Last week, we picked out ten actors who are On The Rise, a group of guys who all impressed us in recent roles and likely have put themselves on the radar of Hollywood, with names like Corey Stoll, Alex Karpovsky, Jack Reynor and Omar Sy coming to our attention.
So this week, it only seems natural to turn our focus to the actresses. There's been a pretty impressive crop of late, with stars like Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain and Felicity Jones breaking out, and the likes of Elisabeth Moss, Andrea Riseborough, Juno Temple, Rooney Mara, Emma Stone, Nicole Beharie and Brie Larson figuring on our previous lists.
So who have we gone for this time around? Again, we tried to emphasize people whose skills and talent we can attest to, rather than picking out the names on every casting shortlist, but the latter's true for some of the actresses below too. You can read our ten picks below, and let us know your own favorites in the comments section.
Looking like a genetically-engineered blend of Carey Mulligan and Abbie Cornish, part-Australian, part-British 23-year-old Adelaide Clemens (who was born in Japan, and raised in France and Australia) has every chance of following them into stardom. Clemens started out in TV back in Australia before breaking into movies with a small role in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," before graduating to a lead role with "Wasted On The Young" with "Chronicle" star Alex Russell. This led to some biggish roles in indies ("Camilla Dickinson," long-delayed Keanu Reeves vehicle "Generation Um...") and horror flicks ("No One Lives," "Silent Hill: Revelation"), and while not the stuff that A-list stardom is made of, Clemens always acquitted herself well in the films. But things changed with HBO miniseries "Parade's End," in which Clemens was cast as Valentine Wannop, the young suffragette object-of-the-affections of Benedict Cumberbatch's Christopher Tietjens. Clemens had to fight hard for the role, walking to her London audition in period garb to convince director Susannah White and writer Tom Stoppard, but it paid off, and Clemens was terrific, easily proving her place among a superb cast. At one time, she was meant to be among the cast of "Mad Max: Fury Road," but fell out when the film was delayed. That's not a huge problem, though; she's got another big homegrown production on the way, playing Myrtle Wilson's sister Catherine in Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby." And next month she stars in the first ongoing series from the Sundance Channel, "Rectify," created by Ray McKinnon, and co-starring Luke Kirby, Hal Holbrook, J. Smith-Cameron and Abigail Spencer.
How many episodes did it take you? What point of "House of Cards" were you at when the penny dropped and you realized that Christina Gallagher, the aide/lover to Corey Stoll's tragic Congressman Peter Russo, was played by the same actress who last year headed up Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard's gloriously enjoyable meta-horror "The Cabin In The Woods"? That actress is 32-year-old Kristen Connolly, and we suspect that her one-two punch of late is going to get her much more work going forward. Apparently a one-time professional tennis player (though we can't find much evidence to back this up...), Connolly trained at Yale, and started out her career with bit parts in films like "Mona Lisa Smile," "The Happening" and "Meet Dave," before grabbing recurring roles on daytime soaps "The Guiding Light" and "As The World Turns." Some more high-profile TV gigs followed, but her big break finally arrived when she was cast as Dana, the not-as-virginal-as-she-might-appear heroine of "Cabin in the Woods." It's not quite Hedda Gabler when it comes to roles for woman, but Connolly was winning and capable, and proved to be equally so when she returned to the horror flick for Barry Levinson's "The Bay." But it was on "House of Cards" where she truly impressed. Though she didn't always get the best material, she proved to be a rare moral center of the show, and her relationship with Russo was truly heartbreaking. It looks like she's going to get more to do in season two, if the closing episodes are anything to go by, and we can't wait to see if she manages to stay clean, or if the corruption in the rest of Washington overtakes her.
If you're a keen follower of French cinema, it's likely that you've spotted a new face popping up routinely in the last few years, one who's undoubtedly impressed you with a brace of head-turning performances. And she's not even 20 yet. Lola Crèton made her debut a few years back, aged only 16, in Catherine Breillat's frustrating fairy-tale "Bluebeard," but while the film was a bit of a misfire, Crèton's screen presence was clearly going to lead to bigger and better things. And indeed it did. Two years later, Crèton starred in "Goodbye First Love," the fourth film from Mia Hansen-Love, playing Camille, something of a surrogate to the filmmaker, a teenage girl left distraught after her boyfriend leaves, only to reconnect with him over a decade later. Together with co-star Sebastien Urzendowsky, Creton gives a powerful performance, impressively aging from 15 to 30 and expertly capturing the naive longings, and the later worldly-wise, aspects of the character. And she kept it in the family for her next role. Hansen-Love's partner Olivier Assayas cast Crèton as Christine, who becomes the girlfriend of protagonist Gilles in his 1970s revolutionary tale "Something In The Air." Even at 19, she was the most experienced performer in the cast, and it shows; she gives easily the best performance in the film, and it suffers a little when she drops out of it. Crèton followed it, curiously, with a recurring guest spot on long-running, incredibly terrible British soap "Hollyoaks," but she's back on the auteur tip now, featuring in Claire Denis' upcoming "The Bastards," and we're sure there's lots more where that came from.