Courtney B. Vance’s ’61st Street’ performance in the season 1 finale

THE ACTOR | Courtney B.Vance

THE SHOW | AMC’s 61st street

THE RESULT | “Man on Fire” (May 29, 2022)

THE PERFORMANCE | If Vance is going to do one thing, it’s to monologue like his life depended on it, and that’s exactly what he did this week 61st streetSeason finale of . With the future of Moses Johnson (Tosin Cole) at stake, Vance’s Franklin Roberts defended the promising track star in an emotionally charged lawsuit over the death of a police officer, and it was a master class in acting.

Vance was a featured character in all eight episodes of the first season of the AMC drama, serving up vulnerable moments as a man struggled with the weight of the world on his shoulders. And yet the actor had more to give in the finale, as Franklin mustered all his strength to deliver a moving speech that got to the heart of the issue: the law is not correctand Moses deserved to go free.

“You need neither God nor a judge to tell you what is right and what is wrong; your conscience will do that for you,” Franklin said at the end of the season, addressing the judges with the steady aplomb he lacked at the series premiere.

Few can rattle off 10 pages of dialogue and make every line feel real and in the moment like Vance, and his performance in that final courtroom scene was powerful, elegant and unforgettable. Franklin convinced the jury of Moses’ innocence at the end, and we salute Vance for once again showing exactly why he is one of the finest actors of his generation.

Hacks Jean Smart POTW HMAWARD | It was refreshing to see Deborah Vance’s softer side for a change in the season 2 finale Chop. After the comedian’s special turned out to be a smash, Jean Smart displayed subtlety and heart, two traits we don’t often see in the cutthroat comedian. From her furtive glances at Marty after learning of his engagement to her friendly (dare we say “cute”?) exchanges with daughter DJ, the actress has risen to the challenge of showing emotion despite Deborah’s instinctive reluctance. After firing her co-writer Ava, Smart dished out tough love and recaptured the character’s stern tones and tough exterior. But when she said that to her mentee, “You’re just like me. You have to climb your own mountain,” she made Ava cry and broke our hearts in one fell swoop. It was emotional whiplash for everyone involved and Smart was secure in the driver’s seat.

Toni Collette The Staircase Kathleen Peterson HBO MaxAWARD | Continued as Michael Peterson’s late wife Kathleen The stairs, Toni Collette has so far been reduced mainly to terrifyingly graphic recreations of Kathleen’s death, which almost seems like a waste of her considerable talent. This week, however, Collette had to flex her dramatic muscles when she revealed the intense stress Kathleen was going through before her death. First, Kathleen has attacked her bosses for talking about bonuses while the company’s stock has shrunk, while Collette alternates between uneasy laughter and desperate sobs. “I wasted years of my life,” she confessed to Michael before turning her anger on him, while Collette uncorked years of smoldering resentment in a long, rambling rant. The fiery scenes let us see that Kathleen was more than just a holy victim – and let us see why a great actress like Collette would sink her teeth into the role.

Actress of the week Sadie SinkAWARD | Emotionally speaking, Netflix stranger things tasked Sadie Sink with running up the highest hill in Dear Billy, the harrowing fourth episode of Season 4. On the one hand, world-weary Max tried to put on a brave face for her friends, even going so far as to downplay the gruesome death she was sure awaited her. On the other hand, the teenager was terrified, the trembling embodiment of rising goosebumps. Not only did Sink pull off both tasks while maintaining the advantage her character had received upon enrolling in the school of hard punches, she also performed Max’s bittersweet monologue for her late stepbrother with a mixture of sincerity and regret that broke the word “heartbreaking” as well as defined.”

Which performance(s) knocked your Socks out this week? Tell us in the comments! Courtney B. Vance’s ’61st Street’ performance in the season 1 finale

Lindsay Lowe

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