Shine: Geoffrey Rush, Alex Rafalowicz, Noah Taylor

Speaking of Oscars, the previously unknown Geoffrey Rush stormed onto the scene with his 1996 tour-de-force portrayal of David Helfgott, the real-life concert pianist who struggled with both mental illness and an abusive, overbearing father (Oscar nominee Armin Mueller-Stahl). The performance won Rush an Oscar for Best Actor, made the Russian composer Rachmaninoff a household name (at least in the households of arthouse film enthusiasts), and also featured exceptional performances by Alex Rafalowicz and Noah Taylor as the childhood and adolescent versions of David, respectively.