9. Brie Larson, 'Room'
For us folks who'd been following Brie Larson's career in indie films like Short Term 12 and noticed how she could slyly steal scenes in supporting roles (see Rampart, Don Jon and the Jump Street movies), we knew it would only be a matter of time before she was recognized as a major talent by voters. The surprise was that it happened this quick for the young actress – but really, how many times does a plum role like Room's resident hostage/loving mother come around? And how many performers could have lent such grace and maternal grit to the part while also being the perfect screen partner to the equally intense Jacob Tremblay? It's both a win and an A-list coronation.