Kid Thesps

Discuss all the finest actors, living or dead -- their films, their talents, and their weird, drug-related escapades.

Kid Thesps

Postby Seppuku on Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:37 pm

Sure, all those method men- your Marlon Brandos and Day Lewis's- are all well and good, but if you ask me some of these little kids act the socks off 'em as far as looking natural's concerned. Not sure what it is, maybe it's the fact that they haven't got all the hang-ups grown-ups have- you know, like trying to gun for oscars or worrying about their receding hairlines, or getting caught with hookers called Divine Brown- so they can lose themselves a little better, but some of the best screen performances I've seen have come from people under four foot high.

Some of my favourites in no particular order:

Jean-Pierre Léaud in The 400 Blows.

The entire child cast of the original Lord of the Flies

The kid who plays the title role in the little-seen Russian flick, Ivan's Childhood.

Young Indiana Jones in Stand by Me.
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Postby Brocktune on Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:39 pm

jodelle ferland - tideland
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Postby doglips on Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:40 pm

Brocktune wrote:jodelle ferland - tideland


Hell yeah, she was totally amazing, I hope the Oscar Noms are in her favour - probably not.
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Postby Ribbons on Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:56 pm

Keisha Castle-Hughes in Whale Rider. A little self-conscious, but in a natural way if that makes sense, and alternately cheerful and heartbreaking.

I liked Freddie Highmore in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as well, although the hype Depp gave him beforehand may have colored my opinion when I was watching the film. Incredibly affectless for a child performance.
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Postby Flumm on Thu Nov 16, 2006 10:15 pm

Me, You And Everyone We Know had a suite of memorable roles by child actors, I think. And a couple of slighty off key ones, but still, as the roles as written were stronger than normally given youfull pluck, or cyniical life lesson in waiting, I thought it still worked to the films and the actors benifit.

Namely, Miles Thompson and Carlie Westerman inparticular, I think.

All giving noticeably different things, also.

Plus the two sons from The Squid and The Whale And The Poolboy I thought did well, especially compared to the stregnth of the adult performances and the unusually demanding for a kid-thesp, inbetween-type themes being explored.
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Postby minstrel on Thu Nov 16, 2006 10:20 pm

I thought Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense was about the best I've seen.

And Anna Paquin in The Piano. She was amazing.
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Postby Flumm on Thu Nov 16, 2006 10:34 pm

Yeah, it may well be because I haven't been paying close enough attention, or because of Bobby and his rampantly icey libido, but Anna Paquin would have to be one of those young pups who it was inately expected that would do something a little more, I suppose...

Unfairly on her perhaps.
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Postby HollywoodBabylon on Fri Nov 17, 2006 1:38 pm

I'd go along with Leaud (The 400 Blows) and Kurlyaev (Ivan's Childhood) as well. Fine portrayals of childhood innocence and despair, as was a young actor called Alexei Kravchencko in a searing anti-war movie called Come And See (definitely not for the faint-hearted, this one).

Brandon de Wilde in Shane, Tatum O'Neal (Paper Moon) and Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver were all outstanding, considering their ages. And what about the leading kid actor in My Life As A Dog - a wonderful performance in a great movie. I still can't hold back the, ahem, tears when I watch this. Likewise, David Bradley in Ken Loach's Kes - one of the best pieces of naturalistic acting I've ever seen. (It's by far and away my fav Loach film). Anyone remember Linda Manz in Malick's Days Of Heaven? Strangely affecting, I thought. I wonder what happened to her afterwards? She all but disappeared.

On a more sombre note, the most disturbing and moving role I've seen by a young actor has to be by Fernando Ramos de Silva in Babenco's Pixote - about homeless street kids in Brazil. I'm not shocked by many movies, but I was by this; it's a searing, brutal yet tender film in some ways, made even more poignant by the fact that de Silva was a street kid himself and was killed in real life (under suspicious circumstances) just a few years after making Pixote.
This movie reads like his epitaph.
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Postby TheBaxter on Fri Nov 17, 2006 1:50 pm

brett kelly in bad santa.. or as he's better known around these parts... Thurman Murman

and natalie portman was really good back when it was still creepy to talk about her being hot.
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Postby DanielSan on Fri Nov 17, 2006 2:11 pm

Ribbons wrote:Keisha Castle-Hughes in Whale Rider.


