The 77th Best Actress of All-Time: Ruth Gordon

best film: Rosemary’s Baby edges out Harold and Maude here. Both films are excellent but you don’t have to overthink this one, it’s Rosemary’s Baby.  best performance:  Harold and Maude. I have a feeling the actual screen time of her work in Harold and Maude (largely the film centers on Bud Cort) is closer to her screen time in Rosemary’s Baby than one would initially think but still, I think she’s a larger part of Harold and Maude so even though she’s just fantastic in both I’m going with Ashby’s film here. stylistic innovations/traits: She’s bold and fearless. At 72

The 77th Best Actress of All-Time: Ruth Gordon2020-07-03T10:30:55+00:00

The 78th Best Actress of All-Time: Kirsten Dunst

best film: Melancholia. This isn’t a slam dunk with how good Sofia’s Marine Antoinette is either. But film, in the new decade, proves Von Trier’s greatness and Dunst is just the latest of his tortured muses who give revelatory performances (Watson, Bjork). best performance:  Melancholia. Another case of Cannes (winner here) over Academy Awards (not even nominated). Dunst is brilliant, unhinged and otherworldly. Her vacant, trapped vessel in Marie Antoinette is not far behind. stylistic innovations/traits: Unoccupied pathos? She can play victim or captive (Sofia) who is fed up with being that victim so goes on the attack (really all

The 78th Best Actress of All-Time: Kirsten Dunst2021-04-21T10:48:35+00:00

The 79th Best Actress of All-Time: Hanna Schygulla

best film:  The Marriage of Maria Braun. I’m in the minority for having this above Berlin but I find his BRD trilogy to be his clear artistic peak. best performance:  The Marriage of Maria Braun- Canby at the NYT “…sweet, tough, brilliantly complex performance of Hanna Schygulla.” I’ve seen it once and it was 2011 or so (way overdue) but I was blown away by Schygulla and to me her work here is slightly better than her work in the other three Fassbinder archiveable collaborations. stylistic innovations/traits: Schygulla is known for both strength and beauty. She can play both

The 79th Best Actress of All-Time: Hanna Schygulla2020-07-03T10:30:55+00:00

The 80th Best Actress of All-Time: Bibi Andersson

best film:  Persona has passed The Seventh Seal as my #1 Bergman film over the years and, therefore, is #1 on this list. It’s an immaculate film so there’s no shame for a top 100 all-time actress to have the share the lead. best performance:  Persona. She might not be as good as Ullman in Persona but that’s no insult. She’s not to be underrated either in her performance and the achievement in this towering masterpiece. It’s not as juicy a role but she’s outstanding in it. She’s also key in supporting work in the dueling 1957 Masterpieces from

The 80th Best Actress of All-Time: Bibi Andersson2021-11-15T04:26:05+00:00

The 81st Best Actress of All-Time: Janet Leigh

best film:  Can’t go wrong with either Touch of Evil or Psycho. Oddly enough both are often considered the second best film from the two great auteurs: Welles and Hitchcock. Anyways, nearly sixty years later Psycho holds up as one of the 50 greatest films of all-time and one of the great horror/thriller films. When I did my last update I had Touch of Evil 3 slots higher but I’m not as sold on that idea now—either one is a great option. best performance:  Psycho is the better performance for sure. I was actually surprised, upon researching, that Leigh

The 81st Best Actress of All-Time: Janet Leigh2020-07-03T10:30:57+00:00

It Comes at Night – 2017 Shults

Not a large one but another small feather in the cap for Joel Edgerton and Riley Keough who continue to do steady work lately Shults has a knack for high stress/tension and paranoia through film style—not a narrative director really which is fine Shults creates atmosphere Love the 4-5 dreamy surrealism sequences- I think that’s why it’s in the archives for me- it makes the entire situation ambiguous and quite haunting- though not traditionally Tough awkward moments between characters It’s dire, bleak an nihilistic- reminded me of the road in terms of what sort of statement it makes on

