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9 Upcoming 2019 Movie Performances That Will Blow You Away

 

With 2018 inching towards completion and only a handful of notable releases left to come, it’s only natural that we start looking ahead to the year in front of us.

An important part of the Hollywood machine is the hype and anticipation leading up to a movie’s release, and in that sense, it’s never too early to start looking forward to a particular film, or even an individual performance.

And in that area, 2019 is shaping up to be an embarrassment of riches. With superstars like Leonardo DiCaprio returning to the big screen, respected greats like Joaquin Phoenix doing something a little outside their comfort zone, and plenty of potential career-defining or breakout roles, the next year could very well gift us a handful of characters that will be remembered for decades to come.

Sure, hype can sometimes result in raw disappointment, but when a performance trulydelivers – Josh Brolin as Thanos, Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise – it justifies those high expectations. On that front, 2019 contains several performances that have the potential to delight us, surprise us, and absolutely blow us all away.

9. Idris Elba As Brixton (Hobbs & Shaw)

Instagram: therock/Universal Pictures

Idris Elba has been a James Bond fan-pick for quite some time now, and while it doesn’t look like he’ll get to don the 007 moniker anytime soon, he’ll still get to play a slick action-man in 2019’s Hobbs & Shaw.

As the devious Brixton, Elba will be pitted against Dwayne Johnson’s Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw, a battle Johnson described as the “showdown of all showdowns” when he officially unveiled the first picture of Elba in character. The actor is no stranger to action movies or antagonist roles (having played the bad guy in Star Trek Beyond and The Jungle Book), but considering the strength of his opponents in Hobbs & Shaw, Brixton should be his most calculated, relentless villain role yet.

Elba has this unnatural ability to always come off as the man in charge, no matter what character he plays. He oozes authority and has charisma for days, and acting opposite the equally-charming Johnson and Statham means Elba will have to bring his absolute A-game. That in mind, we’re in for a dominant acting showcase here, and based on how calmly determined Elba looks in that black-and-white image reveal, Brixton is a villain that you don’t want to mess with – even if you’re The Rock – but will remember long after the film is over.

8. David Harbour As Hellboy (Hellboy)

Twitter/Lionsgate

As disappointing as it was when we heard that Guillermo Del Toro’s Hellboy 3 would not be moving forward, any fears and doubts people had about the future of the character were put to rest by a single image of David Harbour in full makeup.

The bulging muscles, the popping veins, the battle scars, the intense stare: it’s clear that Harbour’s Hellboy is going to be very different from Ron Perlman’s, with this new iteration feeling like a scarier, more realistic take on the character, one befitting of the movie’s R-rating. By taking Hellboy in a more adult direction, Harbour essentially has free reign to be as violent, explosive, intimidating and crazy as he likes, further differentiating himself from Perlman’s take and giving us something that feels fresh and exciting.

In A Walk Among The Tombstones, Harbour showed he was capable of delivering an intense performance, and with the strong presence he brings to Chief Hopper in Stranger Things, he’s more than equipped to give us a spectacular acting display when Hellboy releases next year.

7. Brie Larson As Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel)

Marvel Studios

It’s taken a while to reach the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first female-led movie, but Captain Marvel looks like it will be worth the wait.

If that explosive first trailer didn’t already convince you that Marvel is pulling out all the stops for this one, then Larson’s pedigree should be enough to quell any doubts that she can carry her own superhero blockbuster. Her Oscar-winning turn in Room proved she can play it nuanced as much as her action scenes in the Captain Marvel trailer prove she can play it big, and a fine mix of those two elements should make for an engaging, powerful protagonist.

Since the movie will explore Danvers’ rocky past as well as her dangerous present, Larson has the opportunity to build a sense of tragedy and gritty perseverance into the character, negating the possibility that Captain Marvel’s overpowered-ness will mask any human flaws, struggles, and emotions. This – combined with the sheer spectacle the character looks set to deliver – will ensure that she is as emotionally-engaging as she is devastatingly strong, a well-rounded role model for young children to look up to.

6. John Goodman (Captive State)

Focus Features

Captive State has the potential to be the biggest breakout success of 2019, following in the footsteps of A Quiet Place in 2018, and Get Out in 2017.

The movie is set nearly a decade after an alien invasion, exploring a scenario where extraterrestrial forces actually rule our society like the government. It’s a fascinating concept, and with an actor as talented as John Goodman leading the charge, it’s shaping up to be something truly special.

Little is known about the actor’s role in the film (we don’t even have a name yet), but one of the main reasons it’s so exciting is his turn in 10 Cloverfield Lane, where he managed to deliver an Oscar-nom-worthy performance in a low-budget, high-concept alien sci-fi flick. He’s in similar territory here, and with the right script, Goodman can channel a special kind of energy that sucks you into a story and grounds you in it, even when that story is otherworldy and inherently outlandish.

Plus, his character looks like an absolute badass. Sporting a finely-tailored suit and a breathing apparatus, he looks like someone with authority, a character with a dark side who will intrigue and frighten in equal measure. And his outfit positively screamscosplay, something that could turn him into one of the most popular movie icons of 2019.

5. James McAvoy As Kevin Wendell Crumb (Glass)

Universal

It cannot be understated just how difficult playing the role of Kevin Wendell Crumb must be for James McAvoy, yet in 2017’s Split, he met even the loftiest expectations anyone could have had of him.

