Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Kids in the Movies

I recently watched Beasts of the Southern Wild, and like most people who've seen it, I marveled at young Quvenzhane Wallis. I wanted to like the movie more, but it didn't quite connect with me. I found Wallis riveting though. Her performance perfectly captured the innocence and purity of childhood. She absolutely deserves her best actress nomination, and it would be very cool if she actually won.

Wallis got me thinking about other great performances by kids in movies. A list has been rattling around in my head for a few days, and of course, a top five has emerged. These are my favorite performances by actors 16 or younger:

5) Mary Badham, To Kill a Mockingbird: Badham, like Quvenzhane Wallis, had never acted before her film debut. She was also nominated for an Oscar, at the time the youngest best supporting actress nominee ever.

4) Keisha Castle-Hughes, Whale Rider: First of all, if you haven't seen this movie, check it out. There's a scene in this movie that had me bawling like a baby, a scene that will stick with me for life. KCH was nominated for best actress, and I remember being very bummed that she didn't win.

3) Haley Joel Osment, The Sixth Sense: Osment was nominated for best supporting actor for his performance. Could anyone else have made "I see dead people" such a memorable line?

2) River Phoenix, Stand by Me: I love this movie. The scene at the end when Chris Chambers fades away makes me verklempt every time. I miss River Phoenix.

1) Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine: Breslin is like a mini Meryl Streep. She's always good. LMS is one of my favorite movies, and Breslin is a big reason why. You gotta love Olive Hoover.


Let me know what you think of the choices, and by all means, share some of your favorites.


10 comments:

  1. I haven't seen #s 4 & 5, but I totally agree with you on #1. Abigail Breslin rocked LMS. One of my faves was 13-y.o. Christian Bale in Empire of the Sun. Definitely worth checking out if you haven't seen it.

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    1. I love Bale, and I think Spielberg directed, so I can't believe I haven't seen it. Great suggestion.

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  2. I have seen and like all of your picks. I have watched To Kill a Mockingbird more times than I can count. Also, agree that Abigail Breslin is good in whatever she does.

    I was going to order The Beast of the Southern Wild off of On Demand last weekend then settled on a different movie.
    I have seen several clips of it and was left on the fence if I would like it or not.

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    1. Beasts is good, don't get me wrong. I was just expecting to connect with it more than I did. It's worth a watch just for Quvenzhane.

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  3. Hey I saw you stopped by my site and join the list of crazies so I had to come by and see what the fuss was about. First thing I see is a superb picture of my football God VTL in your sidebar. Nuff said...I'm in. Nice site BTW. I'll be back.

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    1. Gotta love Vince. Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. All good. Anna Paquin in The Piano too.

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    1. Good one. She was great. The Piano was another movie that I admired but didn't quite connect with.

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  5. I completely agree on Castle-Hughes, and I know the scene you are talking about, too. It gets me every time.

    I actually reviewed a set of films on Great Child Performances. I started with the girls and I never did end up going back to do the boys.

    If you are interested, you can find them here:
    http://tipsfromchip.blogspot.com/2011/01/movies-with-great-child-performances.html

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  6. Okay, it's not a movie but here's a great performance by a little kid:http://sebtown294.blogspot.com/2013/02/homage-to-litany.html

    As for movies? I would go with Scout in TKAM...

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