best film: Rosemary’s Baby edges out Woody Allen’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).
best performance: Rosemary’s Baby. It is one of the all-time most underrated performances coming from perhaps the all-time most underrated actress (never once even an Oscar nomination). Farrow goes through a profound physical and psychological transformation during the course of the film. She is warm and sweet to open the film, then paranoid (or appears so- and for good reason), ill and worn out, and then eventually, masterfully, terrified. The scenes of her panicked, on the run, in the final hour puts her work here up there with the best female performances of the entire 1960s.
stylistic innovations/traits: Farrow has a one-two punch, and it makes for a strong case. On one hand, she has a towering lead performance in an incontestable masterpiece- check. Combine that with her large body of work with her one-time creative partner and husband Woody Allen. She did a staggering amount of good work with Woody from 1982 to 1992. Like him or not, Woody is one of the great directors of women and this period with Farrow was incredibly rich with artistic experimentation. Look at her performances- her eight (8th) best performance might be The Great Gatsby—ninth (9th) might be Alice or Another Woman? So, there is clearly depth here. Her work in say Purple Rose, Husbands and Wives and Broadway Danny Rose though all with one auteur– show such range as well.
directors worked with: Woody Allen (12) and then Rosemary’s Baby with Polanski of course
top five performances:
- Rosemary’s Baby
- The Purple Rose of Cairo
- Hannah and Her Sisters
- Husbands and Wives
- Broadway Danny Rose
|1968- Rosemary’s Baby|
|1974- The Great Gatsby|
|1978- Death on the Nile|
|1982- A Midsummer’s Night Sex Comedy|
|1984- Broadway Danny Rose|
|1985- The Purple Rose of Cairo|
|1986- Hannah and Her Sisters|
|1987- Radio Days|
|1988- Another Woman|
|1989- Crimes and Misdemeanors|
|1991- Shadows and Fog|
|1992- Husband and Wives|
Im definitely in the minority, but i think her work in broadway danny rose may be her best, or almost (after rosemary of course)
No you’re not minority. I STRONGLY agree it’s atleast her top 3 and definitely the best female performance of 1984 along with McDormand. Ebert certainly is an admirer as well.
“The real treasure among the performances, however, is Mia Farrow’s work as Tina Vitale, the crooner’s girlfriend. You would think that Mia Farrow would be one of the most instantly recognizable actresses in the movies with those finely chiseled features and that little-girl voice. But here she is a chain-smoking, brassy blonde with her hair piled up on top of her head, and a pair of fashionable sunglasses, and dresses that look like they came from the boutique in a Mafia resort hotel.”
— Ebert, Roger
@Drake-Did you see An Officer and a Spy(2019) yet?
@Malith- Unfortunately no. The lack of streaming availability in the US is frustrating here.
Mía farrow performance in Broadway Danny Rose was the best ever she is the most underrated actress in Hollywood ever
I have no issue with any of your choices all of whom would certainly qualify to some degree as great , but it got me mulling on who would make up my top 20 , of your picks in no particular order Stanwyck , Kate Hepburn , Moreau , Ullmann , Dietrich , Gish a Bergman are in , as for my alternate picks again in no particular order Greta Garbo , Bette Davis , Anna Magnani , Kinuyo Tanaka , Setsuko Hara , Audry Hepburn , Madhadi Mukherjee , Anne Bancroft , Vanessa Redgrave , Gena Rowlands ,Hanna Scygulla , Isabelle Huppert , Isabelle Adjani
@mark sadler- thank you for the comment and for visiting the site. Great alternative list of actors here- many of them coming up shortly on the site.
I think everyone but Madhadi Mukherjee will be here although I’d say she should too.
I missed Garbo and Adjani. They won’t be here as well.
Tanaka is happening.
1. The life of oharu
2. a hen in the wind
3. the ballad of narayama (1958)
With that top 3 c’mon.
Thank you for your reply , I will be looking forward to future entry especially any actress whose work i’m less familiar with for films to hunt down. .