My Best Picture and Best Performance Picks of 2014

BY JONATHAN REYES

The reason I’m combining two separate award categories is because the film that’s my Best Picture has my Best Performance  in it. To avoid hype and delay, my Best Picture goes to “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” and my Best Performance to Andy Serkis for his portrayal of Caesar.

The man who is Caesar, right: Andy Serkis

(I have self-proclaimed interesting taste in film, to say the least.)

Going into the theater to watch this film back in July, I didn’t know what to expect. The film’s predecessor, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” was good and had some great individual performances from Serkis, again, and James Franco. But it didn’t reach its stride until the final third of the film when (SPOILERS!) the apes are following Caesar and running rampant across the Golden Gate Bridge to reach the expanse of the woods.

The two most powerful moments of that film are when (drum roll): Caesar speaks.

Chills crawled up and down my spine whenever I heard Caesar speak in Rise. I think that speaks to the performance of Serkis. One thing is to act on screen in live-action and another is to capture the essence and realism of an animal and act on top of that. No actor past or present can achieve this as Serkis does brilliantly. He’s the master of motion-capture and a genius as an actor.

How can they look so real?!

How can they look so real?!

When I saw Dawn for the first time I was in awe. By my second viewing, I wanted more Caesar on screen. Now I can’t wait for the third installment.

If you haven’t seen Dawn yet, go and watch it! It’s not only a fantastic film, but you’ll have the privilege to see the best, award-worthy and most underrated performances since 2011–the last time Serkis played Caesar. This raises an arguement about films come award season (e.g. Golden Globes, Oscars…) that should be seriously addressed when it comes to giving more weight to films such as a Dawn, “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” All three films wouldn’t be critically acclaimed and blockbusters at the box office without the performances of Serkis, Chris Pratt and Chris Evans. I’d put each of these films and performances by its respective leads against any of the upcoming nominated Best Picture and Best Performance.

I’ll leave you with these two clips from Dawn, if you need more convincing to watch it or to Serkis:

1.

Powerful and chilling.

2.

Stunning.

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