The 45th Best Actress of All-Time: Hanna Schygulla

  best film:   There are two potential answers here. Werckmeister Harmonies (2000) from Bela Tarr is the answer in the strictest sense. Hanna Schygulla plays Tünde Eszter and she is fantastic in her limited screen time opposite Lars Rudolph. If one was to consider only the films where Schygulla contributes a larger amount to the greater result of the film,  it would be 1979’s The Marriage of Maria Braun here as the answer.  This is the first film in Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s BRD trilogy, which is really the great German auteur’s most artistically fertile stretch.   Hanna Schygulla

The 45th Best Actress of All-Time: Hanna Schygulla2022-10-26T14:59:45+00:00

The 44th Best Actress of All-Time: Kirsten Dunst

  best film:   Melancholia from enfant terrible Lars von Trier takes the top prize over Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette and The Virgin Suicides take third and fourth place in the category respectively. Dunst gives the best performance in three of these top four films. In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, she is part of the talented ensemble (including Mark Ruffalo and the perfectly creepy Elijah Wood) backing up leads Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet.  Melancholia is a massive masterpiece.  There may not be a better opening eight minutes in cinema history than

The 44th Best Actress of All-Time: Kirsten Dunst2022-10-25T15:17:03+00:00

The 43rd Best Actress of All-Time: Alida Valli

  best film:   Alida Valli worked with some of the Italian greatest auteurs of their generation (more below in the directors worked with section) but it is the British film with a British director (Carol Reed) and British writer (Graham Greene)  The Third Man that prevails as her single best film. Dario Argento’s Suspiria is not far behind- both are towering masterpieces. For The Third Man, Valli shares credit in front of the camera  with both of the two Mercury theater buddies: Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles. Cotten plays the lead, and Welles gets one of the most memorable

The 43rd Best Actress of All-Time: Alida Valli2022-10-23T12:29:48+00:00

The 42nd Best Actress of All-Time: Emma Stone

  best film:   Emma Stone had a dominant 2010s decade. She is a key part of three of top sixteen (16) films on the most recent top 100 of the 2010s decade list. So, although La La Land is the answer here, Birdman and The Favourite are not far behind. This category is an undeniable strength for Stone’s case on this list- most actors hope to be an integral part of one, or maybe two masterpieces over a long career.     Stone's audition scene in La La Land is the arrival of Emma Stone (actually it is Birdman

The 42nd Best Actress of All-Time: Emma Stone2022-10-18T21:33:03+00:00

The 41st Best Actress of All-Time: Cate Blanchett

  best film:  The Lord of the Rings features enough of Cate Blanchett to qualify here. Blanchett is quite good in her limited time on screen as Galadriel. The closest competition in this category for Tolkien and Peter Jackson’s epic masterpiece are The Aviator from Martin Scorsese and The Talented Mr. Ripley from Anthony Mingella. This category is a bit of a weakness for Blanchett in that she has not really been more front and center in some of her best films.     best performance:  Todd Haynes’ Carol is probably next up after the three mentioned above as

The 41st Best Actress of All-Time: Cate Blanchett2022-10-14T20:45:36+00:00

The 40th Best Actress of All-Time: Kinuyo Tanaka

  best film:  Kinuyo Tanaka has as many as five films that flirt with the top five of their respective years’ top ten as Must-See films or higher. On the most recent top 500 films of all-time list, A Hen in the Wind landed just thirteen (13) slots ahead of Sansho the Bailiff. That is not all, The Life of Oharu, Ugetsu, and The Ballad of Narayama are all films that will require real consideration around the same slot when the list updates. So by an eyelash, though Takana is best known for her work with Mizoguchi, it is

The 40th Best Actress of All-Time: Kinuyo Tanaka2022-10-10T12:50:15+00:00

The 39th Best Actress of All-Time: Kate Winslet

  best film:  Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind leads the way ahead of Titanic by a decent margin here for the best film of Kate Winslet’s career. Michel Gondry directs Charlie Kaufman’s wild dream world. All of Kaufman’s work should be treasured and appreciated, but Winslet’s Clementine is his greatest single character, and the film does not work as well, and that character does not leap off the page as much, without Winslet.     uncontestably Winslet's best work and film - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - and it came during her run from 1995-2008

The 39th Best Actress of All-Time: Kate Winslet2022-10-08T13:00:44+00:00

The 38th Best Actress of All-Time: Gena Rowlands

  best film:  A Woman Under the Influence is John Cassavetes' best work and clearly Gena Rowlands' best film. Faces comes in second and was part of the beginning of the Cassavetes one-man (for a time) American independent art film movement (of course Shadows from Cassavetes comes first in 1959 but it was not until Faces where he started to get some momentum for his movement as an auteur). A Woman Under the Influence is a difficult film- but a masterpiece worthy of the challenge.     A Woman Under the Influence is a character study marital drama

The 38th Best Actress of All-Time: Gena Rowlands2022-10-05T13:24:11+00:00

The 37th Best Actress of All-Time: Scarlett Johansson

  best film:  Sofia Coppola’s second feature Lost in Translation stands atop Scarlett Johannson’s list of best films. This lands Scarlett a lead (or co-lead) role in a top 100 all-time film. Under the Skin and Marriage Story are superb films- but cannot quite touch the aforementioned 2003 masterpiece.     Scarlett had been in Ghost World and The Man Who Wasn't There- but safe to say the young actor (still under 20 years old at the time) was a revelation in Lost in Translation in 2003     best performance:     Lost in Translation. This is a subtle

The 37th Best Actress of All-Time: Scarlett Johansson2022-09-27T17:48:28+00:00

The 36th Best Actress of All-Time: Elizabeth Taylor

  best film:  Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a crucial film and role for Elizabeth Taylor. Young prodigy Mike Nichols came along to work with established stars and power couple Taylor and Richard Burton at just the right time. The film is brilliant, but his category is a weak spot for Taylor’s case on this list. Nichols’ film (and this is his second or third best film right there with Carnal Knowledge after The Graduate is the clear number one) does not quite compare with some of the heavyweight best films other female actors have on their resume.

The 36th Best Actress of All-Time: Elizabeth Taylor2022-09-27T02:16:51+00:00

The 35th Best Actress of All-Time: Natalie Portman

  best film:  Black Swan is spectacular enough to debate here with Heat. Natalie Portman was just fourteen years old in 1995 at the time of Heat’s release and she plays a smaller part in Michael Mann’s ensemble epic crime saga. Though Portman is solid in her role, there are at least a half dozen actors who make more of an impact on Heat’s brilliance.     best performance:    Natalie Portman gives one of the best performances of the 2010s decade in Black Swan. Cinema history has just ten (10) or eleven (11) real decades to draw upon- so

The 35th Best Actress of All-Time: Natalie Portman2022-09-24T12:40:55+00:00

The 34th Best Actress of All-Time: Setsuko Hara

  best film:  Yasujirô Ozu made at least four masterpieces and Setsuko Hara was in all four of them (Late Spring, Early Summer, Tokyo Story and not to confuse things with the names, The End of Summer), so this is no slam dunk. Tokyo Story ultimately comes out on top as it lands as one of the top ten of all-time. This film is rightfully taught in just about every introduction to cinema art college class (though the focus is way too often on Ozu's humanity- and not the artistic aspects of the film). Tokyo Story is the artistic

The 34th Best Actress of All-Time: Setsuko Hara2022-09-22T23:24:45+00:00
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