The 10 least annoying child performances!

Child actors. Love them or hate them …, well, we mostly hate them. It’s not their fault of course. Some movies need children – the truth is that most of them can’t act very well.

So it took a lot of soul searching to find the 10 least annoying child performances in movie history. These 10 kids go above and beyond the capabilities of their similarly aged-peers (and sometimes the adults too)! Interestingly, half of these actors scored Oscar nominations for their performances. As for the rest, well, it’s rehab for them! Ah, the great tradition of former child stars.

Playing Will Smith’s son probably isn’t the biggest stretch for Jaden Smith. I doubt that Daniel Day Lewis would marvel at Jaden’s method acting abilities. Sadly, Jaden has not been able to translate his achievements in The Pursuit of Happyness to other films. His performance in The Day the Earth Stood Still makes you contemplate the apocalypse as sweet relief from any universe that his character might inhabit.

Keisha scored an Oscar nomination for Best Actress at the ripe old age of 11, becoming the youngest ever nominee for that category! And she’s from New Zealand! That means she’s practically an Aussie! Good for us!

Nicholas Hoult’s work in About a Boy is one of the most underrated child performances ever. His innocence and vulnerability in the film transcends most adults. Who would have thought he’d go on to play the sex mad Tony in Skins? How fast these kids grow up.

Ivana must have been so excited when she found out she would star in a genuine fairytale. She was chosen from over 1000 young actresses who auditioned from the role of Ofelia. Little did the 11-year-old know she would spend most of her time crawling through mud and running from giant-eyeball-handed-baby-eaters. God bless you Ivana.

6. Adam Worton and Jacob Warton in Baby’s Day Out

A tour de force of human frailty, lost innocence and the tragedy of childhood. The Worton Brothers joint portrayal of Baby Bink is now iconic; forever immortalized in the upper echelons of cinematic greatness. Each brother brings something devastatingly real to the role: Adam, the tormented psyche of a baby undone a’la Brando in On the Waterfront; Jacob, the menacing madness of Huston circa The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. In a word – haunting.

Here’s one that doesn’t get talked about often enough. Blackman’s portrayal of Stanley is a small, yet central performance in a film full of wonderfully bizarre and broken characters. A child genius going through a personal crisis in the middle of a television game show – and he’s got quite the singing voice too.

Jodie Foster achieved what few child actors have in the past – a meaningful and respected career in their adult years. She would go on to collect two Best Actress trophies at the Academy Awards. The writing was on the wall really; ever since she starred as the prostitute Iris in Scorcese’s still-shocking Taxi Driver, she was destined for greatness. She was also in Bugsy Malone, which is slightly less confronting. Although that pie-fight was pretty hardcore.

OK, so he’s become a bit of a punch-line these days. But in 1999, Haley Joel Osment was the next big thing. He scored an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of a haunted young boy in The Sixth Sense, and became the inspiration for every spooky kid in every horror movie since. Umm, thanks Haley.

“She’s a very freaky girrrl. The kind you don’t take home to mutha!” Little Abbie stole the entire world’s heart as Olive Hoover, particularly when she started to strip during the Little Miss Sunshine Beauty Pageant. Fun fact: She is the sister of fellow child actor Spencer Breslin. She was nominated for an Oscar, and he gets shot in the face in The Happening. Sibling rivalry anyone?

Linda Blair takes the top spot thanks to her unbridled and completely fearless performance as the poor, possessed Regan. You can barely believe that the sweet innocent girl at the beginning of the film is the foulmouthed, crab-walking, blood-spewing, crucifix-defiling demon child of the film’s conclusion. There is an urban legend that Blair was indeed possessed by the devil during production. If she really had a deal with Beelzebub, how come she doesn’t have a career nowadays? Oh, snap!

Let us know who you love, and who we missed! And yes, there are A LOT of them!

12 Responses to “The 10 least annoying child performances!”

  1. what about the early movies with actors like shirley temple, liz taylor, hayley mills, micky rooney & bill mummy.

  2. Some suggestions:* Mary Badham, Philip Alford and John Megna as Scout, Jem and Dill in To Kill a Mockingbird.* Christopher Olsen as the little boy in Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much.* Danny Lloyd as Danny Torrance in The Shining. * Joanna Hunt-Prokhovnik as the daughter in Three Dollars.* Thomas Turgoose as Shaun in This is England. * Solene Le Pechen and Virgil Leclare as the young Mathilde and Manech in A Very Long Engagement.

  3. Christian Bale in Empire of the Sun…Thomas Sangster in Love Actually…Natalie Portman in Leon…And are you honestly giving the whole cast of Harry Potter a bye???

  4. Aaaah – Dakota Fanning. A real talent in I Am Sam that’s developing well as she gets older.

  5. largely beside the point but, nic hoult? played tony in skins. i think the kids from slumdog should get a mention! one of them falls into poo!

  6. my bad; typos are the bane of my existence!

  7. Thomas Turgoose in This Is England

  8. Jenna Boyd could have been a big star, but she grew up too fast.A child star who impressed me was Gigi Perreaux.

  9. I think you are forgetting THE child star of the 90’s! Does anyone remember a little known kid by the name of Mckaulay Culkin? He was Richie Rich, Thomas in My Girl. He’s also the godfather of Michael Jackson’s first child…fact!

  10. What about Ricky Schroder in ‘The Champ’. Absolute classic!

  11. To anonymous: they asked about the LEAST annoying. Except for Uncle Buck – Mr Culkin is ANNOYING.

  12. what about that little chinese boy in the Last Emperor? He was so adorable, and very well played.

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