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You’ve heard of the Oscars, but have you heard of the Isaacs? The Isaac Awards, in honor of the great Oscar Isaac, are Showbiz Cheat Sheet’s unique spin on the Academy Awards. However, the Isaac Awards are different from the Oscars in that they celebrate the best movies of 2021 that deserve recognition but will not receive that recognition through Oscar nods. The 2022 Isaac Awards feature five categories: Best Performance, Best Scene-Stealer, Best Crowd-Pleasing Moment, Best Action Sequence, and Fan-Favorite Movie. Voting will be open via this form from March 7-20. Winners will be announced on March 24.

The 2022 Oscars will showcase some particularly impressive performances from the past year. However, other performances went entirely under the radar. Showbiz Cheat Sheet’s 2022 Isaac Awards seek to give recognition to the year’s best performances that made us laugh, cry, and sit at the edge of our seats — but didn’t get Oscar nominations. Here are the nominees for Best Performance.

The Isaac Awards 2022 Best Performances Jodie Comer as Marguerite de Carrouges, Nicolas Cage as Rob, Rebecca Hall as Beth, and Simon Rex as Mikey
L-R: Jodie Comer as Marguerite de Carrouges, Nicolas Cage as Rob, Rebecca Hall as Beth, and Simon Rex as Mikey | Patrick Redmond/20th Century Studios, Neon, Searchlight Pictures, A24

Jodie Comer in ‘The Last Duel’

The Last Duel follows Sir Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon), who exhibits bravery on the battlefield. He has a close friendship with squire Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver), whose skills lie in his intelligence. However, Carrouges’ wife, Marguerite (Jodie Comer), steps forward to accuse Gris of raping her. As a result, the two friends have a duel to the death that simultaneously puts her life in jeopardy.

Comer is an extraordinary actor who approaches the character of Marguerite with care and precision. The Last Duel is an uncomfortable watch, but her performance provides a sense of authenticity and sincerity that radiates off the screen. Comer is an unapologetic powerhouse in one of the very best performances of the year.

Nicolas Cage in ‘Pig’

Pig explores the perspective of Rob (Nicolas Cage), a truffle hunter in the Oregon wilderness. He lives a simple life alongside his treasured pig. However, unknown intruders break in and steal his pig. Now, Rob must return to Portland to find those who kidnapped his truffle pig and confront the demons of his past.

Cage turns in one of the best performances of his entire career in Pig. The film hit theaters during summer, and audiences quickly gushed about his triumphant portrayal. However, the Oscars failed to recognize the subtle and delicate work that makes Pig so deeply impactful.

Rebecca Hall in ‘The Night House’

The Night House tells the story of Beth (Rebecca Hall), a recent widow. She’s left alone in the house that her late husband built for them. However, she begins to experience haunting visions, which lead to her discovering his disturbing secrets. Beth tries to remain calm, but she won’t stop until she gets to the bottom of the mysteries that lie in her own home.

The Oscars rarely recognize horror movies in any category. However, Hall is proving herself to be one of this generation’s strongest actors, and her performance in The Night House is no exception. The film puts a lot of pressure on her to captivate the audience in solo scenes, and she delivers. Hall’s performance is robust, unshakable, and exceptional.

Simon Rex in ‘Red Rocket’


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Red Rocket follows Mikey (Simon Rex), who is a washed-up porn star. He returns to his small Texas hometown, only to find that nobody wants him there. He stays with his estranged wife, Lexi (Bree Elrod), and his mother-in-law, Lil (Brenda Deiss). However, his world further unravels when he begins to take advantage of a 17-year-old doughnut shop employee named Strawberry (Suzanna Son).

Rex exploded back onto the scene with his best work to date in Red Rocket. He proves to be a devilishly good pair with writer/director Sean Baker. Rex serves sublime comedic timing, an abundance of wit, and a truly captivating presence. This is perhaps the most unexpected performance of the year that won’t soon be forgotten.

Vote for the 2022 Isaac Awards here now through Sunday, March 20. Winners will be announced on March 24. 

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