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This story first appeared in the Jan. 25 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
1. Kaya Scodelario
Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes
The actress, 20, already familiar to British audiences for her role as Effy Stonem on Channel 4’s Skins, is said to knock it out of the park as a troubled girl who becomes preoccupied with a mysterious new neighbor bearing a striking resemblance to her dead mother in writer-director Francesca Gregorini‘s film.
2. David Lowery
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
All of the buzz surrounding the writer-director’s bleak, U.S. drama competition title, starring Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck as an outlaw couple on the run, is sweet revenge for the Texan. His previous film, 2009’s St. Nick, was turned down by Sundance (it instead screened at SXSW).
3. Kathryn Hahn
Long relegated to sidekick and cameo roles in such films as Our Idiot Brother and Step Brothers, Hahn, 38, seizes the spotlight in the dark comedy, another entry in the U.S. dramatic competition. Jill Soloway directs her in the role of a well-to-do mother who takes home a stripper (Juno Temple) whom she attempts to save.
4. Danai Gurira
Mother of George
The 34-year-old actress, best known as the fierce, sword-wielding Michonne on AMC hit The Walking Dead, is garnering heat for her turn as a fertility challenged African immigrant desperately trying to save her marriage in Andrew Dosunmu‘s U.S. drama submission.
5. Miles Teller
The Spectacular Now
All grown up since his supporting turn opposite Nicole Kidman in Rabbit Hole, the 25-year-old stars in James Ponsoldt‘s coming-of-age film, in the U.S. dramatic competition, as a budding alcoholic who strikes up a relationship with a classmate (Shailene Woodley).
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