Absolutely. I really enjoyed her performance. During her scene in the school production, I cried like a little girl.






And now she's pregnant.
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Postby TheBaxter on Fri Nov 17, 2006 2:13 pm

DanielSan wrote:
Ribbons wrote:Keisha Castle-Hughes in Whale Rider.


Absolutely. I really enjoyed her performance. During her scene in the school production, I cried like a little girl.






And now she's pregnant.


wow, those are some potent tears you've got.
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Postby unikrunk on Fri Nov 17, 2006 2:14 pm

Jackie Cooper; hands down.

/not pants, you fucking pervs
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Postby godzillasushi on Fri Nov 17, 2006 2:17 pm

That kid on the Chris Rock show seems to be very intellegent and does well.

EDIT: Its called Everybody Hates Chris I think.
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Postby Lady Sheridan on Fri Nov 17, 2006 2:29 pm

The two kids in "The Others" certainly creeped the hell out of me.

Kirstin Dunst was good in "Interview with the Vampire." It's probably the best performance she's ever given.
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Postby minstrel on Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:10 pm

Hmm. Nobody's mentioned Shirley Temple yet, and she's the most famous kid star of all time...
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Postby Brocktune on Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:18 pm

what does that tell you?
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Postby Brocktune on Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:20 pm

although shirley temple's daughter kicked ass when she used to play bass for the Melvins.
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Postby minstrel on Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:22 pm

Brocktune wrote:what does that tell you?


It tells me that people have short memories - they can't remember anything that happened before they were born.

Or maybe that everybody hates Shirley Temple.

Or maybe they think that Shirley Temple is an alcohol-free beverage.

Or maybe that everybody just didn't think of her yet.

I'm not a fan of hers in any incarnation. But who knows? Maybe she makes a great Thanksgiving feast, or something.
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Postby Brocktune on Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:55 pm

i do know that raymond scott and his quintette made an appearance in one of her movies. i have been wanting to see it for that reason. but i havent actually seen one of her movies. i must admit those commercials they used to show for that three pack of colorized versions of her films on tv used to really make me hate her without having seen the movies. but id watch the raymond scott one for sure.
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Postby TheBaxter on Fri Nov 17, 2006 4:03 pm

that british kid in 'about a boy' was good.
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Postby MasterWhedon on Fri Nov 17, 2006 4:19 pm

Ribbons wrote:Keisha Castle-Hughes in Whale Rider. A little self-conscious, but in a natural way if that makes sense, and alternately cheerful and heartbreaking.

I liked Freddie Highmore in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as well, although the hype Depp gave him beforehand may have colored my opinion when I was watching the film. Incredibly affectless for a child performance.

Yup, both of those definitely.

I also loved the kids in Millions and, better still, City of God. Natural, seemingly-effortless performances.
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Postby Lady Sheridan on Fri Nov 17, 2006 4:50 pm

I would shrug Shirley Temple off as a personality rather than an actress--she pretty much played herself in every film.

But she was incredibly young when she started--4 or 5 in her earliest films. And she carried those movies. It's pretty amazing for a kid that young. So I definitely think she deserves a spot.
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Postby unikrunk on Fri Nov 17, 2006 4:53 pm

Shirley Temple was scary, seriously. She was like a living, profoundly ALF, doll.

And she was a racist little scamp.
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Postby The Vicar on Fri Nov 17, 2006 5:18 pm

How about Natalie Portman in Leon - The Professional?

