The 73rd Best Actress of All-Time: Laura Dern

  best film:  Blue Velvet. For cinephiles, Laura Dern will always be connected to the work of David Lynch. Certainly, many movie fans will always think of her as Dr. Ellie Sattler in Jurassic Park (a fine film to be remembered for).  Dern has also been nominated three films in non-Lynch and non-Jurassic films/roles (Rambling Rose, Wild, Marriage Story).  Blue Velvet is currently listed as the 48th best film of all-time so that wins out here. Other films that warrant serious consideration in this category are Wild at Heart (again with Lynch), Little Women, Marriage Story, and, of course,

The 73rd Best Actress of All-Time: Laura Dern2023-01-16T14:32:16+00:00

The 72nd Best Actress of All-Time: Grace Kelly

  best film:  Rear Window is Grace Kelly’s finest film. She is very strong in a top 100 all-time film from the great master Alfred Hitchcock, so this category is a strength for Kelly. Her second best is actually Fred Zinneman’s western High Noon over the other two Hitchcock collaborations.     Grace Kelly in high gloss in an unforgettable close-up from Hitchcock's Rear Window     best performance:  Rear Window - and it is just by an eyelash over To Catch a Thief. She swallows up the scenes (in a positive way) in both films with

The 72nd Best Actress of All-Time: Grace Kelly2023-01-14T13:28:42+00:00

The 71st Best Actress of All-Time: Simone Signoret

  best film:  Simone Signoret has three films at the top that any actor would be proud of. She is in Max Ophüls’ La Ronde (1950), Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Diabolique (1955), and Jean-Pierre Melville’s Army of Shadows (1969). In the end, Melville’s spy film triumphs in this category. This is a masterfully told espionage/war film – full of intelligence and a distinct narrative and visual tone. Melville’s style is fully developed and mature by the late 1960s and Army of Shadows is draped in a jaw-droppingly beautiful and consistent mise-en-scene of muted blues, grays and midnight indigo day for night

The 71st Best Actress of All-Time: Simone Signoret2023-01-12T16:07:27+00:00

The 70th Best Actress of All-Time: Claudette Colbert

  best film:  It is a two-horse race here and Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night reigns supreme above Preston Sturges’ The Palm Beach Story. Both films feature crazy good talent in front of the camera (Claudette Colbert in both of course – opposite Clark Gable in Capra’s film and Joel McCrea in The Palm Beach Story) and witty writing. It is Capra’s breakneck editing pace that really pushes it past Sturges’ film (and so many others) in the screwball genre.   1934 was the year of Claudette Colbert in Hollywood. She not only had It Happened One

The 70th Best Actress of All-Time: Claudette Colbert2023-01-10T13:48:28+00:00

The 69th Best Actress of All-Time: Michelle Williams

  best film:  Blue Valentine squeaks past Brokeback Mountain, Synecdoche, New York and Wendy and Lucy for the top spot here. Sadly, Michelle Williams is lacking a masterpiece on her resume and that hurts her case - but there is a cluster of quality films (Shutter Island and Meek’s Cutoff not far behind the three films previously listed) vying for this spot which is something. Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine (from 2010 - and still his strongest to date) deserves comparison to brilliant films like Roberto Rossellini's Journey to Italy (1954), Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage (1973) and Noah

The 69th Best Actress of All-Time: Michelle Williams2023-01-07T13:52:24+00:00

The 68th Best Actress of All-Time: Amy Adams

  best film:  As 2012 gets smaller in rearview mirror,  it becomes clearer that The Master is one of the best films of the 21st century. It is easily the best film Amy Adams has been a part of. The closest contenders (and there is some distance here) are Spike Jonze’s Her and David O. Russell’s American Hustle.     Adams plays Peggy Dodd in Paul Thomas Anderson's masterpiece. She plays the wife of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Lancaster. She is not given as much space to work as PSH (or Joaquin Phoenix of course) but hers is a

