I think we can all agree it’s been a rather good year for movies; we have three billion-dollar grossers, all of a high quality, showing studio films don’t have to be dire; we’ve had some great indies, some real stinkers…so let’s take a moment to honour the actors and actresses who really helped make this year of cinema so memorable. Think of it as this writer’s New Year’s Honours List, even though I am not an inbred German geriatric with the power to grant Knighthoods. So, in no particular order, the 12 heroes of 2012 at the cinema, as well as my predictions for next year’s heroes, and the biggest loser of the year.



1. Jennifer Lawrence


Bit of an obvious one, but the charming Kentucky native has sky-rocketed this year, after breaking out with Winter’s Bone, The Burning Plain and X-Men: First Class. She became not only every little girl’s idol as Katniss Everdeen, but also a serious Oscar contender for a genuinely winning turn as an emotionally vulnerable nymphomaniac in David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook. She single-handedly raised a mediocre franchise-starter above mediocrity, and formed one half of perhaps the year’s best double act with Bradley Cooper. Next year, Oscar or no, will be another great one as Lawrence re-teams with Cooper again for Serena, returns to Panem for The Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire, and gears up to shoot the sequel to X-Men: First Class, Days of Future Past. The only way is up for the most promising rising star of her generation.

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This article was first posted on January 8, 2013