Round up- Check out who gave the best performances in 2014

Round up- Check out who gave the best performances in 2014

As we approach the end of the year I thought it would be good to look back at 2014’s highlights. This week I’ll count down the best performances from all films and television programmes that debuted in the UK in 2014. As this is house of black the list will only include black British performances and is shown in no particular order.

Chiwetel Ejiofor – ‘12 Years a Slave’
2014 kicked off pretty spectacularly, with Steve McQueen’s adaption of Solomon Northup’s slave memoir stunning critics and winning big at the Oscars. In a star making turn for Ejiofor, he carries the audience expertly across the grim reality of 19th century America.

Paterson Joseph – ‘The Leftovers’
Episode 106
Coming from the creators of ‘Lost’ and ‘Friday Night Lights’, Sky Atlantic’s latest HBO import, had a lot to live up to. Fortunately it turned out pretty fantastic, though, for some, a little too sombre and slow. The real strength of the series was the brilliant performances, of which Paterson Joseph was one of the best. As the powerful and mysterious cult leader Wayne Gilchrest, Joseph steals every scene.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw – ‘Belle’
The surprise British hit of the year, ‘Belle’ had a great run in theatres last summer, spurned on primarily through social media word of mouth -including an endorsement from Oprah. Mbatha-Raw’s performance has seems to have already been added to the long list of brilliant British period performances and is favourite for awards at the BAFTAs.

David Oyelowo – ‘Interstellar’
Soon to be seen in a (sure to be) star-making lead role in ‘Selma’, Oyelowo also provided sterling supporting work in Christopher Nolan’s latest mind-bending blockbuster. One of Matthew McConaughey’s fellow astronauts on a mission save the earth, Oyelowo performance brings a grounded and tragically grim reality to the more fantastical elements of Nolan’s space opera.

Aml Ameen – ‘The Maze Runner’
‘The Maze Runner’ could have been just another young adult adaption, another wannabe ‘Hunger Games’. Fortunately solid performances from a good (and very British) cast elevated this surprise hit from the pack. Ameen stands out as the leader of the group of lost boys, bringing quiet authority to a difficult, exposition-y role.

-Dylan Wiggan


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