Top 10 Breakthrough Performances of 2014

Marie Skillern| December 29, 2014
Movie Studio Performances
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This has been one stellar year for the movie industry. From interstellar travel to the dark side of journalism, there is no doubt that the filming world has had quite an innovative year. These productions, of course, would not be the kind of movies that they are if it were not for the actors who made their roles come to life.

Interstellar Performances
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Nightcrawler Performances
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You may have seen Hollywood greats perform their best in this year’s great many films. But, what must really have caught your attention and everyone else’s including the critics is the fact that this year also saw many breakthrough performances of a number of rising superstars.

We may not have seen them credited as much in their previous projects, but their current projects have launched them into recognition. Many of them might even be upcoming contenders for the prestigious Academy Awards or any award for that matter.

Moovie Set Performances
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Below is a listing of this year’s breakthrough performances that are sure to have everyone watching out for them next:

counting down Here are the top 10 breakthrough performances of 2014

10.) Ellar Coltrane (Boyhood)

Ellar Coltrane Performances
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This award winning movie is a coming of age story, which was shot over an 11 year period from May 2002 to October 2013. The movie tells the growth of a young boy and his sister to adulthood.

Despite the fact that Coltrane had no previous acting experience prior to the movie, his young age has definitely helped him pick up his acting skills, which allowed him to give out a natural and genuine performance.

9.) Macon Blair (Blue Ruin)

Macon Blair Performances
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Revenge is quite a recurring theme among Hollywood films and this was delivered greatly by the movie Blue Ruin. The movie recounts the tale of an outsider who returns to his hometown to exact his revenge but eventually finds himself protecting his estranged family instead.

Blair’s portrayal of desperation mixed with pent up anger and lack of emotional resolution are clearly reflected and seen in his performance.

8.) Evan Peters (X-Men: Days of Future Past)

Evan Peters
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Indie films are usually the source of many breakthrough performances that launched actors into the mainstream and one of those that got lucky this way is Jennifer Lawrence. It is not that often when mainstream movies provide that kind of career-defining opportunity. However, there is one rising star that got this break.

This actor is Evan Peters, who portrayed the younger Quicksilver in the latest X-Men movie. The young actor channeled the cool and cocky assurance reminiscent of the character with quite ease.

7.) Essie Davis (Babadook)

Essie Davis
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Who knew horror movies could land a breakthrough performance? Essie Davis gained recognition for her performance as the troubled mother who is battling a supernatural being in their home with her son. Her portrayal of her role was definitely part of what gave the movie its real suspense and tension.

6.) Agata Trzebuchowska (Ida)

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Ida’s tory revolves around how a nun eventually discovers that she is Jewish, who was hidden in the convent from the Nazis. From there, her story of exploration of faith, identity and womanhood begins to unfold. Despite the fact that she may have little screen time, Agata’s timeless performance brought her out to the world.

5.) Dan Stevens (The Guest)

Dan Stevens
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Dan Stevens is quite known for his role in the television series Downton Abbey. In The Guest, he plays the role of a teenager who becomes suspicious of a soldier who might be responsible for a string of mysterious deaths. His perfect combination of charm that hides an undercurrent of menace helped keep the audience suspicious of what he is really doing.

4.) Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy)

Chris Pratt
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He may have voiced the lead character in 2014’s The Lego Movie but his breakthrough performance came when he played the lead role of Peter Quill in Marvel Comics’ Guardians of the Galaxy. He plays the role of Star Lord and does so with great ease. He gave this role justice with his comic timing and laid back breezy performance. His portrayal of a not so typical action star played by the likes of Tom Cruise gave him recognition.

He has been named to star in the highly anticipated Jurassic World, where we can expect to see a more serious character from him.

3.) Sarah Snook (Predestination)

Sarah Snook
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Predestination focuses on the concept of time travel. Although the movie may have run short of a perfect sci-fi expectation, Australian actress Sarah Snook gave the movie some justice with her performance.

Here, she gives her role a thin line between femininity and masculinity, which greatly translates to the movie’s underlying issues surrounding transgenderism.

2.) Jack O’ Connell (Starred Up)

Jack O' Connell
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Starred Up recounts the tale of a violent teenager, who gets caught up with his equally if not more violent father when he ends up in prison. The story is based on writer Jonathan Asser’s experience working as voluntary therapist at HM Prison Wandsworth with some of the city’s most violent criminals. It was O’Connell’s intense yet empathetic performance that has gained him the kind of recognition he is now getting as a breakthrough artist.

1.) Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)

Eddie Redmayne
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Hollywood actor Benedict Cumberbatch delivered a wonderful performance for this particular role in the BBC Television film Hawking. However, it was Eddie Redmayne’s unfolding portrayal of Stephen Hawking that can rightfully be termed as an Oscar worthy performance and which has caught quite a lot of people’s attention. It would not be surprising if he will earn himself a golden statue next year.

Check some of these breakthrough performances below:

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