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FYC Young Performer Award 2018

by Nathaniel R

Evan Rosado was just one of a handful of truly incredible child performances this year in "We the Animals"

Each year one of our award traditions here at The Film Experience is to help fellow BFCA members choose more wisely when it comes to the "Young Performer" category at the Critics Choice Movie Awards. We do this with a not-so-simple eligibility list. You see, our ballots don't come with lists of eligible choices so it's up to each member to think up a list and since the category gets no media coverage it's hard to think up choices on the spot so sometimes the nominations are quite lazy (You had a high profile child or teen role in a big studio film? You're nominated!). For instance this year, voters would be practically insane to skip Zain Al Rafee in Capernaum (only one of the best child performances ever) but given that that's within a foreign film hopeful that has yet to open in theaters (December 14th), voters ARE likely to be insane and skip him.

It takes a bit of research for the teen/young adult performances to see who is actually eligible. Given that we're apt to miss a couple of names, so do let us know if you don't see your favorite. The BFCA voting is about to begin so here are those cheat sheets to help them vote along with some trivia notes...

Raffey Cassidy (16) as "Young Celeste" in Vox Lux
Pixie Davis (?) as "Annabel Banks" in Mary Poppins Returns
Kendall Farr (?) as "Crystal Arnaud" in Thunder Road
Elsie Fisher (15) as "Kayla" in Eighth Grade
Mackenzie Foy (18) as "Clara" in The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
Abby Rider Forston (?) as "Cassie" in Ant-Man and the Wasp
Julianna Gamiz (?) as "Lita" in Instant Family
Helena Howard (20) as "Madeline" in Madeline's Madeline
Thomasin McKenzie (18) as "Tom" in Leave No Trace
Isabela Moner (17) as "Lizzy" in Instant Family
Isabela Moner (17) as "Isabel Reyes" in Sicario: Day of the Soldado
Jade Pettyjohn (18) as "Shelby" in Destroyer
Storm Reid (15) as "Meg" in A Wrinkle in Time
Angourie Rice (17) as "Rhiannon / A" in Every Day
Miyu Sasaki (?) as "Yuri" in Shoplifters
Millie Shapiro (16) as "Charlie" in Hereditary
Millicent Simmonds (15) as "Regan Abbott" in A Quiet Place
Amandla Stenberg (20) as "Ruby" in The Darkest Minds
Amandla Stenberg (20) as "Starr" in The Hate U Give

Seth Carr (11) as "Young Killmonger" in Black Panther
Seth Carr (11) as "Glover" in Breaking In
Joel Dawson (?) as "Georgie Banks" in Mary Poppins Returns
Julian Dennison (16) as "Firefist" in Deadpool 2
Asher Miles Fallica (?) as "Jonah" in Tully
Lorenzo Ferro (20) as "Carlitos" in El Angel
Ian Ho (?) as "Nicky" in A Simple Favor
Noah Jupe (13) as "Marcus Abbott" in A Quiet Place
Jyo Kairi (?) as "Shota" in Shoplifters
Miguel Lobo (?) as "Joel" in Good Manners
Deric McCabe (?) as "Charles Wallace" in A Wrinkle in Time
Richie Merritt (17) as "Rick Wershe Jr" in White Boy Rick
Levi Miller (16) as "Calvin" in A Wrinkle in Time
Jibrail Nantambu (?) as "Julian" in Halloween
Ed Oxenbould (17) as "Joe Brinson" in Wildlife
Victor Polster (16) as "Lara" in Girl
Charlie Plummer (19) as "Charley" in Lean on Pete
Luke Prael (?) as "Aiden" in Eighth Grade
Gustavo Quiroz (?) as "Juan" in Instant Family
Zain Al Rafee (?) as "Zain" in Capernaum
Evan Rosado (?) as "Jonah" in We the Animals
Jake Ryan (?) as "Gabe" in Eighth Grade
Nathanael Saleh (?) as "John Banks" in Mary Poppins Returns
Joshua Satine (?) as "Miles" in A Simple Favor
Parker Sevak (?) as "Jimmy Roy" in The Kindergarten Teacher
Sunny Suljic (?) as "Stevie" in Mid90s
Myles Truitt (16) as "Eli Solinski" in Kin
Luke Winters (?) as "Luke Armstrong" in First Man
TJ Wright (?) as "Tekani" in The Hate U Give 

The only former nominees that are eligible this year are Millicent Simmonds (Wonderstruck... now A Quiet Place) and MacKenzie Foy ( The Nutcracker). People age out of this category, after all, and not many child stars have consistent careers.

Dakota Fanning is the all time champ of the category with 5 noms and 2 wins.ALL TIME CATEGORY LEADERS
The only multiple winners in this categories 22 year history are Dakota Fanning (5 noms and 2 wins for I Am Sam, War of the Worlds, Man on Fire, The Secret Life of Bees, and Charlotte's Web), and Freddie Highmore (4 noms and 2 wins for Finding NeverlandCharlie and the Chocolate FactoryA Good YearAugust Rush). Highmore, who is now 26, currently headlines "The Good Doctor" on TV and Fanning, who is now 24, could have a big 2019 with a key role in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, two leading roles in indies (Sweetness in the Belly, and Viena and the Fantomes), and a sequel to the Alienist miniseries for TNT.

