2009 Calvin Awards: Breakthrough Performance

February 11, 2009

Somewhere, out there...

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We shift back from the quiet and understated to a more knock-you-over-the-head sort of thing as we honor Viola Davis in fourth place for her role in Doubt. She is only in the film very briefly, and I'm not going to reveal exactly what purpose her character plays, but let's just say that you will not forget her in this role, whether it's for good reasons or bad ones.

Fifth place goes to the lovely Freida Pinto for her portrayal of modern-day Latika in Slumdog Millionaire. We fall in love with this character as Jamal rediscovers her, and it's surely Pinto's performance that has much to do with this appeal. I would hazard a guess that she and Segal may be the two people placing in this category with the most to gain and furthest to ascend.

Danny McBride had a pretty darned good 2008, and he looks to keep finding more success in 2009. After writing and starring in a small film called The Foot Fist Way, McBride drew the attention of the folks at Funny or Die aka Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. Since that movie debuted, McBride proved to be one of the two best things about Pineapple Express (James Franco was the other) and also held his own against a pretty spectacular cast in Tropic Thunder. Look for him next in the HBO series East Bound and Down, executive produced by Ferrell and McKay (among others).


Next up are two more funny guys in Russell Brand and Jay Baruchel. Brand was unforgettable in Forgetting Sarah Marshall as the obnoxious British pop star Alduous Snow, the guy who steals Sarah away from the hero. This is a funny, no-holds-barred performance that has led to a spin-off movie centered upon the character. Jay Baruchel is yet another member of the Apatow family, but we consider his role in Tropic Thunder to be a significant one. He's essentially the voice of reason throughout the film, and we all know by now how hard it is to play straight man to Ben Stiller, let alone Stiller, Jack Black and Robert Downey Jr.

Closing out the top ten are Kat Dennings and Rosemarie DeWitt. Dennings is here by virtue of playing Norah in Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. A lot of people believe she really outshone Michael Cera in the film. Despite her character being sarcastic, she's quite relatable. For Rosemarie DeWitt, it's impressive that she was able to hold her own as a co-lead in a movie where Anne Hathaway is so completely noteworthy. After all, the movie is called Rachel Getting Married, and DeWitt plays Rachel. It's too her credit that Rachel is sometimes likable, sometimes not, but she always feels like someone that you would probably know in real life. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Album
Best Cast
Best Director
Best DVD
Best Overlooked Film
Best Picture
Best Scene
Best Screenplay
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best TV Show
Best Use of Music
Best Videogame
Worst Performance
Worst Picture

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