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8 Films All Actors Should Watch

Part of pursuing a career in film is studying from the greats. Watching films from Hollywood's top actors helps you as a performer to know what direction you want your career to take. Check out the list below of the top 8 films ALL actors should watch!

1. My Left Foot (1989) - Daniel Day-Lewis

Here, Daniel Day-Lewis embodies the celebrated writer/painter Christy Brown, who was born with cerebral palsy and only had control over his left foot. To capture Christy Brown's struggles, Daniel Day-Lewis stayed in a cerebral palsy ward for 8 weeks and refused to leave his chair for the entirety of the film. No wonder this role bagged him numerous awards.

2. The Devil Wears Prada (2006) - Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep likes to think of herself as a warm and friendly person. But when the cameras are rolling, she can be as cold and judgmental as the producer wants her to be. Such is a role she plays in The Devil Wears Prada, where she takes on the persona of a professional magazine editor, completely devoid of any feelings towards her workmates. Her close-up facial expressions communicate a range of emotions while showing off her phenomenal acting ability. At the time the film was released, it received dozens of awards, including Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for Meryl Streep.

3. Birdman (2014) - Michael Keaton

If you're someone looking to enter the acting world or have already been in one, Michael Keaton is someone to watch. He plays a leading role in the modern-day coming-of-age classic "Birdman" (2014), which received widespread critical acclaim upon its release. His character's struggle as an actor is just as relevant today as it was when it was made. And although Keaton is yet to win an Oscar, the film did give him a few awards.

4. Forrest Gump (1994) - Tom Hanks

Forrest Gump is an American epic romantic-comedy film based on Winston Groom's novel from 1986. What makes this film and acting unique is that Tom Hanks stars as Forrest, a good-hearted man with a very low IQ who ends up at the center of key historical events in the 20th century. Tom Hanks was so convincing as Gump that he not only won the Oscar but also became the highest-earning actor in history at the age of 30.

5. Fences (2016) - Viola Davis

Not many people have bested Denzel Washington when it comes to acting, but Viola Davis killed it in this American period drama film. She was amazing in her portrayal of "Rose," a struggling mother of three. And although she was criticized for her inability to give an authentic Southern accent, she compensated fully with a strong, powerful, and moving performance. This performance alone made her the first black woman to win an Academy Award for a supporting role, among other awards.

6. Silver Lining Playbook (2012) - Jennifer Lawrence

Silver Linings Playbook is so good it deserves a separate Oscar category for Best Picture. Sure, it is about two people falling in love, but the film soars with its themes of commitment, passion, and family. Jennifer Lawrence gives one of the most thrilling performances we have seen in a long time and brings a powerhouse performance to the role of Tiffany, a goth girl dealing with problems of her own. She was so good at this role that she managed to nab the Oscar under the noses of much bigger names at the time.

7. The Dark Knight (2008) - Heath Ledger

Heath Ledger was well-known for playing the character of The Joker in the second film of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy. The character, a diabolical yet comical villain, played a key role in the film's spectacular critical and box office success. With his many awards and nominations, including an Oscar win for Best Supporting Actor, it's no surprise that Heath Ledger still receives so much acclaim for this performance years after he passed away.

8. Training Day (2001) - Denzel Washington

Never has an actor done such a good job of playing the boogeyman. Denzel Washington's convincing portrayal of a corrupt LAPD narcotics officer in Training Day remains remarkable not only as a piece of actorly brilliance but also as an insightful look at the morality and intuitiveness of an unscrupulous man. His performance was so good that it bagged him an Oscar in 2002, among other awards.

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