Okay, everyone. If you're reading this, if you're an actor, if you're a nerd or a geek, and if you're into the great performances of the ages, then you're probably already one of the millions who have seen Neill Blomkamp's film District 9 that opened last week. If not, and you have a strong stomach, then go see it and treat yourself to a master class in on-camera acting. The film entire consists of one character's cathartic journey towards understanding and redemption, and that character is played by South African actor Sharlto Copley.
There are SF elements, action, and a killer story, but that's kind of all window-dressing. Sharlto Copley is the consummate everyman and his corporate drone character gets put through unbelievable trials. There is never a false note in his performance as we sit witness to his descent. I'm probably going again if the budget allows, he's that good and my budget is that small.
There have been things I've seen this year and this summer that were strong showings from established names (Sam Rockwell in Moon comes to mind), but Copley's role demands depths of emotion and raw objective that are simply not to be found in anything else I've seen yet. To say more would be to spoil it, but I watched him for two hours and, as an actor, my brain was saying, "Yes, yes. Mmhm. That's what the real deal looks like. That is a realized, successful performance. Motherfucker!"
(I tried to nick some pictures from the movie off of the internet but google apparently doesn't have a great selection to choose from. I didn't intend this to be like a teen fan site a la the Jonas Brothers, but then I thought sometimes people just deserve love.)
Hats off, Sharlto Copley, hats off!