1. Denzel Washington – Malcom X : This was an Oscar winning performance. The Academy must have had their eyes shut when they watched this film. Or was it due to the content. Malcom X was not liked when he was alive, and even hated within his own, but regardless of your politics, this man was a leader. And regardless of your politics, Denzel Washington was by far the best actor in 1992. I’m not saying that Al Pacino is not a great actor, but 1992 was not the year to give him an Oscar for all the other times they overlooked him. It was Denzel’s year and Denzel’s performance.
2. Jack Nicholson – A Few Good Men: Jack plays everything well. And playing an Asshole is one of his best roles to play, and he was certainly one in this film. Jack made this film. As always he gave a superb performance, it’s a shame Tom and Demi didn’t follow his lead.
3. Gary Oldham – Dracula: A great Dracula. Gary Oldham was perfectly casted in this role. Franci Ford Coppola’s take on the legend of Dracula was not lost on Mr. Oldham, he brought it out completely. He was mysterious, romantic yet a vicious killer.
4.Tom Hanks – A League of Their Own: A lot has been said about Tom Hanks over the years. He was called the new Gary Cooper and the new Jimmy Stewart, but in this film he was a mixture of them both with a little Spencer Tracy thrown in for good measure. He was riotly funny, but almost sad in the role of the washed up alcoholic baseball star brought in to coach an all-girl baseball team. One of my favorite performances of Tom’s.
5. Robert Downey Jr. – Chaplin: Say what you will about Robert Downey Jr., but when this boy decides to act, he really can act. This is one of his earlier sucesses, and one of his greatest roles. He brough Charlie Chaplin back into the limelight and gave a whole new generation a glimpse of this man.
6. Joe Pesci – My Cousin Vinny: A true comedic talent. Pesci delivered a great performance as the big shot, big town, lawyer that was only those things in his own eyes. Thrown into a back woods town trying to defend one of his own. What he found was what was staring him right in the eye the whole time, Marisa Tomei. They were great together in this film.
7. Mel Gibson – Forever Young: In this film he was not killing bad men as he was in Lethal Weapon, and he was not trying to survive like in Waterworld, he was just trying to get back to where he belonged. “Frozen” for 50 years he is awakened in a whole new world were everyone had aged except him. A moving and heartfelt performance.
8. Brad Pitt – A River Runs Through It: One of his best roles earlier in his career, before super stardom and Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie. His emotion was believeable, and his pain was as well. One of my favorite roles for Brad, I so wish he would make films like this again.
9. Tom Skerritt – A River Runs Through It: Tom Skerrit is one of those actors that have been overlooked for so long, but continues to put out great performances time after time. As the upright father to the bad boy son, Brad Pitt he again brought an honesty and sincerity to this role. When will Hollywood realize this man is one of those rare breeds?
10. Daniel Day Lewis – The Last of the Mochicans: Always passionate, always emotional and almost always good. Daniel Day-Lewis gave an awesome performance in this film, one that over time has been pushed aside.