Is Quvenzhane Wallis Too Young For An Academy Award?

February 13, 2013  |  

From The Grio

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Beasts of the Southern Wild” star Quvenzhane Wallis is an actress of talent, poise and maturity well beyond her years.

She was only 5 years old when she auditioned and 6 when she played the part of Hushpuppy, a little girl of fierce strength and resourcefulness living with her daddy in a squalid slab of Louisiana swampland known as The Bathtub. She was just a regular kid from nearby Houma, La. — she’d never even acted before, and actually pretended to be a year older than she was to be considered.

Now, at only 9, Quvenzhane (Kuh-VAHN-zuh-nay) is the youngest-ever actress nominee at the Academy Awards. Altogether, “Beasts” has four nominations at the Feb. 24 ceremony, including best picture.

While her presence is undeniable, Quvenzhane’s nomination raises the question: How young is too young to compete for an Oscar, the film industry’s highest honor, which has eluded performers with decades more experience and acclaim? Is a child really capable of acting, with craft, or do these performances reflect uncanny instinct?

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  • Cud_Care_Les

    An actor/actress can act for all of their life, but if they aren’t portraying a
    part that is Oscar worthy, then just because they are “old” or have
    been acting for years does not automatically deem them Oscar worthy.
    There is not seniority in acting. Lots of people in many professions don’t get the things they
    “feel” they deserve, because someone better comes along and acquires
    it. I don’t know of many 6 year-olds who could pull off what she did, you
    can’t teach her body language or what she brought to this film. She left
    me captivated and wanting more. People are finidng everything that
    that they deemed wrong with her acting to justify their selfish want of who they felt should have been nominated. Thank God that there are others in higher places that
    see Quvenzhané Wallis for her worth and not just her age (if that is all that
    is being seen). Now to answer your question … NO!! Her age has nothing to do with whether she is ready or not!
    Her performance makes her ready for an Oscar and everything else that she is being blessed to receive. What God has for her, no man or woman can take away.

  • IllyPhilly

    There’s an award for people who get paid ridiculous amounts of money to pretend to be doctors, and teachers, and soldiers. Who gives a sh!t how young or old they are. It’s hard out there for a p!mp won an Oscar.

  • LC

    Um no…Shirley Temple wasn’t too young to be nominated :-/
    She has talent and deserves to be honored!

  • autumn

    My issue is not with the little girl for being a candidate for an Academy Award. Congratulations are indeed well deserved. However, when I think of a little child receiving such a sought after award I think of someone who is very well rounded. Meaning in school from 7:00-3:15, doing homework and then practicing for her role, all while being nominated for an Academy Award. Not being home schooled two hours a day and rehearsing eight (I highly doubt she is in school like a regular student, and being a full time actress at the same time). This child and any other should be focused on school because at ten she has a lot of money to make and a lot of time to stay relevant if she does not intend on seeking a good, quality education first. I wish her much success !!

    • What does her being home schooled have to do with her PERFORMANCE in the movie? That’s the only thing that should be up for discussion when it concerns an Oscar nomination.

  • me

    How old was Tatum O’Neal when she got hers? Ten right? A good turn is a good turn. If this was some little white (or racially ambiguous) girl this would not even be asked.

  • Lu Lu

    The girl from true blood won at like 11 if you good u good age is irrelevant