Joseph Gordon-Levitt – 50/50
This was a difficult choice again this year because you had two other worthy performances: Radcliffe in HP8 and Martin Sheen in The Way. Both are top caliber, but Joseph Gordon-Levitt has to take the top prize for his portrayal of Adam in 50/50. While watching the first half, his acting is decent and serviceable to the story of a man dealing with half a chance of living or dying from a freak spinal tumor. He isn't showy or overly sympathetic. And that is part of the genius of the performance, because as the clock begins to tick down, we can see the raging despair bubbling up trying to break through the cool exterior. When the explosion of fear, rage, and sadness hit, it comes like a volcano that rips into your heart. But it was a quiet moment toward the end, as Adam sits in his hospital bed, Gordon-Levitt with one single word makes his character so purely vulnerable that it will move you to tears for this young, sick man.
Martin Sheen – The Way
Daniel Radcliffe – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt 2
Lambert Wilson – Of Gods and Men
Steve Carrell – Crazy Stupid Love