Top 10 Breakthrough Peformances of 2012
Wrote this up for my site, figured I'd share see what yall thought.
In no Particular order:
Suraj Sharma, Life of Pi - It was the first time he ever auditioned for a role and not only did he get it, he dazzled. Lost at sea Pi finds himself on a small boat with a Tiger (Richard Parker) and must learn to co-exist with it all while trying to somehow not die. Sharma captivates the audience, exuding struggle, pain, hopelessness in one of the most impressive debut performances I've ever seen.
Quvenzhane Wallis and Dwight Henry, Beasts of the Southern Wild - Bursting onto the scene at a stout five years old, Quvenzhane Wallis mesmerized audiences at every festival to kick of 2012 and once again throughout the year with her passionate display in Beast of the Southern Wild. Playing a poor father and daughter, Dwight Henry and Wallis live in "the bathtub" of New Orleans and run down, almost post-apocalyptic-like area trying to survive. Wallis shows she's wise beyond her years, having to do far too many grown up things like take care of a drunken father before she even had all her teeth.
Zoe Kazan, Ruby Sparks - Starring and writing Ruby Sparks, Kazan plays the imaginative girl Paul Dano's character writes about who one day becomes real. Wearing many hats, speaking different languages and going through every emotion possible, this is undoubtedly Kazan's breakout role, and one everyone must see.
Kelly Reilly, Flight - Holding your own with Denzel Washington is saying something, outshining him puts you on a different level. While Washington is getting some buzz for an Oscar, Reilly is the one who deserves to be in the Best Supporting Actress nomination talks. Playing a junkie who Captain Whip Whitaker falls for, her strained relationship with the pilot sets a great tone for the film. Reilly balances being a drug addict and trying to help an alcoholic pilot wonderfully.
Ben Whishaw, Cloud Atlas, Skyfall - Probably my favorite male breakout candidate on my list this year. Whishaw really took me by surprise in Cloud Atlas, especially with the story line of the composer and his prodigy. In the new 007 film, Whishaw is the new young Q, the man who has all the fancy toys for James Bond. Recently Whishaw has picked up projects like Steven Spielberg's Roboapocolypse, and is currently shooting the highly anticipated The Zero Therom.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Smashed - Unquestionably Mary Elizabeth Winstead deserves to be nominated for an Oscar in the Best Actress in a Leading Role category, I'll riot if it doesn't happen. Winstead plays an alcoholic schoolteacher in one of the most authentic and harrowing performances you will see. While Smashed has some levity to it with a few laughs from Aaron Paul, the film is a rough look at what alcohol does to young people and it's anchored by one of the best performances of the year from Winstead.
Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward, Moonrise Kingdom - Slightly older then the already mentioned Quvenzhane Wallis; Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward charm and make us laugh so much in Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom. The two play Sam and Suzy, pen pal lovers who decide to run away together. Through a witty script and unforced child-like behavior, the two show us how true kids behave and just how awesome and funny, young love is.
Omar Sy, The Intouchables - Hard to really be surprised these days watching films, but Omar Sy pretty much blew me away when I recently saw The Intouchables. Playing a young man who has been in a lot of trouble he becomes a caretaker for a rich quadriplegic man learning all about life, sacrifice and the simple ability to care for someone else. It's a hilarious look at an unfortunate situation and I feel like the film will beat Amour for Best Foreign film thanks to Francois Cluzet and Sy's performances.
Dane DeHaan, Chronicle, Lawless, Lincoln - The true definition of a breakout year is standing out in every film you've been in, especially when no one really knows who you are. With Chronicle DeHaan plays a high school outcasts whose powers get the best of him. This is the role that made everyone go wow! He followed that up with solid supporting efforts in Lawless and Lincoln and has now grabbed the coveted role of Harry Osborn in the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man sequel. Have yourself a year kid!
Scoot McNairy, Argo, Killing Them Softly, Promised Land - Scoot has been a guy lurking in Hollywood for a few years and it seems like 2012 was simply his year. Battling Ben Affleck in Argo, McNairy and his stache put up just as good if not better performance in the Tehran hostage film. Following that out with the action mob flick with Brad Pitt and Oscar hopeful Promised Land and McNairy is poised for another huge year in 2013.