The Ten: Best Actresses of all time “relay race”
Posted by martinteller on May 1, 2012
Jessica over at Velvet Café was kind enough to include me in on this blogging “relay race.” The rules are as follows:
“I’ve created a list of what I think are the best actresses of all time. At the end of the post I, just like in a real relay race, hand over the baton to another blogger who will write his own post. This blogger will have to remove one actress (that is an obligation) and add his/her own choice and describe why he/she did this. At the end the blogger chooses another blogger to do the same. The idea is to make this a long race, so that enough bloggers get a chance to remove and add an actress. We will end up with a list (not ranked in order) which represents a common agreement of the best actresses. It will also mean that those who follow this relay race will get to know new blogs as well!”
The previous entries:
The actresses (as they were handed to me):
First off, let me say that I’m not entirely in agreement with Jessica’s choice to remove Marilyn Monroe. Her persona is that of a dimbulb, but she really was a terrific actress at times. Her work in Don’t Bother to Knock, Niagara and Some Like It Hot is wonderful. However, Jessica’s selection of Liv Ullmann forgives everything. Heck, that might have been my choice if she hadn’t already been picked.
Now, who to eliminate? This is remarkably easy. Guaranteed a slot for appearing in my top 100 performances are Ullmann (Scenes from a Marriage), McDormand (Fargo), Swinton (Orlando), Hepburn (Holiday) and Moore (Safe). Delpy stays on for her work in White and the Linklater films. Winslet is marvelous in Eternal Sunshine and Heavenly Creatures. Streep isn’t really a favorite of mine but I have to admit she’s usually rock solid and often the best thing about whatever she’s in. Cate Blanchett, well, she’s Galadriel so that’s pretty cool. I liked her in Heaven and The Aviator too.
Who’s left? That’s right, goodbye to you, Natalie Portman. As a child actress she was fine in Léon and I kinda liked her in Black Swan but otherwise she’s been a total dud to me. A pretty face, sure. But a bland and boring actress with a vocal delivery that always irks me.
This is tough. I could go with my all-time #1 performance, Gena Rowlands for A Woman Under the Influence. She’s great in other films too, especially Love Streams. But I dunno, I’m not feeling passionate about that choice. I really really wanted to go with Madhabi Mukherjee, who has two spots in my top 100 (Charulata and Mahanagar) and has been great in everything else I’ve seen. But she’s too obscure and likely to just bumped off in a round or two by someone not familiar with her work.
I need someone iconic, who I always look forward to seeing, who has depth and power and stature. I need Barbara Stanwyck.
Just look at these credits:
The Strange Love of Martha Ivers
Witness to Murder
The Lady Eve
No Man of Her Own
There’s Always Tomorrow
The File on Thelma Jordon
Clash By Night
All I Desire
Ball of Fire
…and more. They’re not all great films, but Stanwyck is great in all of them. Few people command your attention like Barbara. She looks fantastic in that trashy blonde wig, too!
And now I hand it over to Bondo at The Movie Review Warehouse. I often disagree with Bondo’s opinions, but his feminist slant should make his post a very interesting one!