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The Best Performances of 2011

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No. 4. Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Many people scoffed when it was announced that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was being remade just a year after Noomi Rapace earned praise for bringing Lisbeth Salander to life in three Swedish films. Not only was the American version better, however, but Rooney Mara turns in a deliciously offbeat and alluring performance.

No. 3. Michael Shannon, Take Shelter

In Take Shelter, Michael Shannon plays a husband and father who suspects that the end of the world is coming… but who also suspects that his dreams and hallucinations may be a sign of schizophrenia. The crazy thing is that he didn’t earn an Oscar nomination for his work.

No. 2. Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

Meryl Streep is, objectively, the best actor to ever grace the silver screen, having been nominated for 17 Academy Awards. And yet in The Iron Lady, she somehow manages to outdo herself by delivering one of the best performances of her decorated career. It’s all the more impressive that she does so with such an unimpressive film.

No. 1. Michael Fassbender, Shame

It’s a crying shame… no, it’s criminal… that the best actor of 2011 wasn’t even nominated for an Academy Award.

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By Erik Samdahl
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