Film Bitch History
Oscar History

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.


Powered by Squarespace
Comment Fun

How had i never seen... Enter the Dragon

"A action movie classic" - Jaragon

"Honestly, I saw Kentucky Fried Movie -- which ends with a long parody of this film -- about 5-10 years before I got around to seeing Enter the Dragon itself. I remember so much more about [the former]". -James

Keep TFE Strong

We're looking for 500... no 461 Patron SaintsIf you read us daily, please be one.  Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience




Directors (For Sama)
Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

What'cha Looking For?
« Happy Birthday, Mickey Mouse | Main | Say What? Trashy Cameron »

"Critics Choice" Best Young Actor/Actress. Any FYCs?

Updated to add voting options and recommendations!

Yesterday out of nowhere I suddenly felt a shiver go down my spine. I realized that if I didn't pull some advocacy action, my fellow Broadcast Film Critics might just give Chloe Grace Moretz TWO nominations for Best Young Actor/Actress for Kick-Ass 2 and Carrie and nobody needs that. Not even Chloe who doesn't strike us as the sort that needs the validation to go on. (Horror of horrors that's already occurred back in 2010 when she won a double nom) And then I pictured Quvenzhané Wallis getting nominated for her one line in 12 Years a Slave and remembered that frustrating nomination for Asa Butterfeld in Hugo (he could repeat this year for Ender's Game) and I knew I had to intervene with some advocacy or at least a helpful voting cheat sheet.

Thomas Horn & Quvenzhane Wallis, the last two winners of this category

See, sometimes the lazy voting in this category can be attributed to its low profile. If you're not actually researching / thinking about "which actors that aren't yet 21 did good work this year?" chances are when it comes time to vote you'll just be scribbling down whoever comes immediately to mind. That strategy favors the famous and the lucky (are they in a film you're thinking about for other categories?) and "Best" is not really even a part of the equation.


Three former Oscar nominees are eligible in this category this year. I mean I like Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine rapidly growing up) as much as the next person but does she deserve a nomination in this category simply because people will be thinking about August: Osage County when they're voting in other categories? Do Hailee Steinfeld and Saoirse Ronan deserve  nominations for Romeo & Juliet and How I Live Now because people know who they are?

So in the interest of smarter voting, I've compiled a cheat sheet of eligible performers. Despite my efforts I am reasonably certain I forgot someone but this should be enough to get the conversation going.

(update: originally these charts were compiled merely to get people talking about the category but they seem to have been miscontrued as recommendations. So if you see an asterisk that is someone that I personally am considering for my own ballot) 

Abigail Breslin - August Osage County
Katie Chang - Bling Ring
*Adele Exarchopoulus - Blue is the Warmest Colour
Tavi Gevinson - Enough Said

*Pauline Burlet - The Past (so believable as Berenice Bejo's daughter.
*Kaitlyn Dever - Short Term 12 (my pet film this year but it deserves the attention. Dever is also in Spectacular Now)
Annie Buckley - Saving Mr Banks
Taissa Farmiga - Bling Ring

AnnaSophia Robb- The Way Way Back
Hailee Steinfeld - Romeo and Juliet
Saoirse Ronan - How I Live Now
*Onata Aprile - What Maisie Knew (what a natural)

Megan Charpentier -Mama
Waad Mohammed -Wadjda
Sophie Nelisse -The Book Thief
*Nell Cattrysse-The Broken Circle Breakdown (heartbreaker... foreign films are a bonanza of good child performances each year)

And yes the presence of Adele here (she turns 20 this week) in an extremely adult movie reminds me that I've always felt this award should be restricted to under 18s instead of under 21s. 