A man with an extreme case of Dissociative Identity Disorder, Kevin’s body harbours 24 distinct personalities: 23 “normal” yet wildly different people, and a 24th called The Beast, a flesh-eating monster with enormous strength and equal amounts of cunning. We saw McAvoy give an amazing performance by channelling less than ten of these personalities in Split, which essentially means that he has a completely different – yet equally as impressive – performance awaiting us in Glass.

We’ve seen a couple of new personalities in the trailer, but on the whole, McAvoy has barely scratched the surface of his character’s twisted psyche. The unpredictability of his role – not knowing which personalities to expect, and not knowing when a new one will rear its head – means that we’re in for a fresh surprise from scene-to-scene, as the actor literally morphs into a different character before our very eyes.

If Split was the starter, expect Glass to be the main course: McAvoy can do almost anything with this role, and his chameleon-like ability to transform will ensure that each personality he takes on will be scarily convincing.

4. Jessica Chastain As Eve (Eve)

Voltage Pictures/Robert Clark

Jessica Chastain has done a lot of dramatic work, but she hasn’t really done much action. The upcoming Eve is preparing to rectify that, in spectacularly bloody fashion.

Chastain will play an assassin known simply as Eve, a professional killer who specializes in high-profile targets. A radical departure for the actress, she’ll essentially be playing a John Wick-type, and while that might sound like an odd proposition on paper, Chastain’s steely determination will work wonders when combined with the dark, violent character that Eve looks to be.

Our first look at Chastain in character – hood pulled over her head, a bloody streak smeared down her face – looks brutal, the actress managing to look intimidating and ruthless with nothing more than a simple stare. Look closely at her eyes, too; they’re tinged with sadness, a hint that Eve won’t just be a two-dimensional killing machine, but will have real depth, some meat for a top-tier actress like Chastain to chew on.

Inevitably, comparisons will be made to Taken and John Wick, but the unexpected nature of seeing Chastain tackle such a role will prove a key factor in making thismurderous assassin feel distinct and compelling.

3. Taron Egerton As Elton John (Rocketman)

Paramount Pictures

After breaking out in Kingsman: The Secret Service, young Taron Egerton has made several deliberate and smart career moves.

Rather than allowing himself to be typecast as the foul-mouthed chavvy delinquent – which would have been easy, given how well he pulled it off in Kingsman – he branched out, landing the title role in Robin Hood, doing some voiceover work in Sing, and delivering a powerhouse performance as Eddie in underrated biopic Eddie The Eagle.

This diverse filmography shows how dedicated he is to stepping outside his comfort zone and challenging himself, an admirable trait that’s worked out really well so far. And with 2019’s Rocketman, he’s about to face his biggest challenge yet.

Tackling the daunting prospect of portraying Elton John during his younger days, an early look at Egerton in costume shows just how deep he’s sinking into this role. Reuniting with his Eddie The Eagle director, there’s no doubt the actor will deliver a similarly effective and touching performance, combining his raw likeability with some strong dramatic chops to make this an Elton John biopic for the ages.

2. Leonardo DiCaprio As Rick Dalton (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood)

Sony Pictures

When Once Upon A Time In Hollywood drops next summer, it’ll be almost four yearssince Leonardo DiCaprio’s last leading performance, an excruciating wait that – at the very least – means we’re in for something flat-out amazing when we finally see it.

Directed by Quentin Tarantino, DiCaprio will play Rick Dalton, a TV actor whose unsuccessful transition to movies has put his career on the rocks. With Brad Pitt as his stunt double, Cliff Booth, the movie will find Dalton desperately trying to make a name for himself in the film industry.

The core concept of DiCaprio as a failed movie star sounds hilarious in and of itself, and should be an interesting challenge for the actor – considering his real-life success. Teaming with Tarantino yielded fantastic results before, and really, given how picky he is with his projects, DiCaprio must have something magical up his sleeve if he believes this is worthy of his time.

The only thing that might lessen the impact of his performance is the sheer volume of top-tier acting talent he will be surrounded by, given how Tarantino flicks usually feature an ensemble of memorable personalities. That being said, if DiCaprio is as brilliant here as he was as the unpredictable Calvin Candie in Django Unchained, he’ll definitely steal the show.

1. Joaquin Phoenix As The Joker (Joker)

Warner Bros.

One of the best things about the superhero genre’s rise to power is that we now live in a world where Hollywood A-listers – of the very highest calibre – are open to appearing in comic-book movies.

Joaquin Phoenix is one such high-calibre A-lister, easily one of the most respected actors on the planet – and with good reason. Notoriously choosy with his projects, it was a huge surprise to hear he’d be playing the Joker, but that surprise quickly turned to excitement once that news actually began to sink in.

Phoenix doesn’t take small roles, lacklustre roles or easy roles; he plays characters with real depth, roles that allow him to fully lose himself. Letting him tackle the most unhinged, twisted and slippery character in pop-culture history is essentially giving a master craftsman the thumbs-up to be as daring as he likes. Early shots of the actor in makeup are as unsettling as they are weirdly amusing, the perfect mix for the Joker, and evidence that Phoenix really has a grasp on how to make his own incarnation of the character feel fresh and exciting.

His performance may not top Heath Ledger’s iconic turn, but at the very least, we can expect Phoenix to try something unique, and equally as audacious. He’ll blow us all away, just in a different way.

 

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