The amount of blood, sweat, and tears that goes into delivering a great movie performance is undeniable, but even when working with a great director and a wonderful script, there's no guarantee that an actor's work will fully resonate.
There are, however, those occasional instances where actors still manage to deliver impressive performances in movies that, if we're being fully honest, didn't really deserve their efforts.
These 10 recent performances all ended up in bad movies that failed to make a dent with audiences, even though it's devastatingly obvious that, with a stronger overall project, many of these actors may have been in awards consideration for their work.
There's no denying that these strong performances were all compromised by the movie they were trapped within, but at least the actors were able to acquit themselves admirably regardless, despite the "divisive" - if we're being generous - responses to the films themselves.
Above all else, these performances are a monument to unfulfilled potential, and the greatness that was clearly trying to tease its way out of a mediocre end product...
10. Natalie Portman - Lucy In The Sky
Noah Hawley - the creator of FX's terrific Fargo series - made his crushingly disappointing directorial debut with this fantastically-premised drama about an astronaut, Lucy Cola (Natalie Portman), who struggles to re-adjust to normal life when returning home from a space mission.
Touted as a serious Oscar contender prior to its release, Lucy in the Sky ultimately turned out to be a peculiar car crash of a film, an initially intriguing yet baffling collision of half-baked ideas, unconvincing character psychology, and quasi-laughable melodrama.
And yet, standing amid the carnage is Natalie Portman, who delivers a performance of such restrained resolve despite Hawley's pretentious filmmaking that she very nearly saves the entire damn thing.
Clearly, with a stronger script and more assured direction, Portman would've been a contender for the Best Actress Oscar, but instead everyone was simply left lamenting what never will be.