4. Michael Fassbender as Bobby Sands in Hunger
Hunger is one of the most devastating films one could ever witness. Directed by one of today’s greatest upcoming directors, it’s an artistic, visually ravishing descent into the Hell one will endure for his people and his freedom. Michael Fassbender’s preparation for his role as Bobby Sands, an Irish Republican who leads his fellow prisoners on a horrific hunger strike, is daunting and striking. Fassbender sacrificed not only his body, but his mind too for the role. Going on a crash diet, losing quite a bit of poundage, and delivering a fantastic performance all simultaneously should have been enough to garner at least a nomination for Best Actor, if not a win.
3. Matthew McConaughey as Joe Cooper in Killer Joe
If there’s one thing William Friedkin knows how to do, it’s extracting some fantastic performances from his actors. Before this film was released, McConaughey only had given, really, one good performance in his entire career, which was in Lincoln Lawyer. Prior to that he primarily starred in one boringly daft romantic comedy after another. However, he instantly shot up the list of actors to watch after starring in Killer Joe. He gives one of the most disturbing performances of all time, to say the least. Let’s just say that after watching the film, you’ll never look at a Kentucky Fried Chicken drumstick the same way again…