My Favorite Top Ten Actresses

I have noticed that in my posts regarding actors, I haven’t chosen many females, and as a feminist, it does not sit right with me. To that end, I decided to write a post dedicated to my favorite actresses. This is now a penis free realm. Hos before bros. Hos before bros. And I think you care about my opinion because…well let’s face it. If you didn’t you wouldn’t be reading my blog.

10. Amy Adams

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Best Role: Charlene Flemming in The Fighter

Amy Adams is on here because even though she hasn’t done as much work as some of the other women on this post, I think she has a large amount of potential. With just a few roles, she has shown more range than most actors have ever shown in their entire careers. I’m really looking forward to seeing the continued burgeoning of Adam’s talent.

9. Meryl Streep

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Best Role: Clarissa Vaughan from The Hours

Meryl Streep has become one of those actresses everyone thinks of when you mention Hollywood. When you watch one of her movies, it seems as if she slips into character as easily as a glove. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie in which she delivers a disappointing performance.

8. Judy Dench

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Best Role: Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love

So here is where I reveal what a history nerd I am by saying that I love the Elizabeth I performances of 3 of the actresses on this list. The other two are Helen Mirren and Cate Blanchett. But anyway, Judy Dench is always a pleasure to watch on the screen. She always commands a lot of feeling in her voice, plus a hell of a lot of power.

7. Emma Thompson

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Best role: Karen Eiffel in Stranger than Fiction

I love Emma Thompson. She acts a wide range, and yet every character she does has this fire beneath it that always makes me come back for more. Although I do have to say I was very disappointed that she chose to act in Men in Black 3. Oh well, I gues she has bills too.

6. Natalie Portman

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Best Role: Nina Sayers in Black Swan

I will be very honest. When I saw Natalie Portman’s performance in Star Wars: Episode III, I thought she was a terrible actress. “Anaken, you’re breaking my heart!” She has since redeemed herself in a way I never thought possible. First, she did such a great job in Garden State. She delivered a remarkable performance in V for Vendetta, and kudos to her for still being able to look sexy with a shaven head. Then she was like a bolt of lightening in Black Swan. Her performance in that movie was some of the best acting I’ve ever seen. She really deserved the Oscar she received for it.

5. Helen Mirren

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Best Role: Elizabeth II in The Queen

When I saw The Queen, I saw Helen Mirren perform for the first time, and she captured my heart. She did such a powerful performance as Elizabeth II that now whenever I think of the Queen of England, I don’t think of Elizabeth Windsor, I think of Helen Mirren.

5. Angelina Jolie

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Best Role; Lisa Rowe in Girl Interrupted

Angelina Jolie is an actress with the remarkable ability to make the audience believe that she isn’t Angelia Jolie anymore, but her character. Say what you will about her being a home-wrecker or that her lips have all the collagen in the Western hemisphere, Jolie is a masterful actress.

4. Keira Knightly

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Best Role: Sabina Spielrein from A Dangerous Method

For a while, I had thought Keira Knightley had the potential to be a great actress. Then she did a great job as Elizabeth Benett in Pride and Prejudice, then was astounding in A Dangerous Method. I feel like her career can only keep going up, and I eagerly await her Anna Karenina.

3. Hillary Swank

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Best Role: Alice Paul in Iron Jawed Angels

I don’t kow what it is about Hillary Swank, but every movie I see her in I have to watch it either at a movie theater or alone to make sure no one talks during it so I can hear every word, because she commands so much power and passion. Everyone thinks of her performance in Million Dollar Baby, which was amazing to be sure, but in Iron Jawed Angels, she has a speech in which she explains her cause for women’s rights and even though I’ve seen the movie 20 times, I’m floored every time I hear it. As an actress, Swank has the entire package.

2. Kate Winslet

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Best Role: Hanna Schmitz in The Reader

I love Kate Winslet so much. Not only is she a great actress, she only takes roles in movies that she thinks are high in quality. And whenever she has photo shoots, she doesn’t allow post-touch-ups. And damn, can she act. There are so many movies that I love mainly because of her presence, and I will basically see any movie if I know she is in the cast. She is that great.

