, “Anastasia”
  1. Christine Ebersole, “Warpaint”
  1. Kevin Kline, “Present Laughter”
  1. Clive Owen / Jin Ha, “M. Butterfly”
  1. Allison Janney, “Six Degrees of Separation”
  1. Elizabeth McGovern, “Time and the Conways”
  1. Cate Blanchett, “The Present”
  1. Jake Gyllenhaal, “Sunday in the Park with George”
  1. Cynthia Nixon / Laura Linney, “The Little Foxes”
  1. Sally Field, “The Glass Menagerie”
  1. Bette Midler, “Hello Dolly”
  1. Laurie Metcalf, “A Doll’s House, Part 2”
  1. Dianne Wiest, “Happy Days”
  1. Glenn Close, “Sunset Boulevard”

If there were any justice in the world, each of these actors would receive awards recognition for their performances. But because there is none, those who did not, including the many talented contenders who missed out on nominations this morning, will have to settle for a spot on this list, and for the satisfaction in having produced terrific work in another great year for art and entertainment.