Breakout Film: "Inside Llewyn Davis"
Why They're On Here: He stole the show in his first lead role as fictional folk singer Llewyn Davis in the Coen Brothers' Cannes entry, navigating the 60s folk scene in New York with charm and appeal. His performance is already generating a lot of Oscar buzz. He also arrested our ears with a stellar voice, but no surprise there -- it turns out he's been singing since he was young, and he even played lead guitar and sang vocals in his own band.
What's Up Next: Tons of things. Isacc's acting resume is already pretty long, but he's playing some big parts in the future. He has a meaty part in the upcoming adaptation of "Therese," the Emile Zola novel. Isaac is thrown in with the likes of Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Felton, Mackenzie Crook, and Jessica Lange in a world of love and sexual repression in 1860s Paris. He co-stars opposite Kirsten Dunst and Viggo Mortensen in "The Two Faces of January" as a Greek local who gets wrapped up in the suspicious activity of a husband and wife con-artist team. His next bona-fide lead will be the title role in "The Ballad of Pablo Escobar," the true story of a Colombian drug lord. He has several more projects in development, but details are scant.
Profession: Writer, director, actress
Breakout Film: "Upstream Color," "Sun Don't Shine"
Why They're On Here: Amy Seimetz is having a moment. The writer-actress-filmmaker has for the better part of a decade been making a name for herself on the indie film circuit by working with everyone from Lena Dunham on "Tiny Furniture" to Joe Swanberg" in "Alexander the Last" to anchoring Megan Griffith's acclaimed Sundance character study "The Off Hours." This year, however, marks Seimetz biggest one yet. First came Shane Carruth's "Upstream Color," in which she co-starred with the writer-director in one of the most perplexing indies to come along in ages. And this summer saw the theatrical release of her directorial debut "Sun Don't Shine," a 16mm shot, micro-budget portrait of a couple (Kentucker Audley and Kate Lyn Sheil) on the run for murder, in addition to her appearing on the small screen in Christopher Guest's HBO comedy series "Family Tree," and the surprise third season of AMC's "The Killing."
What's Up Next: In August you can catch her in Adam Wingard's acclaimed horror pic "You're Next," opposite Ti West and Swanberg. She also has three features in the can, including West's upcoming horror "The Sacrament."
Profession: Writer, director, producer, actress
Breakout Film: "In a World..."
Why They're On Here: Lake Bell, the tall and lanky comedienne best known for her work on Adult Swim's "Children's Hospital" and HBO's now-defunct "How To Make It In America," proved herself to be a quadruple threat when "In a World...," her feature writing-directing debut (which she also co-produced and stars in), world premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to a rave response from the packed house at the Library Theater. It was picked up by Roadside Attractions and opens August 9.
What's Up Next: She's currently filming the sports drama "Million Dollar Arm" opposite Jon Hamm, Bill Paxton and Alan Arkin, under the direction of "Lars and the Real Girl" helmer Craig Gillespie. Thoma McCarthy ("The Visitor," "Win Win") penned the screenplay.
Breakout Film: "What Maisie Knew"
Why They're On Here: She was only 7 when she made "What Maisie Knew," but she grabbed our attention as a young New Yorker caught in the middle of her parents' custody battle. She garnered praise and affection from her adult costars and acted with subtle honesty, even though her mom still had to help her learn her lines. In fact, she dominated the film, and surprised her co-stars with her process. Co-star Alexander Skarsgard is a fan, saying "She's so sensitive, and real. I work for months, and I think about my character, I analyze everything. Then you show up on set, and she’s a million times better than I am. I'm like, 'Come on!! This is not fair!'"
What's Up Next: No projects yet, but the world seems to be captivated by this little ball of energy, who doesn't let her adorable real life personality get in the way of a serious role. She seems to be heading for great things.
Breakout Film: "The Great Gatsby"
Why They're On Here: While Baz Luhrmann's Cannes opening night entry, "The Great Gatsby," earned mixed reviews, most agree on one thing: That Australian newcomer Elizabeth Debicki stood out among the starry cast, despite only appearing in a handful of scenes. As the golfing, long limbed beauty Jordan Baker, Debicki radiated a cool confidence -- no small feat considering she landed the role mere months after leaving the Victorian College of the Arts, and had to act opposite a heavyweight like Leonardo DiCaprio, under the direction of one of her country's most revered filmmakers.
What's Up Next: She's currently performing in a production of "The Maids" for Sydney Theater Company with Cate Blanchett and Isabelle Huppert in Australia.