When Christopher Nolan cast former One Direction singer Harry Styles in the World War II epic Dunkirk, fans were skeptical. (Nolan fans, I mean.) It seemed like a gimmicky move to sell tickets ... but Nolan was unaware that Styles had a massive music career; the singer auditioned just like anybody else. Turns out, Styles is equally talented at acting. His performance as Alex, a young British soldier stranded during a German bombardment, added significantly to the film's tension. He's done with movie roles for now, but maybe Nolan can pull him out of retirement for a future project?
Some of the following actors have been or will be nominated for awards, some will not. The Newsweek culture desk doesn’t get hung up on stuff like that. Rather, we looked for the performances that moved, tickled, provoked, thrilled and surprised us, sometimes all at one. The people here helped distract from from the realities of 2017, and for that alone we are grateful.
In addition to escapism, it was a big year for precocious children, for exceptional scenery-chewing, for big returns (Jeff Goldblum!), bows (Daniel Day-Lewis) and debuts (including one former boy band member on the beach at Dunkirk). It was also a banner year for women of a certain age and fierce disposition: Allison Janney, Laurie Metcalf, Laura Dern, Frances McDorman and, of course, Meryl Streep. Fitting, somehow, in this year of men behaving very badly.
Herewith, our list of the 32 performance, plus one ensemble. Since ranking is for losers, we present them alphabetically.
Harry Styles Dunkirk
In his genre-defying war epic, overflowing with top British actors (Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh), director Christopher Nolan’s casting of Styles—a former member of the boy band One Direction—felt stunty. And yet, his performance as a young soldier driven to escape certain death by any means necessary (including sacrificing some of his humanity) is rich and affecting. Turns out a million girls really can’t be wrong.—DC
Putting this here too because there's a section about Harry.
Verified account @Nightline
2h 2 hours ago
Nightline’s piece on @goldenglobes-nominated @dunkirkmovie: Director Christopher Nolan, who is nominated for best director, shares his thoughts on casting Fionn Whitehead as a fresh-faced lead and @Harry_Styles. #GoldenGlobes #Dunkirk