In a lot of my best-of lists in the past, I have made it a point to mention potential greats that I haven’t been able to see.  I have backed off from doing that recently, because it is just something that comes with the territory.  But having seen fewer movies in 2014 than I did in 2013, I feel compelled to mention some of the performances I kept hearing about, like Julianne Moore in Still Alice, Marion Cotillard in Two Days, One Night and The Immigrant, or Timothy Spall in Mr. Turner.  But I still managed to see an abundance of great acting.  Here is a rundown of the excellence, starting with the 2 best and then the rest in alphabetical order:

Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
Uma Thurman, Nymphomaniac


Riz Ahmed, Nightcrawler
Emily Blunt, Into the Woods
Josh Brolin, Inherent Vice
Bradley Cooper, Guardians of the Galaxy
Lilla Crawford, Into the Woods
Tom Cruise, Edge of Tomorrow
Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Jake Gyllenhaal, Enemy
Ed Harris, Snowpiercer
Scarlett Johansson, Lucy and Under the Skin
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1
David Oyelowo, Selma
Randall Park, The Interview
Alison Pill, Snowpiercer
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
Andy Serkis, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Emma Stone, Birdman
Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer