Spotlight on the finest performers of 2012

The Oscars are behind us, so I guess it’s time we declare the 2012 movie year oficially finished. For that reason, by the end of the week I’ll finally be posting my top 10 list, but before I do that, I’d like to shine a spotlight on the best performers of the past year in cinema. Here are 72 actors and actresses who caught my eye, made me laugh, made me cry, made me cheer and left an impression in 2012 (click on each collage to see the full-size image).

Collage 1
Top row: Tom Hiddleston – The Avengers; Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender – Prometheus; Andrew Garfield – The Amazing Spider-Man; Salma Hayek – Savages; Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Michael Caine – The Dark Knight Rises; Tom Cruise – Rock of Ages; Channing Tatum – 21 Jump Street; Giovanni Ribisi – Ted

Bottom row: Omar Sy, François Cluzet – Intouchables; Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford – The Cabin in the Woods; Pierce Gagnon, Emily Blunt – Looper; Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Judi Dench – The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel; Javier Bardem, Judi Dench – Skyfall; Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts – De Rouille et D’os

Collage 2

Top row: Tessa Ia – Después de Lucía; Matthew McConaughey, Juno Temple – Killer Joe, Keira Knightley – Seeking a Friend for the End of the World; Richard Gere, Brit Marling – Arbitrage; Edward Norton, Lucas Hedges, Kara Hayward, Tilda Swinton  – Moonrise Kingdom; Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller – The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Bottom row: Tom Holland, Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor – The Impossible; Suraj Sharma – Life of Pi; Ben Whishaw, Hugh Grant – Cloud Atlas; Steve Carell – Hope Springs; Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Chris Messina – Ruby Sparks; Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook

Collage 3

Top row: Robert De Niro – Silver Linings Playbook; Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln; Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson – Django Unchained; Helen Mirren – Hitchcock; Quvenzhané Wallis, Dwight Henry – Beasts of the Southern Wild; Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey – Bernie

Bottom row: Emanuelle Riva, Jean-Louis Trintignant – Amour; Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke – Zero Dark Thirty; Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master; Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway – Les Misérables; John Hawkes, Helen Hunt – The Sessions; Denzel Washington, Kelly Reilly – Flight

Thoughts on my selections? Tell me in the comments!