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Entries in child stars (56)

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.

Friday
May272016

Posterized: Tye Sheridan

They grow up so fast *sniffle*. Tye Sheridan, the child actor revelation from Terence Malick's The Tree of Life (quite a debut) and Mud is already 19 years old and in major demand. What accounts for his mutant super power of aging rapidly is that Tree of Life actually began shooting when Tye was just 11. Malick takes forever in post production, don'cha know. Male stars don't tend to really come into their A list own until their late 20s or early 30s. DiCaprio is the grand exception to the rule but usually the ones that break out in their late teens or early 20s more commonly have career trajectories, like, oh, Chris O'Donnell. That's partially because the juicy roles for men tend to be the ones that require a 30 or 40something actor.  So it's anyone's guess as to whether or not Sheridan can build on his rather solid first five years in the movies. Are you that anyone? Care to take a guess?

While Sheridan isn't the star of X-Men Apocalypse -- the movies are STILL obsessed with making it all about Magneto, Xavier, Wolverine, and Mystique (sigh) even though we've seen that dynamic five times already (fwiw Wolverine is reduced to a cameo this time but he takes over the movie for a couple of minutes). If the franchise can ever reach for the ensemble magnificence of its source material, Sheridan would be in a great position to collect more than just a paycheck as Scott Summers, aka Cyclops, one of the most enduring and important characters in the books. (He's also onscreens right now in Last Days in the Desert which stars Ewan McGregor as both Jesus and Satan.)

How many of his 10 pictures to date have you seen? 

Next up for Sheridan, if it gets distribution, is Detour (reviewed at Tribeca), presumably more X-Men features as well as more leading roles including Friday's Child,  the crime aftermath drama Grass Stains, the Iraq war soldier drama The Yellow Birds (which he co-leads with Alden Ehrenreich), and Spielberg's sci-fi flick Ready Player One. 2017 could be the star-making year for him if two of those break out strong.

Wednesday
May182016

Judy by the Numbers: "Embraceable You"

Anne Marie is tracking Judy Garland's career through musical numbers...

Throughout the 1930s, Mickey and Judy had been one of America's favorite musical duos. With Mickey in the lead and Judy providing musical support, the two young teenagers - with the help of the Freed Unit - dominated the box office, regularly grossing $1 million even during the Depression. However, by the beginning of the 1940s, both 21-year-old Judy and 23-year-old Mickey had grown past the simple comedies in which they'd made their names. While both continued to pull in the same amount at the box office, Mickey was moving into more serious roles - though he still had a few more Andy Hardy movies in his contract - and Judy was dropping her hems and trading in her hair ribbons for hats. So, at the end of 1943, Mickey and Judy starred in their last musical together.

The Movie: Girl Crazy (1943)
The Songwriters: George Gershwin (music) & Ira Gershwin (lyrics)
The Players: Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, June Allyson, directed by Busby Berkeley and Norman Taurog

The Story:  This transition affected their partnership in Girl Crazy as well. While before, Judy had been Mickey's sidekick, now she was her own force to be reckoned with. Director Busby Berkeley gave 3 musical numbers to Judy alone, while Mickey appeared with her in 2 more (and also was dubbed on piano for one number). While the plot still mostly fell on Mickey's shoulders, the musical was entirely Judy's. In fact, she got two more iconic hits from it: "Embraceable You," and "But Not For Me."

Though Mickey and Judy would continue to be friends (and perform together - once more in a movie and again later on her TV show), their onscreen partnership had run its course. And though Judy couldn't have anticipated it, right around the corner was another movie that would change her life forever.

Previous Related Highlights:
"Our Love Affair," "Good Morning," "Got a New Pair of Shoes"