Monday, 27 December 2010

New Faces & Ones to Watch from 2010

One of the wild things about oodles upon oodles of films over the year is getting to see actors grow and change over time. What's even more exciting is when you've actually been following that actor since the beginning and cheering them along the way. This year I've kept an eye out for for new faces gracing the screen, and here are those actors whose performances made me sit up a little straighter, get me curious and ask that important question of "Who *is* that?"

James Frecheville (J) in Animal Kingdom. Courtesy of eOne Films All copyrights Porchlight Films 2009

James Frecheville in Animal Kingdom
Newcomer James Frecheville blew me away in the crime-drama Animal Kingdom, as he adds an amazingly malleableness to character, whom we feel we literally are feeling molded throughout the film. He also has an amazing soft but also strong quality to him, that is very unusual to see.

Gemma Arterton
Gemma Arterton has certainly been busy with 2010 films including The Disappearance of Alice Creed, Clash of the Titans (2010), Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Tamara Drewe. But I first saw her in The Disappearance of Alice Creed last year and was thrilled to see the film get a 2010 theatrical release as even though it's a harsh film to sit through, it's absolutely amazing and she's got one of the most challenging roles in it. As she's been very busy on the screen this year, it's feels a little late in the game to have here, but her work is so good I wasn't going to let a little timing get in the way of someone whose been on my lists all freaking year!

Above: Ashley Bell in The Last Exorcism

Ashley Bell from The Last Exorcism
Ashley Bell gives us easily on of the most captivating and creepy physical performances of 2010, but more than she her character of Nell worms her way into you heart as well. Dancing that line of creepy and fragile is quite a feat and she pulls it off like no one else can. I can't wait to see more of here work. Check here to read or listen to my interview with Ashley Bell.

Ben Drew from Harry Brown
A.K.A. rapper/musician Plan B, Ben Drew totally won me over in his menacing role in Harry Brown, the performance itself is fantastic but he also gives a great interview on the DVD as well. Very strong performance, and really knows what he's talking about - I know this whole list is a 'one to watch' list, but believe you-me, he is one to watch. He's been busy too, with a role in the British film and will be directing a film called Ill Manors.

Tiio Horn and Trevor Hayes from The Wild Hunt
The Wild Hunt is going to be cropping up on a lot of my lists for 2010, but in this particular list I was particularly taken by Tiio Horn as Princess Evlynia / Lyn and Trevor Hayes as charismatic shaman Murtagh in the film set where LARPing and the real world collide. Both do a great job in their layered roles as role players, showcasing a depth and range to their characters that was a joy to see on screen.

FROZEN Shawn Ashmore Photo Credit Anchor Bay Entertainment

The Happy-to-See-Again, or Possibly For the First Time List Folks
There are several more new faces I found this year, but this section is all actors who you have probably seen before and I might be a little bit later to the game. Like Shawn Doyle whose performance as Ray in Grown Up Movie Star had me mystified that I'd never seen him before, but I'll be doing my homework on and checking out "Big Love" now. Also notable is Kevin McKidd, who this year played Poseidon in Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, which is one more glaring reason to watch Grey's Anatomy, because he is fantastic (although so far I'm working through Rome). Last up for this part of the list is a familiar face, but in a new snowy setting and that would be Shawn Ashmore who this year was in Frozen and "Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures", although lots of us I'm sure remember him as Iceman from the X-Men films I'm looking forward to seeing more and more of his work here on in.

And Finally, Just Deserts (aka I told you, I told you!)
There are 2 actors this year I am thrilled to see get more and more recognition because they are forces to be reckoned with and I can't wait to see more of them in the future (and we will!)

Andrew Garfield
I've been raving about him for years, ever since seeing Boy A at TIFF in 2006 - somewhere I have a ridiculously out of focus, dark picture from the very early morning Q&A. But he's been busy and getting more and more recognition this year, which is a great thing.
2010: The Social Network & Never Let Me Go
Previously Awesomeness: Boy A and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Upcoming: cast in the lead in Spider-man reboot (2012)

Tom Hardy
I've not made a secret that I didn't love Inception as much as most, but I do love it for nothing else than if it got people to see the amazingness of Tom Hardy. He's phenomenal, and I now know we will be seeing even more of him in the future.
2010: Inception
Previous awesomeness: Bronson and Star Trek: Nemesis
Upcoming: Warrior (2011), Mad Max Fury Road (2012) - lots of chatter on the casting including interviews on the new Mad Max, this he's not actually listed yet on IMDb page which is surprizing.

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