In the Aisles = my favorite Bruce Springsteen song of 2019 (now I understand why Germany loves him so much!).

Franz Rogowski = the frontrunner to win my annual Screen Thespian Year of the Year Award (see Transita movie I promise to write about before 2020…and see below for his competition to take home the prize). But 365 days is too limited a scope to evaluate his talent, because he’s primed to become one of THE actors of his generation. In both of his 2019 movies, the audience finds themselves in a dialectical discussion with his face. The expressiveness of his physicality captivates the gaze and the brain, despite remaining largely dialogue-less. We’re riveted by how he palpably — but still subtly — observes, listens, and wordlessly responds to the world meticulously-crafted around him, that he feels both caught up in and removed from. His visage — far from a classic silver screen mug (his upper lip makes him look like young Stacy Keach)  — isn’t merely a window into his inner being; he suggests layers of meaning open to endless projection and interpretation.

Other Year of the Year contenders (remember: we’re talking about the quality of their specific performances here, NOT the overall quality of the actual movies) =

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