(update: originally these charts were compiled merely to get people talking about the category but they seem to have been miscontrued as recommendations. So if you see an asterisk that is someone that I personally am considering for my own ballot)  

*Tye Sheridan - Mud (the lead)
Jacob Lofland -Mud (...and his best friend "Neckbone)
*Elyes Aguis -The Past (this is his first acting role, terrific as Tahir Rahim's frustrated son)
Gattlin Griffith - Labor Day (3 actors play this role but he gets the bulk of the movie)

*Israel Broussard - Bling Ring !!! Tricky part, but a total success, don't you think?
Ty Simpkins - Iron Man 3
Alex Calloway - Short Term 12
Liam James - The Way Way Back

Jacob Latimore - Black Nativity
Abdullrahman Al Gohani - Wadjda
Nick Robinson - Kings of Summer 
Asa Butterfeld - Ender's Game 

IF YOU WERE VOTING... which young actors and actresses would you be rooting for in this category? 

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (60)

It probably is going to, and should be, Adele.

Broussard and Chang are also tied for my #2 on that ballot. I assume Tye Sheridan will also be honored. He also got a lot of kudos for his work in Joe.

Love Tavi in Enough Said. I knew her and her zine before the movie but if you dipped into her writing for just a little bit, you'd know she is playing a different character in ES.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Definetely Onata Aprile, but in a potential best picture nominee Annie Buckley was great.

The 18-21 year olds definetely feel too old especially when they are so well known.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

I'm rooting for Exarchopoulos (duh!), Broussard and Chang, Dever, AnnaSophia Robb, Gevinson, and the Mud Boys.

I loved The Way, Way Back but for some reason Liam James left me cold.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

EVERYONE in The Bling Ring - what a fantastic ensemble.

I would also toss a bone to the boys from The Kings of Summer - Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, and Moises Arias - who are all did excellent, natural work in a film that is sadly less than the sum of its parts, but still enjoyable.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

I swear that while watching Enough Said I thought Tavi Gevinso was Michelle Williams. And I'd vote for her.

As for the boys, Israel Broussard was terrific and of course Tye Sheridan.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike

Onata Aprile and Tye Sheridan.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSad man


November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSquasher88

I love Adele's and Katie's performances but I will vote for Onata. There are scenes that are difficult to pull off even for seasoned actresses but she pulls it off beautifully. You can sense her sadness, confusions and happiness with whoever adults she is with and she doesn't play the cuteness card at all.

For actor, Tye Sheridan for sure.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDrew

Kaitlyn Dever, Short Term 12
Adele Exarchopoulus, Blue is the Warmest Colour
Jacob Lofland, Mud
Nick Robinson, The Kings of Summer
Tye Sheridan, Mud ****

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDGR2013

Second the boys from Kings of Summer, particularly Nick Robinson... Really hope that Chang or Broussard (or both) can overcome The Bling Rings slight reception to score nods for extremely tricky debuts

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTravis

Have to think this Adele is the leader for this, but from what I've seen (and I haven't seen Blue) I'm definitely on team Broussard.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterScottC

Oh man, what a great combination would Exarchopoulos, Sheridan (both of whom I'd nominate in their respect gender's best lead category), Dever, Aprile and Robb?

I would be perfectly okay with Robb or Dever being replaced by Sioarse Ronan from HOW I LIVE NOW. Such a strong film.

Although the girl from WADJDA was very good and I'm surprised nobody has mentioned her yet given I am far from that film's biggest fan.

I'd be all for a Chang nomination, too, come to think of it. She sticks out in the memory far better than I expected she would at the time.

I wasn't a fan of the movie, but I liked Gabriel Busso in THE KINGS OF SUMMER.

The actress from S#X ACTS would be an excellent choice too, but the subject matter is very tricky.

I don't think HIDE YOUR SMILING FACES got a release, did it? The kids in that were great.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

Abigail Breslin was also terrific in The Call this year. Adele, Kaitlyn, Israel and Onata would be my other choices, but I haven't seen quite a few of these films.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese


-Kacey Mottet Klein in Sister. The film also stars Lea Seydoux. The chemistry between the two are fascinating. He had to carry the film and he succeeded. (although someone would say this film is 2012-released)

-Waad Mohammed as Wadjda. She also has to carry the film and she was amazing in it.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertombeet

Adèle and the guys from Mud.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Don't forget Asa Butterfield for "Ender's Game". How big was Quavenzhane Wallis' role in "12 Years a Slave"?