Or Dakota Fanning in Man on Fire?
( I know the kid seems to get a lot of shit in these threads, but she's appeared with a bevy of Oscar winners including Sean Penn, Robert Deniro & Denzel Washington - and held her own all the while )
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Postby unikrunk on Fri Nov 17, 2006 5:20 pm

Held her own? She was the best actor in 'Charlie, Charlie, Charlie' Hide and Seek.
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Postby darkjedijaina on Fri Nov 17, 2006 6:09 pm

Freddie Highmore? I thought his performance in Finding Neverland was really good.
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Postby unikrunk on Wed Nov 22, 2006 7:05 pm

darkjedijaina wrote:Freddie Highmore? I thought his performance in Finding Neverland was really good.


Seconded. My wife forced me to watch this film; I had no interest in it at all. Then she falls asleep 20 minutes in.

Two hours later, I am watching that little guy sitting on the park bench with Depp, and I am crying like crazy.

I was sooooo pissed at my wife. I was seriously depressed, and moved, by Freddie's performance. He is one tough little cookie.
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Postby minstrel on Wed Nov 22, 2006 7:11 pm

I'd like to see Finding Neverland. I'm a Depp fan, and Freddie impressed me in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Should be very good.

It's going on my list ....
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Postby unikrunk on Wed Nov 22, 2006 7:13 pm

minstrel - don't do it! It is a great film, but heart wrenching. unikrunk does not like to cry, unless it is from laughing.

Or laughing at something sad.

But not just sad. Sad bad.
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Postby minstrel on Wed Nov 22, 2006 8:26 pm

unikrunk wrote:minstrel - don't do it! It is a great film, but heart wrenching. unikrunk does not like to cry, unless it is from laughing.

Or laughing at something sad.

But not just sad. Sad bad.


I don't mind sad bad once in a while. Bad bad is another thing entirely, though.
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Postby Ribbons on Sun Mar 23, 2008 7:21 pm

It's alright to cry. Crying gets the sad out of you!
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Postby The Vicar on Sun Mar 23, 2008 8:07 pm

Ivana Baquero was a revelation in Pan's Labyrinth. Not easy acting across from things that, usually, are going to be added in post. Even for adults. She broke my heart.
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Postby HollywoodBabylon on Tue Mar 25, 2008 1:41 pm

The Vicar wrote:Ivana Baquero was a revelation in Pan's Labyrinth. Not easy acting across from things that, usually, are going to be added in post. Even for adults. She broke my heart.


Seconded, Vicar. She makes an interesting counterpoint actually to the young actress Ana Torrent who gave a beautiful and innocent performance in Erice's magisterial Spirit Of The Beehive - the film which Del Toro acknowledged was a direct influence and inspiration on Pan's Labyrinth.
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Postby AtomicHyperbole on Tue Mar 25, 2008 1:56 pm

Nice mention of Whale Rider earlier in the thread, I'd forgotten about that gem.

Recently watched The Golden Compass. MAN that was frustrating... she nearly nailed Lyra but I guess her inexperience made her feel flat and tonally off-base.

I do realise that previous sentence could've come off totally wrong-sounding. Phew! I managed to pull it off.

...

And that sentence.
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Postby DaleTremont on Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:58 pm

Ashley Bank in the Monster Squad!
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Postby DaleTremont on Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:02 pm

Also Linda Blair in the Exorcist.

And Thomas Turgoose in This is England.
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Postby The Vicar on Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:26 am

minstrel wrote:I'd like to see Finding Neverland. I'm a Depp fan, and Freddie impressed me in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Should be very good.


It is.
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Postby The Vicar on Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:27 am

HollywoodBabylon wrote:
The Vicar wrote:Ivana Baquero was a revelation in Pan's Labyrinth. Not easy acting across from things that, usually, are going to be added in post. Even for adults. She broke my heart.


Seconded, Vicar. She makes an interesting counterpoint actually to the young actress Ana Torrent who gave a beautiful and innocent performance in Erice's magisterial Spirit Of The Beehive - the film which Del Toro acknowledged was a direct influence and inspiration on Pan's Labyrinth.


I will go check that out.
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