Each year when my BFCA ballot arrives I stop in my tracks, stumped, when I get to "Young Performer". Categories that aren't Oscar correlative are often trickier.
Oh dear. How uneasy I feel..."
That's not because you're free of predicting (anyone trying to predict with their own ballot really ought to find a new profession -- criticism: ur not doing it right) but because it's a subsection of acting you probably haven't been discussing at all. You suddenly remember that you need to have been considering it with as much seriousness as you have made your other selections.
I imagine that Ellar Coltrane, the now 20 year old star of Boyhood, will be tough to beat since this category is for the 21 and under set. But even if the category were adjusted downward to 17 and younger (which we strongly support as a rule change -because it's always weird when an adult wins like least year when the prize went to the very explicit Blue is the Warmest Color... in a kid's category!) he'd surely be considered an exemption since he spent 12 years in front of the camera in his childhood for that movie. But who will the other nominees be? Who should they be?
As a BFCA member I'm often frustrated by the choices made in this category since they don't feel carefully considered but "which big ticket movies have prominent teenage or child roles?" or, barring that, which movies did famous teen actors make? Fame ≠ Best so each year moving forward I will try to help my fellow critics by reminding them who is actually eligible... and not just from the Oscar seeking pictures.
I hope you'll FYC your favorites in the comments and give voters some options to truly consider:
ELIGIBLE "YOUNG PERFORMERS" IN 2014 FILMS
(if we've missed any key players - make sure to shout them out in the comments)
Chloë Grace Moretz (17) in Equalizer, If I Stay, Muppets Most Wanted or Laggies
Elle Fanning (16) as "Aurora" in Maleficent
Hailee Steinfeld (18) in Begin Again or The Homesman
Joey King (15) as "Grace" in Wish You Were Here Gotham Nominee
Kaitlyn Dever (17) in Men Women and Children or Laggies
Lilla Crawford (13) as "Red Riding Hood" in Into the Woods
Lorelei Linklater (20) as "Samantha in Boyhood
Mackenzie Foy (14) as "Murph" in Interstellar WAFCA Nominee
Odeya Rush (17) as "Fiona" in The Giver
Saoirse Ronan (20) as "Agatha" in Grand Budapest Hotel
Quvenzhané Wallis (11) is Annie
Alex Lawther (19) as "Young Alan Turing" in The Imitation Game
Ansel Elgort (20) in Divergent, The Fault in Our Stars or Men Women and Children
Antoine-Olivier Pilon (17) as "Steve" in Mommy
Blake Cooper (13) as "Chuck" in The Maze Runner
Charlie Tahan (?) as "Joey" in Love is Strange
CJ Adams (14) as "Young Ford" in Godzilla
C.J. Valleroy (?) as "Young Louis" in Unbroken
Connor Corum (7) as "Colton" in Heaven is For Real
Daniel Huttlestone (15) as "Jack" in Into the Woods
Ellar Coltrane (20) as "Mason" in Boyhood Gotham Nominee, WAFCA "Youth" Winner
Emjay Anthony (11) as "Percy" in Chef
Ghilherme Lobo (19) as "Leonardo" in The Way He Looks
Jacob Latimore (18) as "Jeff" in The Maze Runner
Jaeden Lieberher (11) as "Oliver" in St. Vincent WAFCA Nominee
Jamarion Scott and Jordan Scott (?) as "Little James Brown" in Get On Up
John D'Leo (19) as "Young Pete" in Unbroken
Kodi Smit-McPhee (18) as "Alexander" in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Noah Wiseman (7) "Samuel" in The Babadook WAFCA Nominee
Pierce Gagnon (9) as "Tucker" in Wish I Was Here
Samuel Lange Zambrano (?) as "Junior" in Bad Hair
Tony Revolori (18) as "Zero" in Grand Budapest Hotel WAFCA Nominee
WHICH YOUNG THESPIANS WOULD MAKE YOUR BALLOT?
I hope you'll FYC your favorites in the comments and give the Broadcast Film Critic voters some options to truly consider rather than making this the annual Chloe Moretz Shortlist. Which younger actors do you think have big things in their futures as they grow into young adult roles?