THE BEST BREAKOUT STARS OF 2012
1. Channing Tatum-- The pretty face of Channing Tatum has always been around (Step Up, Dear John, G.I. Joe), but I have to give him his props. 2012 was a huge year for him with Haywire, The Vow, the little movie 10 Years, 21 Jump Street, and Magic Mike. Getting named People's "Sexiest Man Alive" sure helped that bottom line of impact. Because most of his performances were leading roles, he just barely edges #2.
3. Jennifer Lawrence-- Headlining the highly anticipated The Hunger Games was a star-making opportunity that she seized and made her own. She went on to top even that with her award-worthy polar opposite performance in Silver Linings Playbook. Both of those were enough to forgive House at the End of the Street. Keep an eye on her. She's going to be around a long time.
2. Joseph Gordon-Levitt-- The former child TV star followed arguably the best performance of his career in 50/50 last year with a year constantly in the spotlight in big movies. From almost stealing the show in The Dark Knight Rises and leading Looper to the above-average Premium Rush and landing on the supporting cast of Lincoln, JGL has been everywhere this year.
4. Jessica Chastain-- With four legitimate films that she could have been Oscar-nominated for in 2011, I should have given her this award last year. With Lawless and Zero Dark Thirty, she's proving that she's not a one-year wonder or temporary "it" girl. This woman has talent and soon might have an Oscar to prove it.
5. (TIE) Michael Stuhlbarg and Dane DaHaan-- These are two much smaller names that you may not know, but I've bet you noticed in more than a few places in 2012 (IMDB links are included). First, Michael Stuhlbarg (previously seen in Hugo, A Serious Man, and on TV's Boardwalk Empire) appeared in pivotal and diverse supporting roles in Men in Black 3, Seven Psychopaths, Hitchcock, and Lincoln. Dane DeHaan, who got his start on TV's True Blood and In Treatment, made his big splash as one of the teen leads in the breakout hit Chronicle and followed that up with good parts in Lawless and Lincoln. He just scored the Harry Osborn role for the sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man. These two will continue to shine in character roles.
HONORABLE MENTION: He only had one film (his feature debut) in 2012, but young Tom Holland ended up as the heart of The Impossible, besting the likes of Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor. Like Joel Courtney (Super 8) and Asa Butterfly (Hugo) last year, keep an eye on this young talent.
Locally, many of these movies are still playing at your local west side Chicago movie theaters. Be sure to check out showtimes and buy advance tickets from Fandango. Those that are on DVD and Blu-ray can be found at your local Redbox and Blockbuster locations here in the city. Enjoy a movie or trailer tonight!