Why ‘Stranger Things’ Has One of the Best Acting Ensembles of 2019 – Backstage

Stranger Things
Photo Source: Courtesy of Netflix With this Year in Review, we at Backstage have picked through the weeds and found 2019’s true gems of the best big- and small-screen ensemble work. And don’t worry: We’ve got you covered with everything else you need to know this awards season right here. Distributed by: Netflix
Created by: Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer
Casting by: Carmen Cuba
Cast: Millie Bobby Brown, Natalia Dyer, Maya Hawke, David Harbour, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Dacre Montgomery, Winona Ryder, Noah Schnapp, Finn Wolfhard You know it’s going to be a good summer when there’s a new season of “Stranger Things” to binge. While we bemoaned the SAG Award-winning sci-fi series’ absence in 2018, its third season proved that sticking it out until July 2019 was well worth the wait. Matt and Ross Duffer—more commonly jointly referred to as the Duffer brothers—have never been better, with scripts and horrifically fantastical concepts that get bigger in scale by the hour. But they still know how and when to focus in on their character-driven roots. And with Hawkins, Indiana, residents new and old being front and center on Season 3, there was plenty on which to focus. READ: ‘Stranger ....

Not so much “kids” now; they’re teens grappling with coming of age amid the Mind Flayer’s Hawkins-wide mind-fuck, and the issues they face are ones any teen today can relate to—and any adult can nostalgically recall. Led by a heart-on-his-sleeve Finn Wolfhard, who thanks to “Stranger Things” has become a horror genre “it” boy (the “IT” franchise, “The Turning”) with indie rock credentials to match (his band Calpurnia played Coachella this summer), the AV Club heroes astounded this year with more emotional heft, greater plot twists, and higher save-the-world stakes. Noah Schnapp and Millie Bobby Brown are particular standouts, both needing to grapple with the supernatural in previously unseen and emotionally trying ways. Caleb McLaughlin and Sadie Sink play off each other with ease while also playing the straight man and woman to the ever-heightening antics around them. And while Gaten Matarazzo was MIA from the group for much of Season 3, he got plenty of scene-stealing, comedic-relief screen time with Joe Keery’s Steve Harrington and series newcomer Robin Buckley, played by Maya Hawke, a true breakout and welcome addition to this installment. With Steve otherwise occupied by villainous Russians in an underground lair, his ex-Hawkins High peers get up ....

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