  1. Cate Blanchett
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Best Role: Daisy from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

I’ll admit, I was going back and forth with Blachett and Winslet for a while as to who I’d pick as umber one, but I finally decided it needed to be Blanchett. She is a powder keg. She commits so much to every role that I feel whatever emotion she portrays. For example, if you’ve ever seen Babel, you know her character gets shot while she’s traveling with her husband in Morroco, and the nearest doctor is in a small village. She pleads with her huband not to let him operate on her, and her entire body, her every movement exudes terror. In that moment I was about to cry it was so tense. Her ability of transferring her emotions onto the audience made me put her as number 1. She is in my opinion the best actress.

Honorable Mention:

Kathy Bates

Maggie Smith

Julie Andrews

Jodie Foster

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The Top Ten Best Mind Fuck Films

So, I originally created this list about a month ago, but because of movies I have recently seen and other ones that I did not think of at the time, I decided to come back to it and amend it.

Please excuse my language, but I am not being obscene just to be obscene. I feel that these are the only words that appropriately convey the meaning I am going for. What I mean by “mind fuck films” are movies that are hard to pin down what exactly is going on. Even after the extreme twist ending, when the credits role, you remain sitting, stunned in your seat. Your only response is “What?” What I think best characterizes all these movies is that they expose a rift between what we perceive as reality and what actually is reality, and by doing so make us question how we see the world. I believe these are some of the most thought provoking movies, and also some of the most artistic and creative.

10. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

In this imaginative movie, characters quite literally venture into the imagiation of Doctor Parnassus, a man who made a deal with the devil to become immortal at the cost of daughter’s life. This movie has a stellar cast including Christopher Plummer, Tom Waits, Heath Ledger, Johny Depp, Colin Farrell, and Jude Law. The story line is whimsical and innovative, and the acid trip images is enough to get your mind spinning.

9. The Fountain

The Fountain is incredible. It follows three story lines. In the first, Hugh Jackman plays a researcher desperately determined to save his wife Izzi (Rachel Weisz) from her terminal brain cancer. In second story which follows the book Izzi is writing, Jackman plays a conquistador in the New World trying to find the Fountain of Youth. In the third, Jackman is some kind of space traveler who is in love with a tree which is a personification of Izzi. Get that? The 3 intertwined stories all reflect each other in a riveting way. And let’s face it, the more fantastic, sci-fi third story is very strange and at times makes you wonder, why the hell is Hugh Jackman feeling up a tree? But it’s still a great mind fuck movie, and will also make you ball.

8. The Prestige

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I promise I’m not including another Hugh Jackman movie because I think he’s hot.I love this movie, and not just because of all the yummy actors. The Prestige is a movie about two rivaling magicians in early twentieth century London. Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) have escalated their tricks in response to their rivalry until both magicians resort to drastic measures to outdo the other. The audience doesn’t find out until the end what exactly Angier and Borden are doing, but even after the shocking ending, you are left with the important question, what are people willing to do simply to get ahead?

7. Donnie Darko

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I don’t know if I can describe this cult classic 80’s movie’s plot in just a few sentences, but I’ll give it a try. Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a disturbed teenager who is “visited” by a strange bunny periodically who persuades Donnie to commit a number of strange crimes and also tells him the world is going to end in 28 days. I don’t know how to say anymore without writing another page about this movie, so I will stop there. Just take me on my word that this movie is a total mind fuck.

6. A Clockwork Orange

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Unlike most of the other movies on this list, A Clockwork Orange doesn’t have some unexpected twist ending so shocking it dissolves your brain. However, I included this movie because of how it forces viewers to question the world around them plus a slew of philosophical issues. Alex Delarge (Malcolm McDowell) lands in prison due to his sociopathic tendencies and joins a treatment program to get out as quickly as possible. Researchers have developed a way to keep criminals from committing crimes again by aversion therapy. Alex is drugged and forced to watch violent movies for hours on end. After two weeks of this treatment, Alex is physically unable to commit a crime, not because he doesn’t want to, but simply because his body won’t allow him to. I’m sure I don’t need to say anything more for the poignant themes to be extrapolated.

