“The 5 Most Underrated Performances of 2014”
by Justin Cook
2014 was a year of so many great performances from both actors and actresses alike. However, with so many great performances being given, often times a couple get lost in the shuffle and don’t receive anywhere near the amount of praise they deserve. Having said that, the following is a list of the five most underrated performances of 2014. Check it out:
Patrick Wilson in Stretch
Playing a down-on-his-luck limo driver, Patrick Wilson truly shined as Stretch in Joe Carnahan’s Stretch. The movie, which is best described as Collateral on cocaine, forces Wilson to play many different parts, shifting in and out of different characters throughout the night in which the film takes place. Wilson is so charismatic and likeable throughout the film, that even when his character begins to make questionable and often times poor decisions, one can’t help but to sympathize and continue to root for Stretch. Wilson matches the film’s non-stop energy and creates a character who is not only a fascinating and hilarious protagonist, but also a flawed human being simply looking for connection. Comedic performances are not often recognized by the Academy, but Wilson’s is as good as it gets.
David Koechner in Cheap Thrills
After years of giving strong comedic performances in such films as Anchorman and Talladega Nights, David Koechner turned in one of the most creepy and chilling performances of the year in Cheap Thrills. Koechner plays Colin, a wealthy master manipulator who pays two men to do increasingly degrading and disgusting things to either themselves or one another. Although he initially comes across as a hardcore partier simply looking for a good time, as the film goes on and Colin’s true intentions begin to be revealed, Koechner expertly conveys his character as the sick and twisted man he truly is. He manages to keep the audience in a constant state of unease and very effectively portrays a quietly menacing psychopath.
Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss in The One I Love
There are no two performers this year who played off each other quite as well as Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss in The One I Love. In perhaps one of the most original, surprising and unique films of the year, both actors give powerhouse performances as Ethan and Sophie, a couple going through a rough patch in their relationship. They both truly inhabit their roles and are entirely believable as a married couple desperately trying to look past one another’s faults in order to live a happy life. When the movie takes unpredictable and even wild twists and turns, Duplass and Moss manage to keep the film grounded in reality, which is no easy task. Honestly, saying what exactly makes these performances so memorable and compelling would also be giving away a major plot twist of the movie, so I’ll keep my mouth shut.
Luke Wilson in The Skeleton Twins
As the well-intentioned, kind husband of Kristen Wiig’s character Maggie Dean in The Skeleton Twins, Luke Wilson turns in one of the best performances of his two-decade long career. Wilson’s Lance is a gregarious, friendly guy who seems like a faultless person. Although he is dedicated to his wife, dedicated to his job, nice, funny and loveable, in a certain sense he is also blind to how unhappy his wife is. He thinks he leads a perfect life, but in reality he fails to look close enough. Lance doesn’t seem to quite understand Maggie or the relationship Maggie has with her brother Milo (Bill Hader). While Hader and Wiig got most of the praise for this film, Wilson’s performance is not to be overlooked. He wonderfully plays a clueless husband who seems to fit in with just about everyone, except for his wife and her brother.