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Coop lists the Top 10 Performances of 2013

Posted on January 17th, 2014
Posted on January 17th, 2014

by Coop Cooper

2013 was a strong year for performances and of the films I saw, these were the ones that affected me the most…

10. Moises Arias in “Kings of the Summer” – This living cartoon of a human being gave the breakout comedic performance of the year as a weird Italian kid who tags along with two teen runaways to build a clubhouse out in the woods to escape their crazy parents. Although he gave an excellent, serious performance in “Ender’s Game”, in “Summer” Arias provokes laughs every time he appears on screen. He stands a good chance at growing into a memorable adult comedic actor.

9. Andrea Riseborough in “Oblivion” – She’s been acting in film for nine years, but her tragic role as a jealous communication tech in “Oblivion” really stuck out for me this year. Riseborough’s undeniable chemistry with Tom Cruise, her alluring sensuality and her subtle emotional anguish made her the most interesting character in the film.

8. Jared Leto in “Dallas Buyer’s Club” – I barely recognized Leto as the AIDS-stricken transvestite who helps McConaughey’s character sell banned pharmaceuticals to the gay community. I wouldn’t have guessed Leto could pull it off, but his transformation into this character proves he is more than just a bit player and rock star. He won the Golden Globe for this role so he is the strongest contender for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

7. Adele Exarchopoulos in “Blue is the Warmest Color” – In one of the most controversial performances of the year, Exarchopoulos plays a French high schooler who gets into a disastrous lesbian relationship with a college art student. Although the explicit sex scenes got all of the media’s attention, her astounding performance should break her into some substantial, English-speaking films.

6. Matthew McConaughey in “Dallas Buyer’s Club” – McConaughey plays his most abrasive character to date as a homophobic, rodeo roughneck who contracts AIDS and eventually becomes a symbol of hope for those stricken with the disease. Like Emma Thompson in “Saving Mr. Banks”, he is unlikable for most of the film, but here his transformation – both physically and emotionally – is the most powerful of his career.

5. Sandra Bullock in “Gravity” – As “Gravity” is my favorite movie of the year, it’s no surprise Bullock (who is the sole actor for most of the film) is on the list. This is a superior performance to the one she gave in “The Blind Side” but this year the competition is stiff. She lost the Golden Globe and likely won’t win an Oscar for this, but she is such a fan favorite, it hardly matters.

4. Jennifer Lawrence in “American Hustle” – Although I disliked the film, Jennifer Lawrence is impossible to beat when she gets a strong role to play. The film would’ve been vastly improved if she had appeared more in it. She won a Golden Globe for this so she is a strong contender for the Best Supporting category… but her recent Academy wins might inspire voters to award it to an unsung talent.

3. Jonah Hill in “The Wolf of Wall St.” – Hill completely upstaged his costar DiCaprio as the crass, Jewish stock broker who helps to create a shady, penny-stock empire. While DiCaprio merely played a sleazy version of himself, Hill completely transformed into a character very different from what anyone has seen from him before. I despised the film, but Hill alone made it watchable.

2. Emma Thompson in “Saving Mr. Banks” – No woman disappeared so completely into her role this year as Thompson did as P. L. Travers, the author of the Mary Poppins books. She has been a celebrated actress for a long time but I can’t recall a performance I liked her better in than this one. She lost the Golden Globe, but she is an Academy favorite so don’t count her out.

1. Chiwetel Ejiofor in “12 Years a Slave” – No other performance comes close to Ejiofor’s tortured desperation as a free family man Shanghaied to Georgia and forced into slave labor. Ejiofor is one of the finest actors I’ve ever seen and he deserves to be at the top of the A-list. I believe this performance will put him there. He won the Golden Globe, let’s see if he wins the Oscar.

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Trailer for the award-winning short PRISMA…


A corporate promotional VHS tape from 1984 conceals a brain-altering signal which is said to grant increased health, longevity and psychic powers to those who watch it. View at your own risk...

WINNER: SPECIAL JURY PRIZE, 2017 Oxford Film Festival

WINNER: BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM, 2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival

SEMI-FINALIST: 2017 NanoCon International Science-Fiction Film Festival

NOMINEE: BEST ANIMATION, 2017 End of Days Film Festival

NOMINEE: BEST GRAPHICS, 2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival

OFFICIAL SELECTION:
2017 Nightmares Film Festival
2017 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival
2017 Oxford Film Festival
2017 Crossroads Film Festival
2017 Clarksdale Film Festival
2017 Twisted Dreams Film Festival
2017 Tupelo Film Festival
2017 NanoCon International Sci-Fi Film Festival
2017 FantaSci Short Film Festival
2017 End of Days Film Festival
2017 Grenada Afterglow Film Festival
2017 Shiver International Film Festival

Trailer for the lost short GOD MAKER…


Northern Mississippi 1932:
In a cabin in the woods, a blind blues guitarist will discover his destiny from a lovesick goddess who seeks to corrupt his soul.

GOD MAKER remains unfinished and in limbo for now, but the trailer expresses the mood and imagery intended for the project...

Coop’s award-winning 48 hour short film trailer for REGRESS…


Told in reverse, this experimental made-in-48-hours film begins with a shocking murder then backtracks (like a viewer rewinding a VHS tape) to reveal the chilling origins of this tragedy.

WINNER: BEST SHORT FILM at the 2013 Clarksdale Film Festival...
NOMINATED: BEST DIRECTING by the 2012 48hr. Guerrilla Film Challenge (international contest)...
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2013 Crossroads Film Festival

Watch Coop’s award-winning short film THE BEST DAY…


WINNER: 2012 MAGNOLIA FILM FESTIVAL "Best Homegrown Film"
WINNER: 2012 SEATTLE TRUE INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL "Best Scream"

OFFICIAL SELECTION:
2012 OXFORD FILM FESTIVAL
2012 CLARKSDALE FILM FESTIVAL
2012 CROSSROADS FILM FESTIVAL
2012 NORTHEAST MISSISSIPPI FILM FESTIVAL
2012 ATLANTA INDIE HORROR FILM FESTIVAL
2012 OTHERFEST
2012 MISSISSIPPI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
2012 SUN AND SAND FILM FESTIVAL

Morgan Freeman asks Coop a question at THE BEST DAY premiere! Video below…


My short film THE BEST DAY premiered in October 2011 at the Delta Cinema in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Little did I know I had a special guest in the audience who was about to ask me a question during the Q&A. Yep, I got a little flustered when I saw who it was.

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