I'm thinking the nominees will probably be: Abigail Breslin, Asa Butterfield, Liam James, Tye Sheridan, Adele Exarchopolous and Ty Simpkins (who was a standout in "Iron Man 3", fully deserving of at least a nomination).

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIrvin

Exarchopoulos, Broussard, and Sheridan are all on my reminder lists for my own year-end voting in their respective categories, irrespective of age, so I'd be thrilled to see any of them take it.

Though it is freaking insane that Exarchopoulos is eligible for a "young actress" award.

November 18, 2013 | Registered CommenterTim Brayton

Often irritated with how the nominees often consist of already well known performers. In their years I would've vouched for Kara Hayward ("Moonrise Kingdom"), Ezra Miller ("We Need to Talk About Kevin"), Elle Fanning ("Somewhere", her first nod) and Max Records ("Where the Wild Things Are").

True discoveries are too often overlooked. As such, my ballot (if only I had one) would push mainly for those and, unfortunately in some cases, pass over previously well known youths like Asa Butterfield's surprisingly sharp turn in "Ender's Game". My theoretical ballot includes at least one ineligible performance due to TV boundaries, but they all surprised me pretty much out of nowhere.

-Nell Cattrysse, "The Broken Circle Breakdown"
-Alice Englert, "Beautiful Creatures" (A stretch of age, and I know how much you hate this movie Nathaniel, but she has such wily charisma in it.)
-Jacqueline Joe, Top of the Lake
-Joey King, "White House Down"
-Melanie Lenz, Paradise: Hope

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDuncan Houst

@Irvin - Tiny. She's in "12 Years a Slave" in the same way you and I are writers at The Film Experience.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDuncan Houst

Irvin- Nathaniel noted Butterfield getting a possible nod for Ender's Game and that Wallis in 12YAS was a one-line cameo.

Oh man, Thomas Horn. Well-meaning kid but the movie, the performance, and pretty much being the reason I can really, really hate child performers. He won over Ronan, Fanning, Miller AND Woodley.

I don't know why but Moretz as a double-nominee is the only explanation why Lawrence could lose to Steinfeld. Then again, they almost never get this award right. Culkin and Bell have been the last "recent" winners that I agree with.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Totally agree with Sad Man -

Onata Aprile and Tye Sheridan,

but would also like to see Tavi Gevinson in something else soon.

Nominating Adele Exarchopoulus in this category, even though she's technically eligible and is very good in the role, doesn't feel right. Lead Actress, maybe.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPam

CMG: Your comment made me look back at previous winners, and I totally think they should rename the award "The Jonathan Lipnicki Award for Best Young Performer" after its inaugural winner.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

My five favorite performances of these are:

Adèle Exarchopoulos
Kaitlyn Dever
Pauline Burlet
Elyes Aguis
Onate Aprile

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRalph

Not eligible, but I just caught up with it...but guys. Jessica Barden in "Hanna." She is everything.

But also, Waad Mohammed and Abdullrahman Al Gohani from Wadjda.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJake D

Israel Broussard for "Best Supporting Actor" period!

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDG

The film isn't nearly as good as it should be, but Sophie Nélisse definitely needs to be in the mix for her role in "The Book Thief."

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBill_the_Bear

How could you consider Steinfeld getting an award for that embarrassing performance she gave in Romeo & Juiete?

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDog_Catcher

I don't even remember Farmiga being in the Bling Ring. I can't even picture her character at all. Add that to her in American Horror Story this season, she seems like a really bland performer compared to her older sis.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

Another suggestion for anybody who saw it (so, not many) is Lily Sullivan in MENTAL.

Steinfeld is indeed bad in ROMEO AND JULIET. She and Asa Butterfield fair better in ENDER"S GAME.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

From what I've seen, you could seriously fill this ballot with the Bling Ring stars and the two youngsters in Mud (both of whom were better than Matt) and it would be a winning category. Tye Sherridan should win this in a cakewalk. Sadly, all five may miss.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

dog catcher -- i was not considering hailee. just saying she's eligible.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

Jacob Latimore, the singer/dancer who is the young lead in Black Nativity, is 17. His co-stars, including Angela Bassett, seem to think well of him, praising his skills and maturity.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteradri

Besides the cast of Bling Ring, Mud, and Onata Aprile's Maisie, Colin Ford is pretty fantastic in Disconnect!

