Here we are, the final “Compendium of Actors.” I’m somewhat unsure of whether anything has been accomplished here — has any knowledge been gained on the nature of acting, or have I spent the last semester simply reveling in the idea of celebrity? I don’t know how to answer that question, and maybe I don’t care. Maybe celebrity culture is a fun respite, so we may look upon our favorite actors and actresses as idyllic figures and tales to tell. With that in mind, for the last issue of this column, it seems necessary to lean all-in to that call of celebrity culture. So, putting aside all of my basic journalistic ethics and ideals, this last column will be in a somewhat dreaded form: listicle. Here it is, my favorite acting moments of the last year (roughly).
Nicole Kidman in that beautiful, jaw-dropping AMC ad
Slightly unhinged Ana de Armas (and even more unhinged Ben Affleck) in “Deep Water” (2022)
Lady Gaga being very upset about knockoff bags in “House of Gucci” (2021)
Rita Moreno, in the new “West Side Story” (2021), making me and everyone else cry
Julia Garner’s accent in “Inventing Anna” (2022)
Timothée Chalamet loving fingerling potatoes in “Don’t Look Up” (2021)
Every single person working on “Abbott Elementary” (2021–)
Vanessa Hudgens, the queen of Coachella, in “tick, tick…BOOM!” (2021)
The recent clip of Michelle Yeoh tearing up over her “Everything Everywhere All At Once” (2022) role
Camila Cabello singing “Am I Wrong” for “Cinderella” (2021)
All the Melanie Lynskey love for “Yellowjackets” (2021–)
“Sex and the City” (1998–2004) but a blazing dumpster fire
Amanda Seyfried dropping her voice in “The Dropout” (2022)
Those 3 minutes and 31 seconds straight where Dominic Fike just sings in the finale of “Euphoria” (2019–)
Christine Baranski and her gay son in “The Gilded Age” (2022–)
Every single choice that Kristen Stewart makes in “Spencer” (2021)
That big finale song in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” (2021), because who doesn’t love a musical number?
Olivia Colman quietly seething in “The Lost Daughter” (2021)
Every single thing Anne Hathaway wears in “WeCrashed” (2022)
Amy Adams swinging and missing twice with “Dear Evan Hansen” (2021) and “The Woman in the Window” (2021)
See you never, “Compendium of Actors.” Maybe next time I’ll do singers. Maybe.