2023 Robert Downey, Jr. Award for Entertainer of the Year: Ryan Reynolds

This award is one I will present annually to the actor, writer, director or any combination thereof who has in my estimation the best year. The only real criteria is that they have multiple credits. The credits can be two responsibilities on the same film or more than one film. The idea came to me based on Robert Downey, Jr.’s incredible 2008. He was the first winner and the name stuck.

The entertainer of the year award is not always a matter of being in three movies well spaced out during a year, though achieving that formula does help. 

Ryan Reynolds has been a favorite of mine for some time in large part because he finds projects and roles that play to his strengths. Within those roles he’s grown but in ways that were part and parcel of the narrative and not a distraction. 

His year began with The Adam Project which had plenty of heart, laughs, and cool sci-fi elements (as can be expected from a Sean Levy directed project). What worked best here was Reynolds’ chemistry with Walker Scobell. Reynolds having started acting as a kid surely helped the rapport and they indeed felt like they were the same person. 

A bonus to this project was their working together on this commercial.

Then he popped up uncredited and announced (as he tends to do sometimes to great effect) in one of the summer’s best movies Bullet Train

Finally, his pairing alongside Will Ferrell in Spirited could not have been more inspired and it feels like they are now part of what might be a staple for years to come. 


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