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Would you like to see a child actor category at the Oscars?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Vash01, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Yuzuru, Medvedeva, T&M, Shibs, P&C

    It has bothered me for years that child actors (boys and girls together) don't get the recognition they deserve at the Oscars. The top performances get nominated for a supporting actor category, to compete against adults. Only a few have actually won the award (Tatum O'Neill and Anna Pacquin). Others had no chance at all.

    Of course the academy will have to define an age limit to be considered a child actor- should it be below 18/17/16, etc. by a certain date, or before the movie started filming or before it was released- all those will have to be defined.

    I don't buy that there are not enough child actor roles, if boys and girls are placed in one pool. In a few categories I have seen just 3 nominations (I think it may be make up or visual effects). It should be very easy to identify 3 child actors in a whole year that would be deserving of a nomination.

    Is there a reason the academy does not have this category? Neither does the Golden Globe or any other major organizations. I would also like to see it at the Golden Globes. If they can split into drama and comedy for movies, I don't see why cannot add a child actor category.
  2. Jenna

    Jenna Well-Known Member

    I would like to see this category instituted, as well.
  3. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    No. If there's a special child category then why not also teen category, a senior citizen category, and an animal acting category also.
  4. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    In the past they have given special "miniature" Oscars for outstanding performances by young actors.
  5. genevieve

    genevieve drinky typo pbp, closet hugger Staff Member

    No. There are very few child actor performances that are worthy of that level of recognition, and those that are usually end up being nominated. Having a separate category means we'd get tons of treacly, sentimental, and cutesy performances winning award in years when there's not anything extraordinary.
    Allen and (deleted member) like this.
  6. mag

    mag Well-Known Member

    ITA with Genevieve.
  7. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

  8. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    Oh, no to the 1,000,000th. There are enough pushy stage parents in show business already. This would only encourage them.

    Kids can be judged on the quality of their performances by the Academy voters just like adult actors are.

    If the Academy is going to add more categories to the acting awards, I think it's long overdue to have something like "best digitally enhanced performance by an actor", i.e. to recognize actors like Andy Serkis who was the model for Gollum in the Lord of the Rings films. He did the voice and modeled everything the character did for the animators, and did an absolutely amazing job, but as I understand it was not eligible to be nominated for an Oscar because his face and body did not appear on screen.
  9. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    Sure, get them to the rehab stage even faster.

    Also that:

  10. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

  11. duane

    duane Well-Known Member

    The most famous, of course, being Judy Garland for The Wizard of Oz. On the one hand, it was a disservice for JG because she was 16-17 when she made the movie and her ability to convincingly play a child deserved a Best Actress nomination. OTOH, a miniature Oscar is better than no Oscar at all (and there is NO WAY she would have beaten Vivien Leigh for Gone With The Wind).

    I agree that there shouldn't be a child actor category. For me, there are hardly any performances by child actors where I thought they were robbed of not being nominated for an Oscar.
  12. reckless

    reckless Well-Known Member

    I would like there to be a return to the juvenile Oscar as a discretionary award, which is given for special performances by child actors, but not an annual award. That is how it used to be. A lot of people say that the reason the award was discontinued was because Patty Duke's win for The Miracle Worker proved a child could win the big award. But I think another big reason was that most of the recipients of the juvenile Oscar never made the transition to adult roles, so it began to be an embarrassment to AMPAS.
  13. DBZ

    DBZ Well-Known Member

    ITA. When you really think about it, exactly how many stand-out performances by child actors are there every year--one, maybe two at best?

    There aren't a lot of complex, challenging roles written for kids to begin with IMO, let alone enough competent, emotionally mature kids to pull them off.

    The few gems that do exist usually get recognized (i.e. Anna Pacquin, Haley Joel Osment, Keisha Castle-Hughes, etc.).

    Can you name three outstanding performances by child actors for this year? I certainly can't, at least not in a supporting/leading role capacity.

    But logistics aside, I usually come down on principle with this. An acting performance should not be age contingent. If it moves you, it moves you...regardless if it comes from a 12 year old or 70 year old actor.

    If anything, I feel adding a child category would cheapen the significance of the achievement. What makes Tatum O'Neal and Anna Pacquin's win so amazing was that they were deemed the best amongst peers twice their age with significantly more experience, which is a testament to the merit of their performances, independent of their age.
  14. duane

    duane Well-Known Member

    Patty Duke was 15 at the time, which brings up the issue of when an actor is considered a "child". Anyone who is under 18? 16? 13?
  15. DaveRocks

    DaveRocks Wheeeeeeee!

    No! Non! Nein! Nyet! Ne! Nej! Nei!

