Oct 07 2008
The Sixth Sense has been on television quite often recently, and I realized how disturbed I was by the movie. And it wasn’t the fact that the movie is about a little kid who can see dead people. It was how damned good Haley Joel Osment was in the movie.
I mean quite honestly it’s a little freaky seeing a kid who isn’t even a teenager yet act better than adults. It’s really not surprising to me that most child actors don’t exactly pan out. I’m not sure what the exact reason is but maybe acting like an adult when you’re still 10 plus years away from adulthood has something to do with it.
Whatever the case, I decided to do a little research and find 10 acting performances by children that easily matched or exceeded those of their adult counterparts.
Ricky Schroeder, The Champ
“Champ! Champ!” Who can ever forget the scene where little Ricky Schroeder’s has been boxing father dies and he cries obsessively? Schroeder was adorable back then and did a great sob job in this movie. It’s nearly impossible to not cry when Ricky Cries. Schroeder went on to have a pretty successful acting career afterwards. One of the few.
Haley Joel Osment, The Sixth Sense
I said it up top and I’ll say it again. It’s truly disturbing to see how good Osment was in this movie. No clue what Osment is up to now. But he looks very weird as a 20 year old.
Shirley Temple, Bright Eyes
The original premiere child actor, Temple’s ability to draw in just about anyone was unmatched. Her charm and cute looks were addicting but that she had an uncanny sense of all this at such a young age was even more impressive. She knew when to use her talents and when to suck the audience in.
Natalie Portman, The Professional
This was an excellent movie and great acting performances by everyone. Portman was incredible as the young and troubled Matilda. He interactions with Jean Reno were definitely memorable. Though some of the stuff was a little disturbing. I think it’s only because she was so young and seeing her say “I love you” to a grown man gave me the willies.
Salvatore Cascio, Cinema Paradiso
A. This movie was incredible and B. This kid couldn’t have been any cuter if he tried.
Justin Henry, Kramer vs. Kramer
I dare you. I repeat DARE you not to cry in one of the final scenes of the movie where Henry and Hoffman are making French Toast. I swear to God I just got chills thinking about it.
Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine
I wonder if she got nominated because she did a strip scene in this movie. I mean Halle Barry got an award for Monster’s Ball. You think she’d have won if she didn’t do that hardcore sex scene? No chance. It filtered onto Breslin. OK I’m kidding and wrong. Breslin was definitely solid in this flick.
Mara Hobel, Mommie Dearest
Here’s another “disturbing” performance. First of all the movie was insane and Faye Dunaway did a great job as Joan Crawford. However, Mara Hobel did a phenomenal job as little daughter Christina taking abuse and shot after shot. Must have been a very tough role for a child to play.
Dakota Fanning, Man on Fire
You can’t have a list like this without mentioning Fanning. And I personally felt of all the movies I’ve seen her in, the chemistry she had with Denzel Washington in this movie was excellent. It was literally like watching an adult act in a child’s body.
Darsheel Safary, Taare Zameen Par
Is this kid gonna have a career after this movie? I don’t know man. Those teeth need to get fixed. Plus I heard he’s a little priss. He won “Best Child Actor” award for this movie but was pissed he didn’t win the overall best actor award. Whatever you little punk. Nice job though! P.S. He’s making 7.5MM for his next movie.
* I cannot mention Macauly Culkin or the Olsen Twins, sorry.
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