Sunday, December 21, 2008

20 Actresses

In my fine tradition of lagging far behind the blogging pack, I'm just now ready to participate in the '20 Favorite Actresses' meme started at The Film Experience. I love a good excuse to dip into my pool of collected screengrabs (17 of the following 20 images came from my hard drive), and even though I could probably list 20 different names tomorrow, today it's the following ladies that entertain, awe and fascinate me the most, even if some of their filmographies are more impressive than others.

Note: The list of films following each name contain the performances by each actress that give me the most pleasure, and are not necessarily the finest films on that actress' resume. (But just try and argue with me on the merits of The Skeleton Key. I dare you.) The first film listed for each actress is the film pictured. Here we go:

Angela Bassett - Strange Days, What's Love Got to Do With It, Sunshine State

Jennifer Connelly - Dark City, Requiem for a Dream, Dark Water, Career Opportunities

Bette Davis - All About Eve, Jezebel, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

Irene Dunne - Love Affair, The Awful Truth, My Favorite Wife

Audrey Hepburn - Funny Face, Wait Until Dark, My Fair Lady, Charade

Katherine Hepburn - Stage Door, Bringing Up Baby, Adam's Rib, Holiday

Madeline Kahn - Clue, Paper Moon, What's Up, Doc?, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, High Anxiety, The Cheap Detective

Deborah Kerr - Black Narcissus, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, The Innocents

Jennifer Jason Leigh - eXistenZ, Short Cuts, The Hudsucker Proxy, The Anniversary Party, Margot at the Wedding

Shirley MacLaine - Some Came Running, The Apartment, The Children's Hour, Steel Magnolias, In Her Shoes

Giulietta Masina - Nights of Cabiria, La Strada

Emily Mortimer - Bright Young Things, Lovely and Amazing, Lars and the Real Girl, Transsiberian

Sarah Polley - No Such Thing, The Sweet Hereafter, Go, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Guinevere

Thelma Ritter - Pickup on South Street, Rear Window, All About Eve

Rachel Roberts - This Sporting Life, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, O Lucky Man!, Picnic at Hanging Rock

Gena Rowlands - A Woman Under the Influence, Faces, Minnie & Moskowitz, Love Streams, The Skeleton Key

Rosalind Russell - His Girl Friday, The Women, The Trouble with Angels

Lili Taylor - I Shot Andy Warhol, Say Anything, Girls Town

Sylvie Testud - Fear and Trembling, Murderous Maids, Beyond Silence, The Chateau, La France

Rachel Weisz - My Blueberry Nights, The Shape of Things, The Fountain


weepingsam said...

I still haven't mustered the energy to do one of these lists - especially with screengrabs. Now that the holidays are over, I must! I must!

weepingsam said...

I still want to do this with pictures, like everyone else, but I have been terribly lazy, and want to post something, so I am going to make a list. Are these in order? I doubt it. I will almost certainly want to change this immediately after I hit post, but that's all right.

1. Barbara Stanwyck - this part at least is in order; she is number 1.
2. Marlene Dietrich - she is #2
3. Ginger Rogers
4. Setsuko Hara - now I'm more into grouping them by country...
5. Hideko Takamine - the star of most of Naruse's later masterpieces.
6. Kinuyo Tanaka - star of some of Mizoguchi's greatest films, but in the 30s, in several of Ozu's - great great actress.
7. Catherine Deneuve
8. Isabelle Huppert
9. Anna Kerina
10. Jeanne Balibar - Rivette's leading lady, lately
11. Emmanuelle Beart
12. Emmanuelle Devos - Arnaud Desplechin's muse
13. Brigitte Lin - if this were in order, she'd be higher, maybe #3 - she has Dietrich's pure star power, a commanding presence - as well as the ability to be touching, emotional - even buried under layers of makeup and gender confusion.
14. Maggie Cheung - in some ways, I look at her as Stanwyck to Lin's Dietrich.
15. Julie Christie - obviously....
16. Ingrid Bergman
17. Julianne Moore
18. Gena Rowlands
19. Lillian Gish
20. Nicole Kidman

Plus: 5 supporting actresses - who either don't have enough lead roles, or I have not seen them enough, or they are rather one dimensional - or just I want to put them somewhere....

1. Catherine Keener - who needs to star more often
2. Jean Harlow - who needed a longer career
3. Isabella Rosselini
4. Joan Blondell - who needed to star more often too
5. Charlotte Rampling