The 68th Best Actress of All-Time: Amy Adams2023-01-04T21:02:26+00:00

The 67th Best Actress of All-Time: Marion Cotillard

  best film:  Inception. Marion Cotillard, in her career, has been in four top ten of the year films (and The Immigrant is only locked out because of a crazy deep year in 2013) but Christopher Nolan’s Inception is clearly the greatest of those films. She appears on screen for no more than 10-15 minutes of the film but she packs a wallop as Mal, Leonardo DiCaprio’s (as Cobb) wife/nightmare/femme fatale. This is a mesmerizing turn by Cotillard in what is clearly one of the decade’s best films.     Cotillard gives the best per-minute (about 13 minutes

The 67th Best Actress of All-Time: Marion Cotillard2023-01-01T14:12:11+00:00

The 66th Best Actress of All-Time: Joan Fontaine

  best film:  Letter from an Unknown Woman from Max Ophüls edges out Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca and George Stevens’ Gunga Din. Joan Fontaine is superb in both Letter from an Unknown Woman and Rebecca (she does not get much time to shine backing up the boys in deeper support in Gunga Din). Letter from an Unknown Woman landed at #250 on the top 500 list so there are actors with a stronger best film left off this list for sure. It would have been great to see Fontaine in one of Hitchcock or Ophüls’ top tier efforts (this currently

The 66th Best Actress of All-Time: Joan Fontaine2022-12-29T14:13:07+00:00

The 65th Best Actress of All-Time: Janet Gaynor

  best film:  Sunrise is capital “M” Masterpiece and amongst the greatest films of all-time. F.W. Murnau’s film is a stylistic tour de force. Janet Gaynor is Murnau’s face of innocence and purity.  Brilliant performances from a female actor in the top twenty (20) to twenty-five (25) films of all-time are rare of course- so this category is a strength for Gaynor.     Gaynor as "The Wife" in Murnau's masterpiece       best performance:  Gaynor plays “The Wife” (opposite George O’Brien’s “The Man”) in Sunrise and this is Gaynor’s best work. Her work with Frank

The 65th Best Actress of All-Time: Janet Gaynor2022-12-26T15:16:10+00:00

The 64th Best Actress of All-Time: Claudia Cardinale

  best film:  Look at these options: Rocco and His Brothers, 8 ½, The Leopard, Once Upon a Time in the West, Fitzcarraldo – Claudia Cardinale is in five masterpieces, so this category is an unequivocal strength for her.  The single best film on her resume is Federico Fellini’s 8 ½ .  She has a bigger role in The Leopard and Once Upon a Time in the West - but there is plenty to admire in appreciate in her few minutes on screen as simply “Claudia” opposite o Marcello Mastroianni’s Guido. Fellini’s film has Mastroianni’s performance at the heart

The 64th Best Actress of All-Time: Claudia Cardinale2022-12-18T17:17:57+00:00

The 63rd Best Actress of All-Time: Isabelle Huppert

  best film:  Isabelle Huppert’s best film may surprise some or act as fuel for a good trivia question. Her best film is Michael Cimino’s much maligned but splendidly ambitious 1980 film Heaven’s Gate. The film helped sink United Artists studio and it largely killed the career of Cimino (Huppert, John Hurt, Christopher Walken, Jeff Bridges and many others involved clearly survived ok).  It is Gone with the Wind large (the dance to Blue Danube on the lawns at Harvard, the railroad set piece, the dance roller rink set piece with whirling Steadicam).  It shares bloodlines with Robert Altman’s

The 63rd Best Actress of All-Time: Isabelle Huppert2022-12-20T12:06:22+00:00

The 62nd Best Actress of All-Time: Helen Mirren

  best film:  The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover is simply one of the great works in the artform’s history and Helen Mirren is front and center for it. Gosford Park is an important Robert Altman work - it is amongst the master’s best - but the answer here is still Greenaway’s film. There is a different color for each room - exteriors in blue, dining in red, bathroom in white, kitchen in green—some characters outfits change colors as does the cigarettes for Mirren. There is different music in every room - the child singing opera,

The 62nd Best Actress of All-Time: Helen Mirren2022-12-17T13:38:31+00:00
Go to Top