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

Quills: I Don’t Think This Title Just Refers to a Writing Implement

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I was really excited about seeing this movie. It has four of my favorite actors: Geoffrey rush, Kate Winslet, Joaquin Phoenix, and Michael Caine in most possible his most brooding role ever.

Quills, directed by Philip Kaufman, was released in 2000. It is about the Marquise de Sade. If that name is ringing a bell, it’s because he is notorious for scandalizing Paris and angering everyone (including Napoleon) with his lechery and steamy novels. In the movie, the Marquise (Geoffrey Rush) is in the Charenton Insane Asylum, run by Abbe du Coulmier (Joaquin Phoenix) where with the help of a the laundry woman Madeleine (Kate Winslet) the Marquise is able to smuggle out and publish his scandalous novels. His work sets Paris in an uproar, both in positive and negative fashions. Aghast, Napoleon sends a harsh man of “science,” Dr. Royer-Collard (Michael Caine) to go investigate Charenton. Coulmier has to get the Marquise in line, or face the shut down of his asylum, leaving hundreds of mentally ill patients with nowhere to go.

 

This movie about censorship really caught me quite off guard. What began as a whimsical farce became one of the most disturbing and haunting movies I’ve ever seen. Considering the film’s subject matter, I was expecting some steamy sex scenes, but the closest to that we get is Joaquin Phoenix resorting to necrophilia. Whatever floats your boat, man.

And interestingly, while I sincerely love Geoffrey Rush and Kate Winslet, Joaquin Phoenix steals the show, despite his accosting of corpses. His performance as the Abbe caught between God and science, his heart and his vows, rivals that of his role as Commodus in the movie Gladiator. There are so scenes where he is so haunting, so piercing (I guess in more ways than one) that I won’t be able to forget this movie for a while.

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Also, I think this film has more sexual innuendos of any I’ve ever seen. Thought that award would go to something like, oh, I don’t know, American Pie or something. Anyway, if you like blatant sexual humor, this movie is right up your alley.

While I really enjoyed this film, I think it slightly missed the mark. I think the screenwriter and director wanted to drive their story home through shock. However, I didn’t feel like this strengthened their points. Instead, I just felt shocked. I think if the dark side of the movie had been toned down, just a little bit (you know, maybe Joaquin Phoenix doesn’t have sex with a corpse, or maybe Geoffrey Rush doesn’t write on the walls with his excretion, or…). There is a fine line between shocking artfully and being Quentin Tarantino.

For a very strong commentary of some very important issues including censorship, sex, pornography, science, and religion, I give this astounding movie an 8.