Other Critics Choice favorites from this category's two decade plus history: Cameron Bright (2 nominations), Abigail Breslin (2 noms / 1 win), Asa Butterfeld (2 nominations) Elle Fanning (3 nominations), Chloe Moretz (2 nominations), Haley Joel Osment (2 noms / 1 win), Daniel Radcliffe (4 nominations),  Saoirse Ronan (3 noms / 1 win), Kodi Smith-McPhee (2 nominations), Hailee Steinfeld (2 noms / 1 win), Jacob Tremblay (2 noms/1 win), Quvehzane Wallis (2 noms / 1 win), and Emma Watson (2 nominations).

So which of the 2018 performances listed above would make your ballot? Let us know in the comments...

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Reader Comments (19)

My Top 10 will be:

1. Evan Rosado, We the Animals
2. Zain Al Rafee, Capernaum
3. Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade
4. Thomasin McKenzie, Leave No Trace
5. Ed Oxenbould, Wildlife
6. Victor Polster, Girl
7. Noah Jupe, A Quiet Place
8. Millicent Simmonds, A Quiet Place
9. Jyo Kairi, Shoplifters
10. Sunny Suljic, Mid90s

December 2, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterLilie

You forgot a major one:

Charlie Plummer (19) as "Charley" in Lean on Pete

I think it's one of the best in any year.

December 2, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterjoy

My TOP 5:
1. Amandla Stenberg, THE HATE U GIVE
2. Thomasin McKenzie, LEAVE NO TRACE
3. Elsie Fisher, EIGHT GRADE
5. Evan Rosado, WE THE ANIMALS

All amazing!

December 2, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEd

Na-kel Smith for Mid90s

December 2, 2018 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

@Nathaniel R

What's the cut-off age for these nominees?

December 2, 2018 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

/3rtful - It's an under 21 category so anything up to 20 years of age. Na-Kel Smith is 24 so he is not eligible.

December 2, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Elsie Fisher gives one of the best youth performances I've ever seen and will probably win this fairly easily. Unfortunately, she's so natural (and is starting to win so many youth/breakthrough prizes) that people are now accusing her of "just being herself."

December 2, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Millie Shapiro.

December 2, 2018 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Charlie Plummer and Thomasin McKenzie are my favourites. Also love Millicent Simmonds and Amandla Stenberg. The kid from Capernaum also amazing.

December 2, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph

Charlie Plummer, Lean on Pete is in my actual Top 5 for Best Actor as of now.

Favorite young performers of the year:

Charlie Plummer, Lean on Pete
Evan Rosado, We the Animals
Millie Shapiro, Hereditary
Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade
Amanda Stenberg, The Hate U Give

December 2, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterjames14

Helena Howard is excellent in “Madeline’s Madeline.” I believe she’s now 20. The movie itself is a bit overrated, but she’s dazzling in one scene towards the end.

December 2, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDavid W.

I love this Film Experience tradition. It broadens the discussion and increases our appreciation of young artistry.

Two names that could maybe be added to the list:

Sophia Cai (ShuYa Cai) in “The Meg”.

Angourie Rice in “Every Day”.
This is a tricky part, because Angourie’s co-star, a character called A, switches bodies every day. A is played by a really interesting sequence of young diverse actors (an excellent showcase).
Angourie has to make us believe that each actor playing A is the same person, that she has the same deep rapport with each of them.

December 2, 2018 | Unregistered Commenteradri

Ed Oxenbould, Thomasin Mackenzie and Elsie Fisher are my favorite child performances of the year. Especially Ed considering Wildlife is one of my favorites of the year.

December 2, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBrittani

My personal Lead Actor and Lead Actress WINNERS this year are both eligible - Zain Al Rafeea and Helena Howard, both absolutely incredible.

December 2, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDuncan Dykes

Elsie Fisher's to lose, and rightfully so.

December 2, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

Suzanne: Considering they actually incorporated one of Fisher's OWN VOCAL TICS, thinking that she's "just being herself" is not entirely an unfounded conclusion. But since Keaton and Ed Norton basically played themselves on Birdman and no one really complained...? Just because you're playing yourself, doesn't mean its not ALSO good work. I think there's A LOT wrong with Eighth Grade's script (on both the moment to moment and cohesive statement levels), and the reviews being so universally positive is just RIDICULOUS, but the actors are doing as good a job as they can with that material.

December 2, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

As an actor, I just have to say that the idea that people are "just playing themselves" is so fucking stupid lol. No one is EVER going to play a role without bringing some element of themselves into it! It's simply impossible to separate the two, even the most chameleonic actors are still themselves to some degree, because they are the vessel through which the character is being portrayed!

And I don't care if there was NO character work done and someone was literally just told to "be themselves." There is nothing natural about being given direction and performing under lights, in front of a camera, and a whole crew of folks watching. It's acting, point blank period.

December 2, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

Did Custody (Jusqu'à la garde) have an American release? If so, Thomas Gioria for the win. What a brave/heartbreaking performance he gave in an excellent film.

December 2, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEz

A shitshow of an organisation they be. Be the change you want to see in the critical world Nathaniel! Morals over swag!

December 3, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterURconscience

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