Kyle's Career Filmstrip: TV Series and Movies

Jan 15, 2014

Our Favorite Single-Ballot 2013 Best Performance Picks

It's been a few weeks since we published the results of our annual year-end critics poll. "12 Years a Slave," "Before Midnight," "Her" and "Gravity" led the way in the Best Film category, but there were ten other areas where respondents could single out their favorite work of the year.

In the spirit of keeping some of the noteworthy cinematic achievements of 2013 alive in the new year (and highlighting some inspired choices by our Criticwire members in the process), here a handful of picks that only appeared on a single ballot. (For each selection, we've included a link to the critic's ballot so you can see what other performances made their cut.)

Leonardo DiCaprio and Matthew McConaughey in "The Wolf of Wall Street"

Matthew McConaughey and Kyle Chandler in "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Best Supporting Performance on Mark Salisbury's and James Rocchi's ballots

Like Copley, McConaughey was another actor with three divergent roles in 2013. In the voiceover narration and fourth wall breakage, Belfort describes being drawn to greed like any other addictive substance. But it’s McConaughey that represents the first supplier, the confirmation that although the riches they’re trading exist purely in abstract form, the spoils are tangible. Even with the three-hour runtime, there's not much room for Mark Hanna to work his magic on Belfort - we need to see all that necessary enticement come from a single lunch break. All the charm, swagger and charisma McConaughey had to bottle up for most of "Mud" and "Dallas Buyers Club" manifests itself in a handful of drink orders and chest thumps.

In a film that thrives on excess, it only makes sense that Wall Street's antithesis would come in the form of the film's most grounded performance. Through Kyle Chandler, Agent Denham becomes a foil for his financial freewheeler adversaries without veering into allegorical, flag-waving high morality. Chandler’s charge is to be a methodical, workmanlike hunter, handwriting his ambitions while his “enemies” do their work on state-of-the-art computers. When the empire starts to crumble, he’s there with a look of stern disappointment rather than a "gotcha" grin. And his demeanor in that final subway ride home is one of the film's clearest indications that no one in this tale is allowed any sense of finality, triumphant or otherwise.

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