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJonn

Where do people live that they've already seen Black Nativity, Labor Day, and The Book Thief? Do you guys all get screeners? If so, I'm jealous.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Megan Charpentier "Mama". She was terrific.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKen

Jack Reynor is 21 this year, although his stunning work in "What Richard Did" was filmed 2 years ago. I thought the 2 boys in "The Place Beyond the Pines" were great but both are too old.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterreds

Nothing wrong with Adele getting the award/nomination. She is a kid at the start and grows up within the role but she qualifies under the rules.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

A few of the young actors / actresses from awkward summer blockbusters are in the run too, but I don't think their chances are high. For example, Channing Tatum's daughter in White House Down, that kid from The Lone Rangers, that son of Will Smith from After Earth (sorry, I don't pay too much attention to their names, which just solidified your point that only well-known names will be put on the ballots. Guilty!)

As for the more grown-up competing in this category, I actually feel bad for them. Is it not bad enough they make you sit at the kid's table, and then they hand you the award in front of the kids and make them feel like this big brother / sister just grab something that rightfully should belong to them? Isn't that your point few years back when that George Clooney's daughter in The Descendants kept winning kid awards (see? can't remember the name)?

Also, I don't think these two Asian movies are eligible since they have not officially open in North America, but the kids from Unbeatable and Ilo Ilo are both unforgettable.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

Nearly missed this: I watched a little indie movie called Stuck in Love over the weekend, and Nat Wolff is something (this name I know, because I made sure I googled him LOL), but as this movie got no heat, and is not particularly very good, so I don't think they'll notice him.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

PJ- You really don't know Shailene Woodley? The Spectacular Now Shailene Woodley, you have no clue about?

And yes, Nat Wolff is a presence to watch. One of the scene-stealers in Gia Coppola's Palo Alto, that hopefully picks up distribution for next year.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG


November 18, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

CMG, I know her face, I just don't remember the name. I'm not very good at remembering names, even for someone whom I actually met once or twice, let alone someone who I just watched on screen.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

I thought Tye Sheridan was terrific in what little screentime he got in The Tree of Life but he was just that much better in Mud; he's a natural.

As for the other performances...I haven't seen any!! I've got to get on that, starting with Blue is the Warmest Colour.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMDA

That's great! I loved the article! I am looking into sun control film sacramento

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterwayneparker

Kaitlyn Dever and Liam James.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDback

Aprile and Broussard ALL the WAY.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNick Davis

Adele and Israel <3 am I right?

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Nick -- i loved both of those performances too. But the BFCA ballots only allow 3 votes so I will have to narrow it down from about 7 of these I thought were just great.

November 18, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Do you have some vendetta against Chloe Moretz? Did she hurt your feelings by not calling you back or something? It's ridiculous to include Hailee's embarrassingly awful performance in Romeo & Juliet but not include Chloe for either Kick Ass 2 or Carrie. Sure, Kick Ass 2 is a flawed film, but with what was required of her in that role, she gave one of the best performances of the summer! She had to play contradictory emotions of superhero confidence/swagger with teenage vulnerability, which she did well, spin gold from clunky and cheesy lines, which she was able to make believable, as well as pull off humor and action. She's good! Really good. Certainly a better performance than Hailee in R&J anyways.

November 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercam

cam -- it is no secret that I dont' care for Chloe Moretz but NONE of the photos here are my endorsement. It merely says "eligible" if you read the headings. I have not seen all of these performances, just some of them. The point of the post is I want other voters to really consider their options. They have more than considered Chloe over the years and if they're voting purely based on fame and not thinking it through they'll vote for her twice again this year.

(i have not seen Steinfeld's performance and don't plan to. I have seen enough shakespeare adaptations to last a lifetime... certainly dont need to watch the ones that people don't recommend.)

November 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>