Lists, Top 10 Performances — February 17, 2012 at 3:00 am



So, I’m betting that when the contributors to the fine site that you currently find yourself trapped in enjoying the hospitality of saw that the 3 am on a Friday morning slot was up for grabs on a weekly basis, they all thought long and hard about what they would write about. Ha! Losers! (kidding) If you know me (and if you do, I’m sorry), then it should come as no surprise that I’m writing about this particular man for this particular post. Did I ever tell you about how I met him a couple of week’s ago? … Oh, right, I forgot. I’m not supposed to talk about my personal life in public spaces. It’s too depressing. So, here are my Top 10 Performances by one, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Honorable Mention: The Doctor in GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra Calm down for a second! Allow me to explain myself! Yes, GI Joe is a wholly mediocre film, with some pretty terrible acting. But that was to be expected. And guess what, JoGo knew it as well. He was the only person in that entire film who managed to figure out just how friggin’ stupid the whole thing was! So he goes for broke and hams that shit up, waving his hands around like a madman and adopting one of the most cliched yet devilishly sexy bad guy voices! Did I mention he played a bad

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guy? I always love it when my favorites do that. Which is why I’m doubly excited to see Marion Cotillard in The Dark… WAIT, I promised I wouldn’t tell my theories! SHIT! 10: Bert Rodriguez in Women In Trouble Ok, sure. He’s not really in the movie at all until a post credits scene, but damn if he isn’t outrageous in that scene. It’s a mark of the actor that he his where he gives the same amount of effort to a barely there role as he does when he headlines the film. Top shelf! 9: Tommy Burgess in Stop-Loss Another example of a film failing on all conceivable levels, but one where JoGo shines all the brighter. Of all the performances, his was the only one to convey a sense of menace and aguish. We actually felt like he was coping with all the crazy things he saw and did in combat. Hats off! 8: Lyle in Manic A classic example (well, maybe not classic) of style squandering substance, Manic is well written and acted, but the damn shaky-cam they are going for screws everything up! But JoGo acts the shit out of it, and the film also represents his first (and hopefully note even close to last) coupling with Zooey Deschanel. Beautiful stuff! 7: Cameron in 10 Things I Hate About You It sure is hard to compete against the hot hunk of nihilistic man meat that is Heath Ledger in this film, but JoGo, looking oh so petite, manages it. Innocent, sweet, naive, and funny as hell, the performance that put him on the map is one of his most mainstream, but still a classic. 6: Arthur in Inception His first foray into (decent) blockbuster action territory could not have been better. He’s not presented with the deepest of characters, but he masterfully works with what he has and turns in a badass performance! 5: Brendan in Brick You will believe a teenager can talk like a hardboiled detective on the edge! The performance that started his trend of small, deceptively brilliant roles is still one the greats of indie cinema. 4: Adam in 50/50 JoGo performs this one like a god! As Adam, he deftly and effortlessly hops between all the stages of grief, running the gamut from hopeful optimism, to blind fury, to mind numbing depression. And he excels at every! Single! One! Brilliant! 3: Neil in Mysterious Skin Absolutely soul wrenching and stomach churning! It took serious guts to pull off this role, guts Jo-Go has an excess of! Easily his bravest performance, this one is touching, heartbreaking, and incredibly sad, but altogether amazing! 2: Tom in (500) Days of Summer He takes on the cliché role of a “woe-is-me” suitor in a romantic comedy and completely does away with the cliché part! He’s hilarious, deep, and, most importantly of all, he’s relatable! 1: Chris in The Lookout Shazam! Didn’t see that one, did ya? This is the creme de la creme of his performances! Here, JoGo goes deep into his soul to put the pain and turmoil of this kid on the screen. The film blisters with his energy and passion for the role. You feel his pain as if it were your own! It’s so friggin’ good! Outstanding sir! Remember, we here at Man, I Love Films don’t do definitive lists. We do our favorites and we want to hear yours. So, make sure and tell us about them in the comments section below.


  • Nice! The three that jumped into my mind (in that order) were The Lookout, Brick, and Inception. I’m glad to see that all of them made the list, and seeing The Lookout at the top is a wise move. I have 50/50 at home and plan to watch it in the next few days. Nice list.

  • Yes! Great list! I would have put Mysterious Skin at #1 personally but sure as hell can’t fault you for having The Lookout in it’s place. All fine performances from an actor I continue to get excited about.

  • Inception is a great film and has an excellent, deep cast, but I’d never say that JoGo had a great character or even gave a great performance. So little was asked of him outside of looking cool and performing his hamster wheel scene with grace and badassery. As such, I don’t even know if it’d make a top 10 list like this for me.

    It was when I got to that, though, that I started thinking about The Lookout, ie if Inception is #6, where in the hell is The Lookout? So your inclusion of it as #1 was welcome. I imagine most people would go with Skin (which I’ve not yet seen) or Brick there.

    And I still gotta catch up on 50/50! And Hesher – where’s that one? I know Nick at least was in love with it.

  • Nice list Seb! I would probably say 50/50 and (500) Days of Summer are my favorite performances of his but I haven’t seen The Lookout or Brick or many of his other acclaimed turns so what do I know? 😀

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