Every year, the Academy Awards celebrate the best films and performances from the previous year. Many times, these accolades don’t match up to the incredible work that goes unseen and uncompensated for. One such example is British actor Robert Pattinson. While his performance in Equals was undoubtedly memorable, his work as Edward Cullen in the Twilight films earned him the praise and adoration of his fans around the world. In addition to being recognized for his acting, he was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a forthcoming Independent Spirit Awards for his role in The Way Way Back. Let’s take a look at some of the incredible work Robert Pattinson has done over the past year and why he is arguably the best actor of 2014.
The Way Way Back
One of the best films of 2014 is undoubtedly The Way Way Back, a coming-of-age story that follows a 16-year-old boy as he navigates the ups and downs of adulthood. Starring alongside Matt Dallas (The Vampire Diaries) and Michael Sheen (Boardwalk Empire), Robert Pattinson’s performance as Neil Hunter is compelling and nuanced. His portrayal of the older brother struggling with alcoholism is heartfelt and captivating. In the film, he delivers one of the best monologues ever written about the perils of addiction. It’s impossible to talk about this year’s Sundance Film Festival without mentioning The Way Way Back. The film was one of the first to be fully financed and independently produced by a major studio (New Regency), and it made major waves upon its premiere.
Speaking of Sundance, another film that garnered widespread critical acclaim and won several awards is Equal, a dramady about three intersecting stories of love, lust, and infidelity. Starring opposite Ruth Negga (Sex and the City) and Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat), the film puts an interesting spin on the traditional coming-of-age story, exploring the complexities of love and sexuality in the modern world. In this story, Robert Pattinson plays Dr. Robert Crane, an endocrinologist who treats a rich patient (Negga) with an unusual condition that makes her want to have sex with anything that has a pulse. The film is equal parts Seinfeld, Sex and the City, and The Pillowman. It’s a fascinating character study of a man who struggles to keep his composure when faced with this type of situation.
Another major award-winner that emerged from Sundance is Beautiful Creatures, based on the best-selling novel by Neil Gaiman. The film is an adaptation of the story of werewolves and young girls in 1920s New York. One of the stars of the film, Alden Ehrenreich, had a breakout year, appearing in a variety of big-name films. He will next be seen in the upcoming film The Lego Batman Movie, as well as the highly anticipated Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. Alden’s performance as a troubled teen dealing with his family issues and his attraction to both men and women is nuanced and compelling. While some critics pointed out that the film wasn’t particularly groundbreaking, it was one of the most acclaimed dramas of the year.
Speaking of breakthrough performances, it’s impossible to talk about Robert Pattinson without mentioning his performance in Denis Villeneuve’s critically acclaimed dystopian thriller, The Rover. In the film, he plays the role of an unassuming man who discovers a plot by a mysterious corporation to take over the world. From the get-go, Villeneuve and his team (including cinematographer Roger Deakins and editor J.B. Rogers) set out to achieve an immersive experience for the audience, utilizing dazzling visuals and an atmospheric score by Jonny Greenwood to create a visceral impact. While the concept of the story seems like it would be ripped straight from George Orwell’s 1984, it’s actually a much more personal film, focusing on themes such as grief, alienation, and family. In one of the film’s most unforgettable scenes, Pattinson’s character goes on a murderous rampage, methodically eliminating everyone he meets. Even now, it’s hard to watch that scene and not feel a little sick to your stomach.
Finally, we arrive at one of the most anticipated films of the year: Channing Tatum’s Jupiter Ascending. The film is an adaptation of the acclaimed 2011 graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore. In the film, Tatum plays a supporting role as a janitor who finds himself thrown into a fight for his life on the planet Jupiter. The premise seems somewhat unbelievable, but Tatum’s ability to emote and his chemistry with actress Michelle Yeoh make the film worth seeing. The costumes alone are incredible, with Yeoh’s character sporting some truly memorable outfits. In addition to being an absolute beauty, Yeoh is also an incredible martial artist who trains Tatum for the film’s fight sequences. After an underwhelming debut at the box office in August, the film quickly rose to become one of the biggest foreign language films of all time, earning over $300 million worldwide. It currently holds a 93% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which makes it one of the most acclaimed films of the year.
Robert Pattinson has clearly had a banner year, earning him the praise of fans and critics alike for his nuanced portrayal of complex characters in some of the year’s most compelling films. His willingness to take on such challenging material demonstrates the considerable skill he has at crafting characters and performances that are both complex and compelling. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Pattinson spoke about why he chose to take on these roles and how he hopes to continue making a difference in the world. We can’t think of a more fitting tribute than to say that 2014 was Robert Pattinson’s year, and we can’t wait to see what he does next.