I really enjoy the clarity and unadulterated ecstasy in fresh actors' expressions and delivery. It is, however, peculiar to see children/teenagers plucked from their everyday life to play himself/herself or someone alike, entrapped in similar living conditions.
While at the movies, I want to see the honed craft speaking to me on screen. Are child actors and actresses so scarce? Magnify the thought process of the producer(s)/director(s) and it could very well be : I'm making a movie about the banking world, scrap Al Pacino, let's just get the MD from this investment bank to "play as himself" ; or : This movie about socialites needs to be in production pronto, I'll just put Tinsley Mortimer in first to anchor the movie, and maybe she will bring in a few of her friends to "play as themselves".
What does this all mean? I don't know, but not very certain if this is the right thing to do?
Check out these films that have child actors/actresses with no prior training (in my hazy memory).
15: The Movie (2003, Singapore)
Slumdog Millionaire (2008, UK)
Mongolian Ping Pong (2005, Mongolia/China)
PS - these films are all kind of indie, and invariably accoladed at festivals