Under the Circuit: Logan Lerman

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Most Known For: “Percy Jackson,” “Perks of Being a Wall Flower,” “Noah”

Snubbed For: “Perks of Being a Wall Flower”

I’ve used this column to highlight a handful great young actors and actresses already, but Logan Lerman is the youngest actor I’ve written about to date and for good reason. Lerman may not have the recognition of some of fellow up and comers, but you’d be hard pressed to find a better actor under the age of 25 working in Hollywood right now.

Lerman has been working pretty consistently in Hollywood since he starred in a pair of Mel Gibson films in 2000, “The Patriot” and “What Women Want.” We’d get our first real glimpse of Lerman’s talent, however, in the underrated 2007 film “3:10 to Yuma.”

Lerman holds his own in this western remake with Russell Crowe, Christian Bale and a fantastic Ben Foster (who will likely be the subject of this column one of these days), a cast that received a SAG nomination for Best Ensemble. As the son of Bale’s farmer, Lerman is torn between his father and the alluring nature of Crowe’s criminal; it was some delicate work from an actor who was only 15 at the time.

As I mentioned before, Lerman isn’t exactly what you would call an A-lister. Though he has been in some big-budget films, they just haven’t panned out. After “3:10” Lerman was put in the center of both the “Percy Jackson” franchise and Paul W.S. Anderson’s attempt at “The Three Musketeers.” “Percy Jackson” performed well enough to land a sequel, but the films did little to cause a stir around their leading man. So perhaps he’s not an actor who can help carry a franchise, but since 2012 he’s been on a hot streak.

movies_perks_of_being_a_wallflower_2First and foremost among them was his performance in “Perks of Being a Wall Flower.” Lerman was a revelation in Stephen Chbosky’s feature directing debut. What seemed like a such a simple performance turned into so much more in the final act of the film, and made everything that Lerman did leading up to it even more impressive. Lerman deserved to be in the thick of awards consideration beyond his slew of Breakthrough Performer citations, but it may have been the perceived as a teen movie. That is an oversimplification of Lerman and the film as a whole – it was my favorite film of 2012.

2014 will be a big year for Lerman as well. He has given a couple of performances that many are calling awards worthy. The first was Lerman’s turn in Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah.” The film may have divided people, but few could argue that Lerman’s portrayal of Noah’s son Ham wasn’t superb. Paramount will likely make a push for “Noah” in most of the below-the-line categories, but if Lerman’s performance isn’t cited for Best Supporting Actor on their FYC ads, I will be severely displeased.

fury-logan-lerman-01-636-380Still to be seen by the public is Lerman’s role in David Ayer’s WWII tank film “Fury.” Like “Noah,” “Fury” is generating some mix reviews, but again Lerman is emerging as a highlight. As the inexperienced soldier joining Brad Pitt’s grizzled crew Lerman will likely have many opportunities to shine, and could very likely find a spot in the Best Supporting Actor field, which is more accessible than the over crowded Best Actor field.

When you think of young actors the first that come to mind are probably Miles Teller or Michael B. Jordan, and while they are each fantastic, Logan Lerman is my favorite young actor and I am confident that he will be an Oscar nominee sometime in the near future. Whether or not it will be this year is still up in the air as “Fury” is likely to divide the Academy, but Mr. Lerman continues to stand out in films packed with great actors and great performances, so his time will come.

“Fury” will be released this Friday, Oct. 17.

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Written by Michael Balderston

NoVA native who has returned to the Washington D.C. area after two years in L.A. My biggest annoyance since leaving L.A. is not having immediate access to indie films on their first weekend, but I'm making due. When I'm not tracking the year's Oscar players or exploring film history, I'm rooting for my Philadelphia sports teams.


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