    For so many of the reasons listed above.
  16. reckless

    reckless Well-Known Member

    I can think of a few that would be deserving of consideration:

    Asa Butterfield and Chloe Moretz in Hugo
    Hunter McCracken in Tree of Life
    Khomotso Manyaka in Life, Above All

    Still, I think the award would work best if it were an occasional award when there really is a standout performance deserving of recognition.
  17. liv

    liv Well-Known Member

    there are points for both sides. The extra pressure by parents is definitely a consideration for not having them...

    What movies in the past do you think the child actors were worthy of an oscar but didn't get recognition?

    I remember wondering why Christian Bale didn't get a nomination for Empire of the Sun.
  18. reckless

    reckless Well-Known Member

    I guess it depends on what you mean by recognition, since there are some performances that have been nominated, but not awarded. Christian Bale in Empire of the Sun is one standout. Here are a few others:

    Haley Joel Osment - nominated for Sixth Sense, but not for AI
    River Phoenix - Stand By Me (he was nominated for Running on Empty, but was 18 or 19 by that time)
    Natalie Portman - Leon: The Professional
    Jamie Bell - Billy Elliot
    Elijah Wood - Radio Flyer
    Joe Mazzello - Radio Flyer, Shadowlands, The Cure, Simon Birch
    Edward Furlong - Terminator 2, American Heart
    Max Records - Where the Wild Things Are
    Ivana Baquero - Pan's Labyrinth
    Freddie Highmore - Finding Neverland
    Dakota Fanning - I Am Sam
    Kåre Hedebrant - Let the Right One In
    Lina Leandersson- Let the Right One In
    Christina Ricci - The Addams Family
    Vash01 and (deleted member) like this.
  19. DaveRocks

    DaveRocks Wheeeeeeee!

    One of my favorite movies ever. So :( that he's gone.
  20. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

    I'm still surprised that Kirsten Dunst wasn't nominated for Interview With A Vampire. It was a very difficult role and she was entirely believable.
    PeterG and (deleted member) like this.
  21. DBZ

    DBZ Well-Known Member

    Well, this is kinda assuming that these performances weren't nominated for oscars because they came from child actors, no?

    I mean, only 5 people get nominated each year in each acting category. There's always going to be actors who get passed over for a myriad of reasons that have nothing to do with age.

    There are tons of other equally powerful performances each year that I feel go unacknowledged by the academy, many of them I would argue were better than a lot of the performances in your list.

    But that's subjectivity for ya. The Oscars are about 80% politics and 20% actual merit IMO, so it's futile to try and compensate for those who fall through the cracks because the list would then be endless.

    Yeah, some deserving kid might lose out because he's a child actor, but another well-deserving actor might go unrecognized because he's black, or Asian, or in a low-budget film, or doesn't have Harvey Weinstein backing them, etc.

    Should they each be given their own category?

    Oh, one last thing:

    Um, seriously? An oscar nod for that performance? :huh: :p ;)
  22. duane

    duane Well-Known Member

    I agree here. Definitely deserving of a nomination.
  23. victoriaheidi

    victoriaheidi New Member

    I don't think the category would help anyone. Because, in all honesty, what does a kid need with an Oscar? Oscars clearly don't project long-term success, and, as Colin Firth said, they're basically the pinnacle of someone's career. Just look at one of my favorite Broadway kids, Andrea McArdle (who didn't win the Tony): her main selling point is a role she played at age 12. Has this benefitted her? Sure, she's recorded some CDs and done some roles, but why peak before puberty?

    Really, an Oscar isn't going to push a kid any further in life.
  24. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

    I question how much a child can really act, versus just playing him or self. Good acting requires a capacity for self-reflection and the observation of others. I'm not sure at what age that capacity becomes actualized, but I doubt it is before the teen years.
  25. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    During the teen years, yes.
  26. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    It'll give him a bigger paycheck for his next few projects, which could financially set him and his family up nicely if they play their cards right. An acting career can be fleeting for most, so it's best to grab a big a piece of the pie as you can while you still got "IT".
  27. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    An example for someone who I think deserves a nomination this year, despite her age, is Mélusine Mayance from Sarah's Key. I find it disheartening that I haven't heard her name mentioned even once as someone who deserves a nomination. I don't even know if she is among the nominees in the all of these critic awards or if they only post winners.
  28. Cachoo

    Cachoo Well-Known Member

    Gwyneth Paltrow was not a child when she won but sometimes I get the sense she might think "too much too soon." I'd rather not see this category.
  29. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    How many actors that won an Oscar as a child went on to a distinguish acting career as an adult? Tatum O'Neill didn't. Anna Paquin is working steadily, but I think her acting is merely adequate.
  30. soxxy

    soxxy Guest

    Patty Duke won a competitive Oscar and worked steadily, including (or especially) television. Can't think of other child actors who won other than the two mentioned above. I'm sure Patty won Emmys, wrote books, etc.

    ETA: I'd say no to a special child actor Oscar category.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2011