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Entries in child stars (59)

Tuesday
Apr182017

On this day: Grace Kelly became a Princess, Madonna's "Live to Tell" and more... 

On this day in history as it relates to showbiz!

1907 Composer Miklós Rózsa born in Budapest. He becomes an Academy favorite in the early 40s and is nominated 17 times for his music with 3 Oscar wins (Spellbound, A Double Life, Ben-Hur

1922 Emmy winner Barbara Hale (Perry Mason) born in Illinois

⇱ 1946 Hayley Mills born in London. She becomes the very last winner of the special "juvenile Oscar winner" for Pollyanna (1960) and chases it with the classic twin comedy The Parent Trap (1961). Did you know she was TFE's favorite classic child star? Now you do.

1947 James Woods born in Vernal, Utah

1953 Rick Moranis born in Toronto. Today's movie fans probably don't know this but in '89 he starred in 3 consecutive $100 million grossers in one single summer (Ghostbusters II, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Parenthood) and it was a very big deal because back then the same people weren't in every movie. TFE's theory is that casting is divided into two eras, pre Samuel L Jackson and after. After Samuel L Jackson (ASLL) it's mandatory to only have excessively familiar faces in every franchise, and it's even okay if they're competing franchises or the same franchises with different roles. It's madness! 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb202017

Interview: Greig Fraser talks "Lion," his shifting style, and Jane Campion

Here's one mystery solved: Greig Fraser isn't pronounced any sort of fancy way. It's merely "Greg" with a silent extra "i". If you want to say it perfectly, though, you'll have to say it with an Aussie accent, mate.

We've been singing the praises of the cinematographer Greig Fraser for 8 years now, even if we often pronounced his name wrong while doing so. After the visually jaw-dropping calling card of Bright Star (2009) one of the new century's most undervalued and most transcendentally beautiful movies, his name appeared more and more regularly in major prestige films. Curiously though, despite his ever broadening range (he's aced virtually every genre he's hopped to and front) and quite a few critically lauded and Oscar nominated movies under his belt, he is just now enjoying his very first Oscar nomination for his evocative and resourceful lensing of the Australian hit and Best Picture nominee Lion.

Fraser (top left), Sunny Pawar, and director Garth Davis on the set of Lion

I was eager to talk to him about his ability to tackle any genre, his time with Jane Campion and the challenge of Lion. Here's our interview...

 

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb082017

18 Days Until Oscar. Nominations for Minors

Sal Mineo & Natalie Wood at the Oscars for REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (1955) one of only two years wherein two minors were nominated. The other is 1973As Sunny Pawar (Lion) can attest this Oscar season, being a cute kid with a preternatural gift in front of the cameras can only get you so far. A little further if you're a girl but still, the point is: it's not easy to be Oscar nominated when you're a minor. Think of the famous or iconic minor performances that DIDN'T snag nominations: Natalie Wood in Miracle on 34th Street, Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet, Hayley Mills in The Parent Trap, Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz, Evan Rachel Wood in thirteen, Jacob Tremblay in Room and so on. 

On this 18th day before the Oscars let's quickly survey all the actors who managed a nomination before their 18th birthday!

There are 21 of them in total ... and almost 2/3rd of that number come from the Supporting Actress category which won't shock anyone who knows the Oscars and their double standards for men and women. But a few other statistics revealed might be more of a surprise...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov162016

FYC: Critics Choice Best Young Performer of 2016

Each year one of our awards traditions is to help fellow BFCA members choose more wisely when it comes to the "Young Performer" category by sharing an eligibility list. The lazy nominations each year prove that help is needed. Here's the thing: it can be difficult to even think of who is eligible when you're filling out a ballot because you don't get a list of choices and it's not a category people campaign for or one that the internet talks about. So we solve that problem right here. Our other belief, which is why we do this, is that if you actually pay attention there are enough worthy performances each year to divvy this category up into male and female as the other acting categories are divvied up. But, yes, you have to be paying attention beyond 5 or 6 movies and leading roles to notice the truly special work. 

Ballots go out to the BFCA soon so here's a cheat sheet to help them vote. The category is UNDER 21... (it should obviously be adjusted to 17 and under but that's a fight for another day). Please FYC your favorites in the comments!

ELIGIBLE "YOUNG PERFORMERS" IN 2016 FILMS


GIRLS
Ella Anderson (11) as "Rachel" in The Boss
Ruby Barnhill (12) as "Sophie" in The BFG DEBUT
Annalise Basso (18) as "Vespyr" in Captain Fantastic
Elle Fanning (18) as "Julie" in 20th Century Women  OR as "Jesse" in Neon Demon (3 previous nods in this category)
Royalty Hightower (11) as "Toni" in The Fits  DEBUT
Samantha Isler (18) as "Keilyr" in Captain Fantastic
Avin Manshadi (?) as "Dorsa" in Under the Shadow DEBUT
Madina Nalwanga (?) as "Phiona" in Queen of Katwe DEBUT
Alexis Nebblet (11) as "Beezy" in The Fits  DEBUT
Eva Peterson (18?) as "Crystal" in The Boss  DEBUT
Ella Purnell (20) as "Emma Bloom" in Miss Peregrine's Home...
Angourie Rice (15) as "Holly March" in The Nice Guys
Hailee Steinfeld (19) as "Nadine" in Edge of Seventeen (previous winner of this category)
Anya Taylor-Joy (20) as "Thomasin" in The Witch DEBUT
Madison Wolfe (14) as "Janet" in The Conjuring 2 


