01/17/2013 02:53 pm ET

Youngest Academy Award Nominees: 6 Young Hollywood Oscar Hopefuls We're Rooting For This Year (PHOTOS)

By Dana Mathews

It looks like Young Hollywood is taking over the biggest night in Tinseltown. I've seen nearly every Oscar contender and can confidently say that the Academy Awards will spotlight breakout performers -- some of whom don't even have their driver's license yet!

It's inspiring to see film studios taking chances by casting new talent in powerhouse roles. The proof? There's nine-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis, who may be the youngest Best Actress nominee in Oscar history for her heart-wrenching performance in "Beasts of the Southern Wild." I'm obsessed with newcomer Suraj Sharma, whose role in his first film, "Life of Pi," is one of epic proportions. His costar was not human but a CGI-animated Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. I've heard Suraj has been flying in and out of New Delhi, where he's currently attending university, to promote "Life of Pi" during his exam breaks.

When she's not filming "The Hunger Games" series, Jennifer Lawrence prefers to shoot indie projects that always seem to garner critical acclaim. And rightfully so, as the 22-year-old is likely to receive her second Oscar nomination this year for her complex role in Silver Linings Playbook (her first was at age 20 for "Winter's Bone"). Ezra Miller gave an emotionally charged portrayal of Patrick in "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," which could score him his first Oscar nod. I can't seem to shake the aftereffects of Tom Holland's high-octane performance in "The Impossible." And there's Kara Hayward, who at age 12 walked into an open casting call and subsequently won over Wes Anderson for the lead role in "Moonrise Kingdom."

On February 24, tune in to see these young stars grace the red carpet. Plus, with a host like "Family Guy'"s Seth MacFarlane, this won't be your parents' Oscars.

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6 Young Hollywood Oscar Hopefuls We're Rooting For This Year