In Contention's Top 10 Performances in Steven Soderbergh Films
With 'Magic Mike' on the way, a look at the actors who excelled in the director's work
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1. Jesse Bradford in "King of the Hill" (1993)
And here we are. The best performance in a Soderbergh film is also, as luck would have it, contained in the director's own best work -- what a shame, then, that the film (despite competing once more at Cannes) was so sorely neglected upon its release, and remains so criminally underseen. As the young A.E. Hotchner -- the American writer on whose Depression-era memoir the film is based -- Jesse Bradford, then 13 years old, gives one of cinema's great child performances. That's largely because he's scarcely playing a child at all: as Aaron is forced into an accelerated coming of age by his hospitalized mother and mostly absent father, Bradford is often playing several ages at once, his adult hunger and loneliness punctuated with joyful flashes of immaturity, but never succumbs to cuteness. Now 33, he hasn't had an equivalent role since.