BOYS 
Michael Barbieri (14) as "Tony Calvelli" in Little Men DEBUT
Asa Butterfield (19) as "Jake" in Miss Peregrine's Home... (two previous nods in this category)
Markees Christmas (17) as "Morris" in Morris From America DEBUT
Julian Dennison (14) as "Ricky" in Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Devin Druid (?) as "Conrad" in Louder than Bombs
Oakes Fegley (11?) as "Pete" in Pete's Dragon
Nicholas Hamilton (16) as "Rellian" in Captain Fantastic
Alex R Hibbert (?) as "Little" in Moonlight DEBUT
Lucas Hedges (20) as "Patrick" in Manchester by the Sea
Tom Holland (20) as "Peter Parker" in Captain America: Civil War (previous nominee in this category)
Jharrel Jerome (19) as "Kevin (16)" in Moonlight DEBUT
Jaeden Lieberher (13) as "Alton" in Midnight Special (previous nominee in this category)
Lewis MacDougall (14) as "Conor" in A Monster Calls
Sunny Pawar (?) as "Young Saroo" in Lion DEBUT
Ashton Sanders (20) as "Chiron" in Moonlight 
Harvey Scrimshaw (14) as "Caleb" in The Witch
Neel Sethi (12) as "Mowgli" in The Jungle Book DEBUT
Theo Taplitz (13) as "Jake Jardine" in Little Men DEBUT
Ferdia Walsh-Peelo (17) as "Cosmo" in Sing Street DEBUT
Lucas Jade Zumann (15) as "Jamie" in 20th Century Women

Who would you vote for?

 

Sunday
Nov062016

Morning Truth Tell: Child Actors Give Good Quote

Sometimes it's really fun to listen to child actors talk about their work. They're not yet guarded or practiced about how to talk about working with directors or the constantly-discussed art of acting. Here's "Little" himself from Moonlight (Alex R Hibbert) telling it like it is.

My face just went with what was going on and then BAM!

Monday
Oct312016

Oscar Horrors: Patty McCormack is "The Bad Seed"

Boo! It's the "Oscar Horrors" finale with abstew

With her blonde pigtails, pinafore dress, spotless Mary Janes, and armed with an elegant curtsy, little 8-year-old Rhoda Penmark is hardly the most intimidating figure. But beneath that childish visage lies the heart of a cold-blooded killer! One that shocked audiences in the 1950s. The Bad Seed preyed on the idea that evil wasn't some devil or mythical monster, but that it lived next door in the most unassuming of places. And worst of all, that evil was a hereditary trait that could be passed on, with no control over your assigned nature. The evil child has now become a staple of the horror genre, from the towheaded Children of the Corn to the twins from The Shining, but one of the first to make her mark (literally - watch out for those deadly shoes!) was bad seed, Rhoda Penmark, brought to life by Best Supporting Actress nominee, Patty McCormack.

I was about Rhoda's age when I first saw The Bad Seed at my friend Vicky's house...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Aug192016

Posterized: Natalie Portman

by Nathaniel R

Natalie Portman in a new photoshoot for Diorskin ForeverWhat odd careers child stars eventually look back on. Natalie Portman was an instant sensation when she appeared in The Professional as a junior assassin. When the film was released late in 1994, Natalie was just 13 years old. She became an instant favorite for directors filling their prestige ensembles and by the time she was 18 she was a leading lady and also the mother of Luke & Leia (though the Star Wars prequels contain her worst acting by far). By 23 she was a Golden Globe winner and by 29 an Oscar Best Actress champ. Afterwards she receded as so many actresses who win Oscars in their twenties do (what is there left to strive for?) presumably enjoying their riches and in some cases their new domesticity. Pregnant during her Black Swan Oscar campaign, Portman & her ballet world husband Benjamin Millepied are now the parents of a five year old and she's not seen in public nearly as often as she once was.

(Fun Trivia: did you know that Portman, Millepied and their son Aleph all have birthdays in a single week every June?)

After the jump posters from all of her theatrical releases, except the ones where she played herself or only appeared in cameo or in a section of an omnibus film, and a few notes on her filmography.

How many have you seen?

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jun032016

Posterized: Movies About Young Black Girls

Not every movie has a white straight male protagonist. It just seems like that since that's Hollywood's default and also the preferred proxy of most (white straight male) auteurs.

But the times are finally a-changing. This weekend features the platform release of a mesmerizing new indie called The Fits -- please see it as soon as it opens near you. I was so proud to push for honoring it on my jury at the Nashville Film Festival. Fresh perspectives on the screen can be so exhilarating. That's especially true when the execution is this confident. Remember the debut director's name, Anna Rose Holmer, since we're hoping for more great movies to come.

In the meantime, let's take a trip back through other features with young black girls as the lead character. I haven't seen the first or the last movie on this list of nine below but the rest all fall somewhere on the spectrum of good to great. 

How many have you seen?

• Just Another Girl on the IRT (1992)
• Eve's Bayou (1997) - Really need to watch this again as previously earlier this week. It was the breakthrough role for Jurnee Smollett-Bell who went on to series regular gigs in Friday Night Lights, True Blood, and The Underground. 
• Our Song (2000) - When it comes to superstar Kerry Washington, it's important to remember that I saw her first. Articles from the early Aughts are no longer online but trust that I gave her a rave review when I saw this teeny tiny indie in theaters and was startled by her total naturalism onscreen.

• Precious (2009) - Best Picture Nominee at the Oscars, and right here.  
• Akeelah and the Bee (2006)
• Pariah (2011) - One of the best LGBT films of the decade

• Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) - Our #1 film of 2012, and also a Best Picture nominee at the Oscars
• Girlhood (2014) - terrific French film
• Annie (2014)

If you can think of other films with a child or teenage black girl as the lead character, please do share them so our list is more complete.