Monday, June 5, 2023

List: Top 3 Performances in Music Films

This week on Episode 330 of the InSession Film Podcast, inspired by Wild Rose, we thought it would be fun to talk about our favorite performances in music films. We’ve talked about movie musicals, musical numbers, music biopics and even performances of songs in film, but we’ve talked about acting performances in music films before. Whether the characters are based off of real-life figures or they’re fictional, we remember them because of the great performances behind them, and we wanted to honor that with our lists this week. There are so many to choose from here and hopefully we did some justice with our picks That said, here are our lists:

(Note: Please keep in mind that we each had different criteria for our selections)


1) Cate Blanchett – I’m Not There
2) Glen Hansard, Markéta Irglová‎ – Once
3) Michael Fassbender – Frank


1) F. Murray Abraham – Amadeus
2) Paul Dano – Love and Mercy
3) Kate Hudson – Almost Famous


1) Ferdia Walsh-Peelo – Sing Street
2) Miles Teller – Whiplash
3) Michael Fassbender – Frank

Honorable Mentions (Combined)

Oscar Isaac – Inside Llewyn Davis
J.K Simmons – Whiplash
Marion Cotillard – La Vie en rose
Jack Black – School of Rock
Entire Cast – Straight Outta Compton
Jeff Bridges – Crazy Heart
Joaquin Phoenix – Walk the Line
Resse Witherspoon – Walk the Line
Val Kilmer – The Doors
Terrance Howard – Hustle and Flow
George Clooney – O Brother, Where Art Thou?
John Turturro – O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Tim Blake Nelson – O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Freddie Highmore- August Rush
Ethan Hawk – Born to be Blue
Don Cheadle – Miles Ahead
Marshall Mathers – 8 Mile
Patrick Fugit – Almost Famous
Chadwick Boseman – Get On Up
Zoe Lister-Jones – Band Aid
Kiersey Clemons – Hearts Beat Loud
Nick Offerman – Hearts Beat Loud
Tom Hiddleston – Only Lovers Left Alive
Jamie Foxx – Ray
Keira Knightley – Begin Again
Anna Kendrick – Pitch Perfect
Rebel Wilson – Pitch Perfect
Bradley Cooper – A Star is Born
Lady Gaga – A Star is Born
Entire Cast – This is Spinal Tap
Elizabeth Moss – Her Smell
Jessie Buckley – Wild Rose
Michael Pitt – Last Days
Sissy Spacek – Coal Miner’s Daughter
Robert Arkins – The Commitments
Ben Dickey – Blaze

Hopefully you guys enjoyed our lists and if you agree or disagree with us, let us know in the comment section below. As mentioned above, there are so many great performances in music films, and we clearly missed many other options here, especially from films prior to the early 90’s (something we speak to on the show). That being said, what would be your Top 3? Leave a comment in the comment section or email us at

For the entire podcast, click here or listen below.

For more lists done by the InSession Film crew and other guests, be sure see our Top 3 Movie Lists page.

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