Critics honor the actors of the decade


AT the end of each decade, the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino honors the achievement of the actors and actresses of that period. The award is called the Natatanging Aktor at Aktres ng Dekada. 

While the nominations and the win are considered for this prize, the critics group look more to how the actors and actress have created their characters on-screen and developed a presence that participated in and served as witness to the socio-political realities of the society in which their cinema is located.

Consistency in the performance and an unerring eye for the good films mark the recipients of the Gawad Dekada. The following are the awardees for the years 2010-2020.


AS if telling us that actors move fluidly between personas given them through screenplays, this actor navigated the tricky arenas of commercial films vis-à-vis the so-called serious films. His power as an actor, though, was not in the commercial success of his works but in the fact that in those more accessible performances, he acquitted himself so well as to merit the attention of film critics. This actor tried his craft in more experimental pieces and imbued them with the same charm that allowed his admirers to discover both his art and the art of the other forms of cinema. From films that raked in millions, this actor shifted seamlessly to films that the entertainment media would dub as “serious”.


IN many roles, she was the Everywoman, disappearing in the characters of the mothers, teachers and rebels, and presenting to us the psychologies—the turmoil in the mind, also the acceptance and resignation—in words and actions that appear to be born with this actress. Gritty but warm, brave and judicious, her portrayals are remarkable for their being extraordinary in ordinariness. Known primarily for her work in art-house films and indies, her characters, often marginalized, are always informed with agency and a sense of freedom that, however challenged, are oftentimes sites of learning for the audience. She would be recognized by the Manunuri many times but she would also have her share of international awards.


Although the number of nominations has nothing to with this award, it must be said that this actress and her performances in the lead have been consistently noted by the Manunuri and other critics, a condition that affirms her ascendancy among the actors of her generation. She is gifted with a range that allows her to be comic, tragic, or both; she chooses roles and films that display not only her aesthetics but also her notion of what a woman should be on-screen. Blessed by looks that she can make into images of pulchritude and passion, and possessing an acute sense of the good and the truthful, de Rossi is convincing in any milieu and setting.


AN enduring power and a personality on- and off-screen that remains compelling, Nora Aunor remains the Nora Aunor through these years. Her appearances still command attention. She has made comebacks only to those who do not know her but film after film, new and old audiences are rediscovering her performances. It is a tribute to this actress that she has retained her love for and loyalty to an art form she excels in, and through which she can share her vision and politics. It is a tribute to her art and persona that, of the actors from the Second Golden Age of Philippine cinema, she is still with us, ultimately relevant in her vision. Along the way, during this decade, she has managed to win international awards for her films and recognitions from different institutions acknowledging her contribution to this county’s film industry.

John Lloyd Cruz, Angeli Bayani, Alessandra de Rossi and Nora Aunor will be honored during the Gawad Urian on October 21 to be held online. More details about the awards night will be released soon.

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