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Best of 2010: Breakout Roles

The top five newcomers to steal the spotlight this year

So many of the best movies of 2010 showcased brand spanking new talent. Both silver screen newcomers and actors who came into their own in powerful starring roles, these showstoppers proved their staying power this year. Here are our top five picks for the breakout roles of 2010.

5. Elsie Fisher in Despicable Me
Without a doubt, Fisher’s voice brought her character, Agnes, to life. And without doubt, Agnes made the movie that was one of the best animated films of the year. Who can forget her hilarious freakout over the unicorn? It’s so FLUFFY! This is just the first of Fisher’s many voiceovers and comedy roles to come.

4. Banksy in Exit Through the Gift Shop
Although Banksy technically isn’t an actor, he’s earned his spot for delivering a rare glimpse into the world of street art through the eyes of its painfully private king. Banksy hangs his friend-turned-nemesis Mr. Brainwash out to dry and gives diehards a minute taste of his (albeit disguised) persona.

3. Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network
For the majority of the movie, Eisenberg is cold and calculating, almost sociopathic, but brief cracks in his armour gradually surface. Eisenberg keeps the audience guessing for most of the movie with a character that has more levels than his brainchild Facebook’s programming.

2. Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Inception
Gordon-Levitt appeared on our radar last year as a hopeless romantic in 500 Days of Summer. Despite his role in G.I. Joe last year, it was his calm & collected cerebral solver persona in Inception that hailed him as an action/thriller star and really put him on the map.

1. Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone
Newcomer Lawrence has been likened to Jodie Foster, though her performance in this film is far more powerful than any of young Foster’s. Lawrence is fighting to save her family but has unwavering grace and poise despite her setting. If she’s on the ballot for Best Actress this year she’ll have earned it wholeheartedly, and she’s only just begun.

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