Thursday, December 11, 2008

My 20 Favorite Actresses

In taking Tony Dayoub of Cinema Viewfinder up on his invitation for me to join the 20 Favorite Actresses meme started by Nathaniel at Film Experience, I tried hard to balance my love of these ladies' acting ability equally with my adoration of their feminine wiles. I also attempted to make my list an appreciation of actresses from all different eras--from the 1920s to now. I think I've done quite well on both fronts. At any rate, here are my current favorites:

Emily Watson (key films: Breaking the Waves, Punch-Drunk Love, Synecdoche NY, Hillary and Jackie, Angela's Ashes, The Proposition, Gosford Park, The Boxer, War Horse. Cradle Will Rock, Corpse Bride, Anna Karinina, The Book Thief)

Meryl Streep (key films: Kramer Vs. Kramer, Sophie's Choice, Manhattan, A Cry in the Dark, The Devil Wears Prada, Silkwood, Julia, Adaptation, A Prairie Home Companion, Doubt, Ironweed, Defending Your Life, Mamma Mia, Julie and Julia, Out of Africa, One True Thing, The Bridges of Madison County, The Hours, Angels in America, Holocaust, The Deer Hunter, The Iron Lady, Hope Springs, August: Osage County, The Homesman, Into the Woods)

Grace Kelly (Key films: Rear Window, To Catch a Thief, High Society, High Noon, Dial M for Murder, Mogambo, The Country Girl, The Bridges at Toko-Ri)

Greta Garbo (Key films: Queen Christina, Ninochka, The Flesh and The Devil, Camille, Grand Hotel, The Painted Veil, Anna Christie, Anna Karinina, Mata Hari, Conquest)

Diane Keaton (Key films: Annie Hall, Reds, Manhattan, Play It Again Sam, The Godfather, Looking for Mr. Goodbar, Interiors, Love and Death, Sleeper, Lovers and Other Strangers, The Godfather Part II, Shoot the Moon, The Good Mother, Manhattan Murder Mystery, Something's Gotta Give, Marvin's Room, Crimes of the Heart, Sister Mary Explains It All)

Vivian Leigh (key films: Gone With The Wind, That Hamilton Woman, A Streetcar Named Desire, Ship of Fools, Waterloo Bridge, The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone, A Yank at Oxford, Anna Karinena, Fire Over England)

Audrey Hepburn (key films: Funny Face, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Two for the Road, Wait Until Dark, Roman Holiday, The Nun's Story, Sabrina, Love in the Afternoon, They All Laughed, Robin and Marian, Always, The Children's Hour, Charade, How to Steal a Million, My Fair Lady)

Jean Arthur (key films: The More The Merrier, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Shane, The Talk of the Town, The Devil and Miss Jones, Only Angels Have Wings, Easy Living, You Can't Take It With You, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, The Plainsman, History is Made at Night)

Kirsten Dunst (key films: Bring It On, Little Women, Interview With A Vampire, Spiderman, Crazy/Beautiful, Levity, Marie Antoinette, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Cat's Meow, Spiderman II, Dick, The Virgin Suicides, Wag the Dog, Melancholia, Bachelorette, Fargo (TV))

Zooey Deschanel (key films: All The Real Girls, (500) Days of Summer, The Good Girl, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Tin Man, Live Free or Die, Almost Famous, Mumford, Elf, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, New Girl (TV))

Myrna Loy (key films: the Thin Man series, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, The Best Years of Our Lives, The Thin Man, After The Thin Man, The Mask of Fu Manchu, The Great Ziegfeld, Manhattan Melodrama, Another Thin Man, The Rains Came, The End, The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, Cheaper by the Dozen, Shadow of the Thin Man, Lonleyhearts, Midnight Lace)

Helen Mirren (key films: O Lucky Man, The Tempest, Excalibur, The Cook The Thief His Wife and Her Lover, Red, The Queen, The Mosquito Coast, Caligula, Gosford Park, The Madness of King George, Age of Consent, Cal, Prime Suspect, Elizabeth I, The Long Good Friday, Hitchcock, The Last Station, Phil Spector, The Hundred Foot Journey)

Ann-Margret (key films: Tommy, Bye Bye Birdie, Viva Las Vegas, The Swinger, Carnal Knowledge, The Cincinnati Kid, State Fair, The Villain, The Cheap Detective, Magic, Twice in a Lifetime, Kitten with a Whip, 52 Pick Up, Who Will Love My Children?, Pocketful of Miracles, The Train Robbers, Joseph Andrews, Grumpy Old Men, The Break-Up, Any Given Sunday)

