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On the Rise

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    "Bridesmaids" and "Submarine" Herald Great Things for Stars and Fans of UK's "The IT Crowd"

    It may not be the monster hit that its male-counterpart cousin, "The Hangover Part II," is so far, but "Bridesmaids" has been a pretty steady success (its weekly box office declines are better/lower than most films') and at the end of the day/year it will be remembered as one of the best comedies of 2011. While many will continue thinking of how great "Bridesmaids" is for female roles, though, one gentleman in the movie also stands out: Chris O'Dowd. The Irish actor could possibly be recognized by those moviegoers who saw him in small parts in "Dinner for Schmucks" or "Gulliver's Travels," but to most people, playing Kristen Wiig's adorable, ...

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    Who Were Your Favorite Breakthroughs and Scene-Stealers of 2010?

    If you haven't checked out The Playlist's annual celebration of the year's breakthrough performances, do so as soon as possible. They've noted that it was a good year for the female newcomer/standout, logical since it was a great year for actresses in general. The blog's writers have selected a few obvious choices (Jennifer Lawrence; Hailee Steinfeld; Armie Hammer) and a good number of surprises (Sarah Steele; Whitney Able; Dieter Laser). My favorite breakthrough of the year, listed alongside his "Animal Kingdom" costar Jackie Weaver, is Ben Mendelsohn. He actually may have given my favorite performance of the year, period. I saw the movie a ...

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    On the Move: Jessica Paré Finally Hitting "Stardom"?

    Now that actress Jessica Paré is moving up in the world of TV's "Mad Men," perhaps she'll also be able to get better film roles than her recent stint as a random topless blond in a hot tub in "Hot Tub Time Machine." She's had a few decent indie gigs in the past decade -- in spite of her big teeth, which were mentioned as being non-Hollywood-friendly in last night's "Mad Men" season finale -- including parts in Deepa Mehta's "Bollywood/Hollywood" and the 2001 boarding school drama "Lost and Delirious." But I continue to think of her mostly from her lead role in Denys Arcand's "Stardom," which should have been her true breakthrough back in 2000...

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    On the Rise: Rooney Mara of "The Social Network"

    Not only is David Fincher's "The Social Network" reaping critical accolades left, right and center, with lofty comparisons being made to everything from "The Godfather" (!) to "Citizen Kane" (!!), but the film is also proving itself to be a breeding ground for Hollywood's brightest stars of the future, with star-making turns from Jesse Eisenberg, a surprisingly credible Justin Timberlake, and future Spidey himself Andrew Garfield. Arguably the biggest talent to emerge from Fincher's Facebook drama is Rooney Mara, who reportedly beat out the likes of Ellen Page and Carey Mulligan, to re-team with Fincher for the role of a lifetime as Lisbeth S...

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    On the Rise: Andrew Garfield of "The Social Network"

    An actor lined up to take on one of the biggest comic book franchises in the world wouldn't normally make the cut for our On the Rise column. But when that young thespian, in this case 27 year-old shaggy haired Andrew Garfield, lands on the Hollywood tent pole ladder three years into his career, kud...

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    On the Rise: Olga Kurylenko of "Centurion"

    The vast majority of Bond girls predating the Daniel Craig era have a bad rep. Sure a crop of 007 flicks have had marquee names fill the hot pants or tight dresses of Bond's dames, but barely any have actually gone on to much following their 007 outing. Denise Richards was on the radar back the late 90's with memorable turns in "Starship Troopers" and "Drop Dead Gorgeous" before landing the role of Dr. Christmas Jones in "The World is Not Enough." Since then, she's become more known as a reality TV star with a beef against ex-husband Charlie Sheen. Many balked when Halle Berry followed up her Oscar-winning performance in "Monster's Ball," wit...

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    On the Rise: Adam Scott of "Piranha 3D"

    Considering his first film credit dates back to 1994 (long ago, I know), you'd be forgiven for thinking that Adam Scott, 37, is no up and comer. But ask the Average Joe on the street and you'd likely be hard pressed to find someone who knows the actor by name - not by face. He's the type of thespian...

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    On the Rise: Alison Pill of "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World"

    Up and coming actress Alison Pill shares two things in common with Lindsay Lohan. Both starred alongside one another in the teen dud "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen," and both ladies sport fiery red locks. But fortunately for Pill, that's where the similarities end. For starters Pill loathes L...

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    On the Rise: Aubrey Plaza of "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World"

    Sardonic should be up-and-comer Aubrey Plaza's middle name. The comedic actress, best known for her role as Seth Rogen's hipster love interest in Judd Apatow's "Funny People," knows her way around a good sarcastic jab. Her voice, mannerisms and bookish look are all enthused with a playful detachedne...

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