Best performances in films are typified by an actor's ability to lend sincerity and truth to a given character. They transcend and go beyond the limitations of a written character, making them come to life. They also become vessels of insight; they mirror lives and allow us to "feel" and sympathize for them; to frighten or amuse us, allure us with the power of their emotion. From 73 commercially released movies from January 1 to December 31, 2010, here is our shortlist of those who deserve our standing ovation.
These are 2010's Best Performances:
Best Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role:
1. Ronnie Lazaro as the cantankerous ex-convict with a soft heart for damsels in distress in "Ishmael"
2. John Lloyd Cruz as Allan, the lonely architect who falls for a girl who writes on stones in "Miss You Like Crazy"
Ronnie Lazaro & John Lloyd Cruz
3. Sid Lucero as Jun, the ex-seminarian-cum-activist who figures in a clandestine affair with Errol (Cogie Domingo), a married lawyer in the over-written and sappy "Muli".
4. Joey Paras as Wilson, a film production assistant, who faces judicial reproach when he misplaces a rented tapestry used during a TV commercial shoot in "Last Supper No. 3"
5. Pen Medina as Lolo Pol, the aging inmate forced to do his last assassination "job" to avert threats against his daughter's life in "Layang Bilanggo"
6. Coco Martin as the traveling journalist who follows Noynoy Aquino's campaign trail in "Noy"
Our best performance by an actor in a lead role: Sid Lucero is the best thing in the otherwise mediocre gay romance, "Muli". In the movie, Lucero is self assured, a packet of smoldering passion. His intensity overflows; his longing looks towards the self-absorbed Errol quite palpable. You'd wish someone would look at you that way!
Here are the year's best performance by an actress in a lead role:
1. Bea Alonzo as the bitter daughter Dianne who's ambivalent of her father's homecoming 10 years after he abandoned his family to live with his mistress in the predictable "Sa Yo Lamang"
2. Jennylyn Mercado as the spoiled heiress who, in the 1920s, from her New York studies, comes home to Isabela in "Rosario"
3. Frenchescka Farr as Amelia, the poverty-stricken Ilocano lass who becomes royal nanny in an emirate household in the musical-adventure "Emir". Farr is emotionally adroit and vocally nimble, without a trace of excesses. She is the perfect heroine that embodies the strong Filipina! It's hard to picture any other actresses play Amelia. Farr lights up the screen like a newly crowned cinema royalty.
4. Angelica Panganiban is simply a sight to behold as Stephanie, the blushing bride who gloriously transforms into a "flaming fairy" in "Here Comes The Bride"
5. Carla Abellana as the perturbed tutor Diane who unearths several disturbing facts other than her wards' photosensitivity in Shake, Rattle & Roll 12's "Punerarya" segment. A feisty, empathetic heroine - and a "star" is truly born!
6. Rita Avila as Soledad, the middle aged housewife who figures in an illicit tryst with a younger man one chatty night in Boracay in “Magdamag”.
Our Best Actress: Hands down and no contest - Bea Alonzo is a virtual force of nature as Dianne in "Sa Yo Lamang"! She elevates the triteness of the pedestrian narrative, conveying herself into several levels of emotional intensity. I am telling you, guys, give Bea the role of a stone and she will make us believe it! Ms. Alonzo is truly this generation's most insightful actress! And I hope Star Cinema remembers this!
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role:
1. Dolphy as Francisco who tells the sprawling saga of his grandmother in "Rosario"
2. Ricky Davao as Miguel, the scurrilous and slimy landlord in "Rosario"
3. Enchong Dee as the conflicted James, an honor student who resorts to cheating, in "Sa Yo Lamang"
4. Luis Manzano as Sarah Geronimo's suitor in the product-peddling, commercial-heavy "Hating Kapatid". Manzano's self deprecating scenes are a joy to behold, I couldn't help myself from laughing so hard. Remember that scene where Cecil (Sarah Geronimo) pursues Luis - on foot! - as she tries to apologize all the way from North Edsa to Galleria? Doing comedy is never an easy task.
5. Jeffrey Quizon as the closeted funeral parlor attendant who joins a grieving family's trip to secure the corpse of a beloved daughter in "Two Funerals"
6. Marc Abaya as Pido, the ravenous cult leader in the visually delectable (in fact, 2010's most gorgeous film) "Dagim"
Our Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Dolphy as Francisco, the intuitive storyteller who mines his limited scenes with sincerity and heartfelt simplicity in "Rosario". In the hands of a lesser actor, his stories could be easily watered down as hearsay. And Mr. Manny Pangilinan wouldn't have produced this lavish tale. :->
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role:
1. Jodi Sta. Maria as the unwed mother Aylynn who feels naturally conflicted when her old paramour Wesley (Sam Milby) comes home in the Ozu-styled "Third World Happy"
2. Kalila Aguilos as the long suffering Tersing, a maid in a royal household, who's eternally cash-strapped and under-appreciated in "Emir". Check out her duet ("O Maliwanag Na Buwan") with Amelia (Farr).
3. Eugene Domingo as Rowena, Ina's best friend in the riotous "Ang Tanging Ina Mo...Last Na 'To", a film that somehow reminds you of the grandeur of Ms. Domingo's comedic talent!
4. Odette Khan as Manang Ludya, one of the caretakers at the funeral parlor in Shake, Rattle & Roll 12's Punerarya episode. She navigated through the segment almost without a line, but her presence is so powerful, you remember her serrated fangs way after leaving the cinema.
Our Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Jodi Sta. Maria in "Third World Happy". Ms. Sta. Maria has truly evolved into one of the country's most prolific actresses. Her short scenes with Sam Milby (the first time her character sees her ex-boyfriend - after 12 long years) is a testament to the newfound thespic power of this actress.
We would like to mention the amazing songs worthy of commendation from some of 2010's films: the anthemic "Ba't Ako Narito" sang by Frenchescka Farr ("Emir"), and Toni Gonzaga's perfectly frolicky, hearth-warming "Mahal Kasi Kita" from the often times gratifying - scrumptious "My Amnesia Girl".
Up next: 2010's Worst Films and Performances