It Comes at Night – 2017 Shults2018-03-30T17:05:43+00:00

Moonrise Kingdom – 2012 Wes Anderson

I think the first hour may be the pinnacle of Wes’ style The entire thing is a singular confident vision that’s perfectly executed Heavy brown and wood color—the fake “New Penzanc” island is a perfect world for Wes for create and diorama-fy Nostalgia and true love- well-earned formally- the emotional resonance As a strict formalist- I love how Wes pulls apart the various pieces in the Benjamin Britten music and then reconstructs I took this from Bordwell but I love how Suzy’s book on children looks like a Saul Bass poster—there’s also a postage stamp that looks like Edward

Moonrise Kingdom – 2012 Wes Anderson2020-07-03T10:30:57+00:00

The 82nd Best Actress of All-Time: Jessica Chastain

best film:  The Tree of Life. It’s easily the best movie she’s in but I put a lot of stock in her performance here as well. Putting yourself in the hands of a great auteur like Malick and being a part (and a big part along with Pitt) of something like Tree of Life is worth way more than a larger role in a lesser movie. best performance:  Zero Dark Thirty was a hell of a 1-2 punch with her 2011 coming out party. She showed that not only can she be a part of a masterpiece, but that

The 82nd Best Actress of All-Time: Jessica Chastain2021-08-20T03:14:30+00:00

The 83rd Best Actress of All-Time: Patricia Arquette

best film:  Lost Highway. I’m not ready to put Boyhood ahead of Lost Highway so for now, this sits at #1 for Arquette. The role and performance isn’t quite on the level of Naomi Watts in Mulholland but Arquette is still fantastic, and similar to the Watts role, it’s a chance for her to play the ying/yang dual role in a Lynchian nightmare. best performance:  Boyhood chugs along and then, in the last two scenes, one with Hawke and one with Arquette, the formal rigor and strong character writing pays off with a wallop of a scene. Arquette won

The 83rd Best Actress of All-Time: Patricia Arquette2020-07-03T10:30:57+00:00

The 84th Best Actress of All-Time: Harriet Andersson

best film:  Cries and Whispers is, ever so slightly, superior to Fanny and Alexander and certainly Andersson plays a larger part in this film. She’s more of a solo artist in through a glass darkly and summer with Monika but those films aren’t on this level. best performance:  Through a Glass Darkly. NYT review- “Miss Andersson's flirtation with insanity is a ballet.” stylistic innovations/traits: Whether it’s Through a Glass Darkly or Cries and Whispers madness is the singular word I’d use to describe her strength as an actor. Also, though not quite a film on that level Monika and

The 84th Best Actress of All-Time: Harriet Andersson2020-07-03T10:30:57+00:00

The 85th Best Actress of All-Time: Anouk Aimée

best film:  8 ½ or La Dolce Vita would be fine choices on any actor or actresses’ list of best films—and she’s in both. They’re small roles but she’s damn good in both of them. Fellini cast her (at the height of his powers) for a reason. I’ll give the edge to 8 ½ as I have it rated slightly higher. best performance:  Lola. Aimée is absolutely captivating in Demy’s debut film that is a non-brainer top-5 of the year quality film. She’s also excellent in A Man and a Woman (her only oscar nom) but Lola is easily

The 85th Best Actress of All-Time: Anouk Aimée2020-07-03T10:30:57+00:00

The 86th Best Actress of All-Time: Kim Novak

best film:  Vertigo. It’s one of the all-time great films (top 10 I think for sure still) and the Sight and Sound overall #1 I believe. best performance:  Vertigo. It’s well known that Novak was not Hitchcock’s first choice for the role but try watching it again and think about Grace Kelly or Vera Miles or someone else in the role. I don’t think the character or film would be nearly as good even though those two may be clearly better pure actresses. Novak has an unease about her that works perfectly for the film. stylistic innovations/traits: It is

The 86th Best Actress of All-Time: Kim Novak2020-07-03T10:30:57+00:00
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