The great Jodi Mitchell once wrote, “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone,” which certainly applied to acting in 2023. Of course, actors didn’t disappear this year. They were just far less visible for a while. The SAG strike — lasting from mid-July to early November — was an eye-opening necessity, protecting the guild from the studios’ ghastly attempts to implement artificial intelligence and correcting issues like lost wages and residuals that stemmed from the “great” streaming disruption.

But if you would’ve told me a year ago I’d be lamenting the loss of all those red carpets, publicity junkets, and various press appearances actors bravely embark upon for their art, I would’ve laughed in your face — and then I would have apologized for laughing in your face, and explained, slowly and assuredly, that “No, I would never miss the scourge of half-formed quotes and overanalyzed gestures that flood our social media feeds every time a new movie or TV show is about to premiere.” As long as actors are acting — on the stage, in indie movies (with those precious SAG waivers), and via the already-wrapped productions that were still being released — we’d all be fine.

Well, to no one’s surprise but mine, I was wrong. Yes, 2023 still gave us a dozens and dozens of remarkable performances. As a culture, we were still able to appreciate the craft of these fine thespians, while discussing among ourselves who had us rolling in the aisles, who left us in tears, and why they were just so damn good at evoking such strong responses. The Emmys have (and the Oscars will have) a stacked lineup of acting nominees, all of whom will be asked about all their most challenging scenes, surprising choices, and ostentatious physical transformations. (“That accent!” “That nose!”)

But what I realized during those quiet months in which actors couldn’t discuss their work was how crucial their voices are to the conversation. Great performances are worth savoring, and one of the most reliable ways to do that — in today’s day and age of binge-viewing and disappearing movies — is to be reminded of the movie, of the show, of the role, of the scene, of the moments big and small, by the onslaught of attention the performance itself demands. Who better to do the reminding than the performer themself? (Ideally alongside the writers, who we also missed.) So we here at IndieWire have come up with our list of the best performances of 2023, across film and television, in order to help out. Lists are incredible resources. They can inform and excite, spark ideas and, yes, serve as crucial reminders. We may not be actors, but we love actors, we love movies, and we love TV. We love every part of it, even the parts we thought we didn’t. So let’s get to the good stuff: Below, an unranked list of the 30 best performances of the year.

Christian Blauvelt, Kate Erbland, Alison Foreman, Marcus Jones, Ryan Lattanzio, Mark Peikert, Sarah Shachat, Erin Strecker, and Christian Zilko contributed to this article.