Matthew McConaughey in 'A Time to Kill'; Jennifer Lawrence in 'Winter's Bone' (Everett)
Meryl Streep glows. Jennifer Lawrence skins a squirrel. Mathew McConaughey climbs on a soapbox and shows he's more than dazed or confused.
Some of our most highly regarded actors today popped off the screen from the earliest moments we saw them. Here's a look back at five key scenes from the early careers of 2014 Oscar nominees that showed they have the right stuff.
[Related: See Complete List of 2014 Oscar Nominations]
Meryl Streep, "The Deer Hunter" (1978)
In her first major role, Streep played a luminous and naïve beauty in "The Deer Hunter," and in that memorable ethnic wedding, there are so many colors to her performance, and so many emotions competing for time on that strong, yet flawless face. Up this year for "August: Osage County," Streep rode "The Deer Hunter's" Oscar sweep to a Best Supporting Actress win, her very first. But it's the way she giggles, flirts, retreats and connects with groomsman Robert De Niro, half breathless laughter, half anxiety for an unknown future,