best film: Cries & Whispers. Ingird Thulin is in five Ingmar Bergman films from 1957 to 1972 (Bergman at the height of powers, in particular, during this stretch) so she is loaded with options here in this category. Wild Strawberries, Winter Light and The Silence all warrant consideration. Even Visconti’s The Damned (also during that era- from 1969) would give a cinephile reason to pause on this category. But, ultimately it is Bergman’s 1972 crimson-soaked masterpiece (his fourth film in color- and this one won the Oscar for cinematography for Sven Nykvist) that wins out. Bergman fades to
best film: Rosemary’s Baby edges out Woody’s Hannah and Her Sisters and Crimes and Misdemeanors. Polanski’s masterpiece is one of the milestones of the horror genre. This is a genre filled with awe-inspiring female lead performances- and none more so than Mia Farrow (at the young age of twenty-three). 1968 with only a few credits under her belt, hot young director Roman Polanski cast Mia Farrow in the all-important lead performance in Rosemary's Baby best performance: Rosemary’s Baby. It is one of the all-time most underrated performances coming from perhaps the all-time most
best film: The Wizard of Oz is a masterpiece and one of the all-time greats for both fantasy films and musicals. The story and performances (nobody in the rest of the strong supporting cast is anywhere near Garland in terms of her achievement here) are key to the film’s success. It is a wonderful film to get lost in. Meet Me in St. Louis and A Star is Born are second and third in this category- but this is clearly her best. In Hollywood's Golden Year of 1939, seventeen (17) year-old Judy Garland became a star in The
best film: Three films vie for top slot in Deborah Kerr’s filmography. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp and Black Narcissus, both films from The Archers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, are masterpieces. These are the top two films from The Archers. However, Jack Clayton’s gothic horror 1961 film The Innocents is not far off either. At just age 22, Kerr plays a trio of characters (Edith Hunter / Barbara Wynne / Angela 'Johnny' Cannon) in her first archiveable film- The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp. best performance: It is
best film: The Exorcist and Requiem for a Dream are nearly interchangeable here- and what a doubleheader of darkness this pair of films would make for. The Exorcist is stunning to look and a horror landmark, but Aronofsky’s American dream turned nightmare is passionately edited masterpiece in its own right. smack dab in the middle of her run in the 1970s is Burstyn's work in The Exorcist- like most great films in the horror genre- from Rosemary's Baby to Hereditary- the performances are so important to the film- and Burstyn gives the best performance in the
best film: Manhattan. This is far from being Meryl Streep’s signature role and film. Hers is a small role and she is no better than the fifth best - or most important - performance in the film. If one is seeking out Streep's best film where she plays a significant part- look to the best picture winner of 1978. The Deer Hunter is #227 on the all-time top 500 films list so at this level near the top of the best female actors of all-time- this category is still a weakness for Streep. Streep is fantastic in Michael Cimino’s
best film: Fargo Is currently the #1 ranked Coen Brothers film and they are simply one of the greatest auteurs since their debut in 1984 (also Frances McDormand’s debut). So, there is obviously no blemish in this category for McDormand. Moonrise Kingdom is not far off in this category and McDormand’s crazy good start to the 2020s (Nomadland, The French Dispatch) is an impressive stretch for any actor- let alone one in her sixties. It is impossible to tell the story of The Coen Brothers or 1990s cinema without Frances McDormand and her Marge Gunderson Fargo character.
best film: Michelangelo Antonioni is currently listed as the #11 film director of all-time and Monica Vitta is front and center in four of his best six films. All four of these films fall in the top 267 of all-time (with three in the top 120 and two in the top 100). Red Desert leads the way as the #40 film of all-time beating out L’Avventura. Being the solo lead in one of the best fifty films of all-time is a major resume-builder, as is being a big part of three of the best 120 films of all-time.
best film: The Godfather would be the easy choice for almost every actor in film history, so it is no surprise it is Diane Keaton’s strongest as well. But there is company here for at the top for Keaton- The Godfather: Part II is not far behind the 1972 original, and both Annie Hall and Manhattan land in the top 100 of all-time. So Keaton bests even Julianne Moore here. Still though, It is Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 crime opus that lands at the top here. Keaton’s part in the film, and series, is nowhere near as essential to
best film: Chinatown wins out here but there is some healthy competition from Network and Bonnie and Clyde. Dunaway’s achievement in Chinatown may not be on par with Roman Polanski, Robert Towne (damn that screenplay) or Jack- but she is only a half-step back. She is simply stunning in the film - and of course - key to the unforgettable “Sister, Mother, Sister” slap scene with Nicholson. Dunaway in Chinatown. She gets the iconic slap scene- but also a very tender scene earlier in the film in bed with Nicholson's character. best performance: Network
best film: Touch of Evil but it is not as black and white as it first looks. Josef von Sternberg is not as well regarded as Orson Welles and rightly so- but he is not far off and Marlene Dietrich is the star of von Sternberg’s best films including Morocco and Blue Angel. Josef von Sternberg is a big part of the history of film style-even if, again, his work cannot quite touch the muscular, eye-popping genius on display in Touch of Evil. Dietrich is certainly not the star of Touch of Evil- but she is pitch perfect in
best film: Julianne Moore’s riches in this category embarrasses even other all-time great actresses. The fact that the answer is not Boogie Nights, Magnolia or The Big Lebowski is just astounding. The answer is Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men. Julianne Moore plays the Janet Leigh in Psycho role so to speak in Children of Men- but she is still integral. Magnolia is not far off of course. Moore’s work in Paul Thomas Anderson’s opus is just to play one of the many petals on the flower- an incredible ensemble. Moore is acting with her hair on fire- sensational- she