Ok, so I just finished watching Once Upon a Time in America for the first time and I now have a new favourite film. Part of this was the astonishing performances by the child actors in the first half of the film. I was wondering what your favourite child performances are?
Kiernan Shipka on Mad Men
Most Dakota Fanning Performances
I’m sure there are others…. Lol
I forgot Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver
Maybe not the best ones ever, but the two I immediately thought of were Bridge to Terabithia and Moonrise Kingdom.
The little sister in Tomboy
Brooke Shields in Pretty Baby
Jodie Foster in TAXI DRIVER
Tatum O’Neal in PAPER MOON
Alfred Lutter in ALICE DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE
Shirley Temple in THE LITTLE PRINCESS
Mary Badham in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
Haley Joel Osment in THE SIXTH SENSE
Sarah Steele in SPANGLISH
more recently….Amara Miller in THE DESCENDANTS…astounding
The little girl in Enter The Void, she is the fucking devil.
I instantly think of Natalie Portman in “Leon”.
What actor, living or dead, can compare with Honey Boo Boo?
I’m surprised Spirit of the Beehive hasn’t already been mentioned.
Jean-Pierre Leaud in The 400 Blows
Christian Bale in Empire Of The Sun
Ana Torrent in Spirit of the Beehive
Yella Rottlander in Alice in the Cities
Stephen Archibald in My Childhood
Aida Mohammadkhani in The White Balloon
Recommended Films about Children
Ana Torrent in Spirit of the Beehive
Oh yes, i was talking about her and the 2 films the other day with our Spanish vet. She’s adorable!
Who’s our Spanish vet?
That little boy in THE HOURS, who plays Julianne Moore’s son. Wow.
it’s ana torrent by a mile of course but i love these two too
Victoire Thivisol in Ponette. 4 years old.
Whenever people mention Ana Torrent in these discussions, I have to agree, but then also point out how great the performance of Isabel Tellería is as Ana’s sister.
Jodelle Ferland was astounding in Terry Gilliam’s Tideland.
Yes, I was impressed by the little sister in The Philadelphia Story. What’s her name? Did she have a decent career?
David Gordon Green’s George Washington had some great child performances.
The slum kid in Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay.
Natalie Portman in Beautiful Girls.
HJO in The Sixth Sense.
The little chubby kid in Bad Santa.
The prodigy kid in Magnolia.
The black adopted daughter in Lovely and Amazing.
Michelle Monaghan’s son in Trucker.
Nicholas Cage’s son in Knowing.
The daughter in Off the Map.
edit- these are not GOAT, just some performances I enjoyed off the top o my noggin.
I agree with Hellshocked.
Since it’s seldom mentioned in the several threads we already have on this very subject, young Anthony
Borrows as the title character in Stephen Frears’ “Liam” is worth a nod.
Also memorable was Peggy Ann Garner’s heartbreaking performance in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, for which she won an Oscar. And who can forget Brigitte Fossey in Forbidden Games?
@mogambo: the sister in philadelphia story was virginia weidler
“Victoire Thivisol in Ponette. 4 years old.”
I’m also a big fan of the kids in Forbidden Games and more recently Tomboy. Also, the titular ‘kid’ in The Kid With a Bike was very good.
The French are just more honest about childhood.
Nikolai Burlyayev as the war orphaned Ivan in Ivan’s Childhood.
Victoire Thivisol in Ponette. 4 years old….the youngest actress to win the Volpi Cup Best Actress Award at the Venice Film Festival.
These are all responsive performances but I wonder how much is the child and how much the director. Even extraordinary work like Patty Duke in “The Miracle Worker” is, to me, largely due to the director’s influence. The child has no rich memory bank that they can draw on and no technique. Yes, they have imagination and few inhibitions and they too operate on instinct but can they choose creatively what is true for the character? Are they mimicking the adults? I think that giving acting prizes to children is ridiculous.
Jean-Pierre Léaud – The 400 Blows
Georges Poujouly, Brigitte Fossey – Forbidden Games
Jamie Bell – Billy Elliott
Stefano Colagrande – Incompreso