5. Pan’s Labyrinth

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I knew this movie was really going to scare me, but I had also heard how good it was, so I forced myself to sit through it. And I was right. It terrified me. I still shudder at the thought of that eye monster thing. But, it was well worth it, because this movie is incredible. It is also a mind fuck. This Spanish movie takes place in Spain after the Spanish Civil War. Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) is a young girl whose mother (Ariadna Gil) has married a powerful yet dangerous man, Captain Vidal (Sergis López). To escape, Ofelia wanders Vidal’s extensive property and finds a large maze where she meets a faun (Doug Jones) who tells her she’s a princess and must complete a few tasks to take her throne. It’s never very clear what exactly is going on in this movie. Is Ofelia actively imaging these things? Or has she lost her grip on reality and truly believes they’re happening? Or are they actually occurring? I think an argument could be made for all three. Either way, this is an incredible movie that everyone should see. That is if they can get through the eye monster without dying from fear, like I almost did.

4. Being John Malkovich

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This movie is…odd, but great. Craig Schwartz (John Cusack) is an out of work puppet master who falls in love with Maxine (Catherine Keener) a woman who wants nothing to do with him. Schwartz happens upon a portal into the mind of the actor John Malkovich (played by himself). Through controlling Malkovich’s body, Schwartz gains the confidence to earn Maxine’s love, but not without angering his girlfriend (Cameron Diaz) and Dr. Lestor, (Orson Bean) a man who claims to already possess real-estate on Malkovich’s body so he and a bunch of other old people can be young forever. Yes, it is as weird as it sounds, but it’s a great movie. And a total mind fuck.

3. Black Swan

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This movie is a piece of art. And really disturbing. And you will be scratching your head until you’re bald. Nina (Natalie Portman) is a technical ballerina who earns the lead part of Odette in Swan Lake. She isn’t performing as well as her director (Vincent Cassel) would hope. Nina starts feeling threatened by her understudy, a more lively dancer and bolder person, Lily (Mila Kunis). As the pressure mounts, Nina starts losing her grip on reality. I’ve seen this movie twice, and I’m still not completely sure which scenes are in Nina’s head and what actually happens. For a dark descent into someone’s subconscious, some phenomenal dancing, and a mind fuck, see this movie.

2. Fight Club

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This movie is incredible in so many ways. Where do I start? The narrator (Edward Norton) is completely disillusioned by the monotony of his life. He starts to feel alive when he meets the articulate and confident Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt). Durden and the narrator become inspired to create Fight Club, a group in which men beat the shit out of each other to feel something real. After a while, Fight Club becomes organized into a an anti-corporate terrorist gang called Project Mayhem. The narrator has to reign in the inevitable domino effect he’s started and fight to control the wild Tyler Durden. I can only think of one further thing to say. What is the only rule of Fight Club? You don’t talk about Fight Club.

1. Memento

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When I came up with the idea of creating this list, I knew instantly what my number 1 would be. I think anyone who has seen this movie would agree that there is no bigger mind fuck than Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece Memento. Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce) has anterograde amnesia. His brain can’t create new memories or retrieve old ones. Leonard only knows one thing for sure because he tattooed it on his body: John G. killed his wife. Through his strange network of tattoos and intensive note taking, Leonard is working hard to find his wife’s killer despite his damaged brain. The movie has a backwards structure. The beginning is chronologically speaking the last event in the timeline, while the end is the first. This allows the audience to somehow experience what Leonard faces. You have to piece information together pretty much every scene. So Memento is definitely not one of those movies you can just sit back and turn off your brain. You constantly have to work to know what’s happening, and even after the end you’re still not quite sure. But it is well worth the effort. Definitely one of the best movies ever made.

Honorable Mention

The Orphanage

Inception

Sucker Punch

Shutter Island

Please let me know if you think I have neglected a fantastic mind fuck film.