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The 14 Best Breakthrough Performances of 2022

As 2022 nears its end, now's the time to look back and remember the year's brightest discoveries across film and television.



Warner Bros.

One of the most satisfying aspects of any year in entertainment is looking back on what we’ve learned — specifically, looking back on who we’ve learned about. Spread across every arbitrary set of 365 days are fresh faces, distinct personalities, and remarkable talents to recognize; skilled actors whose recent emergence all but guarantees we’ll get to see more of them in the future. How exciting! What luck — for them, and for us!

But such discoveries can, at times, be far too restricted. Whether the performance was given in a film or TV show that didn’t reach the audience it deserved, or the eye of the culture was attuned to something or someone else, and overlooked an important discovery right under its nose, that’s where we come in. IndieWire has gathered a list of 14 breakout performances from 2022, spanning film and television. Some you’ve certainly heard of already. Others you may need to read up on (or, better yet, go out and see them for yourself). Either way, our list of Best Breakthrough Performances is designed as summary and uplift — a means at remembering what was worth cherishing over the last 12 months, as well as what we can look forward to in the next 12 months — and years.

Samantha Bergeson, Kate Erbland, Marcus Jones, Proma Khosla, Ryan Lattanzio, and Sarah Shachat contributed to this article.

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