Virginie Ledoyen (key films: A Single Girl, La Ceremonie, 8 Women, The Beach, Late August Early September, A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries)

Greta Gerwig (Key films: Hannah Takes The Stairs, Baghead, The House of the Devil, Nights and Weekends, Greenberg, Arthur, Lola Versus, Damsels in Distress, To Rome With Love, Frances Ha, The Humbling, Eden, Mistress America, Lady Bird (as writer/director))

Diane Lane (key films: A Little Romance, Six Pack, Unfaithful, The Outsiders, A Walk on the Moon, Streets of Fire, Touched by Love, Secretariat, Cinema Verite, Ladies and Gentlemen The Fabulous Stains, Rumblefish, The Cotton Club, Wild Bill, My Dog Skip, Virtuosity, Hollywoodland)

Marisa Tomei (key films: My Cousin Vinny, The Wrestler, Oscar, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, In The Bedroom, Untamed Heart, Factotum, Cyrus, Happy Accidents, The Slums of Beverly Hills, Crazy Stupid Love, The Ides of March, Love is Strange)

Chantal Goya (key film: Masculin/Feminin)

Catherine Deneuve (key films: Repulsion, Belle De Jour, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Indochine, 8 Women, Dancer in the Dark, The Young Girls of Roquefort, Hustle, The Last Metro, The Hunger, A Christmas Tale, East-West, Scene of the Crime, Persepolis, A Christmas Tale, On My Way)

Amy Adams (key films: Junebug, The Fighter, Catch Me If You Can, Enchanted, Doubt, Charlie Wilson's War, Sunshine Cleaners, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Psycho Beach Party, The Master, Her, American Hustle, Big Eyes. Arrival)

There are so many actresses I painfully had to leave out. So MY 20 RUNNERS-UP are Jill Clayburgh, Ingrid Bergman, Thelma Ritter, Julianne Moore, Liv Ullmann, Veronica Lake, Natalie Wood, Michelle Williams, Ruth Gordon, Barbara Stanwyck, Ginger Rogers, Charlotte Rampling, Scarlett Johansson, Naomi Watts, Elizabeth Taylor, Isabelle Huppert, Maria Falconetti, Lili Taylor, Sissy Spacek, and Jessica Harper.


Tony Dayoub said...

Nice list. A few overlaps with mine, I see; Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Diane Lane.

A few that were near misses in terms of making it onto my list; Catherine Deneuve, Diane Keaton, Ann-Margret, and Marisa Tomei.

But my biggest regret is failing to include Zooey Deschanel. Glad you brought her up. I thought she was a very promising young actress back when she debuted in Almost Famous, and I'm gratified to see her fulfilling her potential.

Anonymous said...

Interesting choices! Love the pics of Zooey Deschanel and Helen Mirren (doesnt look anything like her!)

Joel Bocko said...

Nice list - especially the Chantal Goya pick, which I almost did but then chickened out. Anyway, it's a good thing I didn't because I already utilized 3 Godard clips amongst my 20 actresses.

My list is here:

We have 4 overlaps, and used the same still for Garbo.

ratatouille's archives said...

Hi! Dean,
Nice choices!...especially, Miss Audrey and Grace Kelly.(But, of course!)Just like I mentioned to T.S., I am shocked to find out that "gambling" is going on here!...Nope!... I am just not surprised by your choice of... actress Zooey Deschanel.
Take care!
The "Dame"

Funny videos said...

This blog is fantastic. I love that photos.

Anonymous said...

Marisa Tomei, Zooey Deschanel and Greta Gerwig? In the same sentence as Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly?
Sorry, I strongly disagree

Dean Treadway said...

That's certainly your right. Remember, it's a favorites list, not a best list.

Unknown said...

Yesh... Myrna Loy and Powell were the Greatest On-Screen Couple. Ah enjoy your contributions to MGU....integrity.
Has Andrei Rublev ever been discussed? and how about a 'Celebration of Jarmusch'?

Dean Treadway said...

Thanks so much for the compliments. Myrna Loy managed to be sexy and smart with all of her co-stars, but she was best matched with Powell, this is true. As for Tarkovsky being discussed on MGU, I think Jamey has said a couple of times how bored he is by his films, so that kind of shuts the conversation down. With Tarkovsky, you're either in or out of the loop. I think a Jaramusch discussion would be much more likely to happen, though I'm not sure Jamey is much of a fan there, either. At any rate, I'm with ya!