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Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor/Actress
Fun fact: five years ago, this was the first award Jennifer Lawrence (then a striking teenager in the little-seen "The Burning Plain") ever won. A nice idea in theory, the prize often proves tricky in practice: most years, there simply aren't enough outstanding contenders between the Competition films to make it seem worthwhile.(Sometimes, the jury stretches the definition of "young actor" to give themselves more options: Mila Kunis was 25 when she won for "Black Swan" three years ago.) With names like Mia Wasikowska ("Tracks") and Dakota Fanning ("Night Moves") almost too established for the jury's liking for a reward generally dedicated to more up-and-coming talent, Sheridan seems the no-brainer here. An obvious future star, and the only teen with a lead role in Competition, he's solid in David Gordon Green's grim Southern drama "Joe," even if the performance does nothing "Mud" didn't already tell us he can do. I'm tempted, however, to count on the jury avoiding the obvious, and instead picking fiery ensemble player Adila Bendimerad in well-received Algerian entry "The Rooftops." As for my preference? Established or not, Wasikowska is among her generation's best.
Will win: Tye Sheridan, "Joe"
Should win: Mia Wasikowska, "Tracks"
Other possibilities: Adila Bendimerad, "The Rooftops"; Pia and Chiara Kleemann, "The Police Officer's Wife"; Chloe Bolota, "Miss Violence"