Top 3 Tuesday - child debut performances

I'm fascinated by the depth some child actors are able to bring to their performances. Sometimes they put the seasoned adults to shame! It always amazes me when a child can tap into complex emotions and convey them so convincingly onscreen, especially when it is their first time filming a movie.

So today I've found my top 3 child debut performances...

3) Jonathan Lipnicki as 'Ray' in Jerry Maguire -  this gets a spot in my top 3 because of the cute factor. :-) Little Jonathan was only five years old when he starred as cheeky Ray alongside Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger in this touching film. He had some adorable one-liners - such as "the human head weighs eight pounds!" :-) And he manages to show sadness and tenderness when needed as well. Pretty impressive for such a young kid.

2) Dakota Fanning as 'Lucy' in I Am Sam - in one of my all-time favourite films seven-year-old Dakota plays the sensitive, intelligent, loving daughter of Sean Penn's mentally handicapped Sam. In a performance that is fierce and strong while simultaneously showing the vulnerability of a child, Dakota is able to bring so much emotional intensity to the film. She is love and compassion personified, and she shows Lucy's heartache just as powerfully as any of the adults in the movie.

1) Tom Holland as 'Lucas' in The Impossible - I saw this film yesterday and was so in awe of Tom's performance that it inspired me to write this week's Top 3 Tuesday. In an emotionally draining film about the real-life 2004 tsunami disaster, Tom manages to hold his own amongst all the adults. Tom's Lucas not only has to survive the raging waters but also support his injured mother, all the while faced with a horrifying reality that forces him to grow up pretty quickly. Tom expertly shows Lucas to be terrified and yet brave all at once. We never forget this is a child we're watching go through very grown up anguish and hell-on-Earth, but we can see the man emerging from within this resourceful adolescent. Tom's screen debut is a superb piece of acting and I can't wait to see what this talented young actor does next.


  1. So glad you mention Tom Holland. I too was really taken with his performance. I agree that we never forget that it is in fact a child we are watching, so he has managed to portray this role perfectly.

  2. Dakota Fanning is a much better actor as a child then she is now. Her sister Elle on the other hand is just getting better and better.