Thursday, September 15, 2005

Actress + Performance: A to L

For no apparent reason I will now list my favorite performances by the top 17 actresses (in descending order) from the A to L poll last week.
* if a title is in all caps that means the performance would likely place somewhere in my all time lists for Best Lead Actress performance *

Nicole Kidman
1. Moulin Rouge! 2. Birth3. To Die For
Jodie Foster
1. Nell 2. Silence of the Lambs 3. Taxi Driver
Holly Hunter
1. THE PIANO 2. thirteen 3. Living Out Loud
Diane Keaton
1. ANNIE HALL 2. Looking for Mr. Goodbar 3. Reds
Glenn Close
1. DANGEROUS LIAISONS 2. Fatal Attraction 3. The World According to Garp
Joan Allen
1. The Upside of Anger 2. The Crucible 3. The Bourne Supremacy
Kathy Bates
1. Misery 2. Primary Colors 3. Titanic
Jessica Lange
1. Tootsie 2. Men Don't Leave 3. A Thousand Acres
Jane Fonda
1. KLUTE 2. 9 to 5 3. The Morning After
Judi Dench
1. Shakespeare in Love 2. Mrs. Brown 3. A Room with a View
Salma Hayek
1. Frida 2. TimeCode 3. Desperado
Judy Davis
1. Husbands and Wives 2. The Ref 3. A Passage to India
Julie Christie
1. McCabe & Mrs Miller 2. Afterglow 3. Shampoo
Sally Field
1. Norma Rae 2. Steel Magnolias 3. Places in the Heart
Madelin Kahn
1. Paper Moon 2. Young Frankenstein 3. Clue
Annette Bening
1. Being Julia 2. The Grifters 3. American Beauty
Angelica Huston
1. THE GRIFTERS 2. Prizzis Honor 3. The Witches


Anonymous said...

veeery interesting. Nice to see so much love for Birth (Kidman), The Ref (Davis) and Witches (Huston).

However, Joan Allen in Pleasantville again goes unnoticed (sorry, it's my undying love for that movie, Joan and that performance)


Anonymous said...

And how can we not recognize Glenn for Reversal of Fortune (although, admitedly, nothing tops Dangerous Liaisons. ever. period.) Very nice to see Clue for madeline kahn though, although Valmont is kind of a joke. The American president is much better.


adam k. said...

Didn't realize you liked Birth and To Die For more than the Hours, Others, and Dogville perfs, Nathaniel. Interesting. I'm kinda with you on Moulin Rouge being IT! for Kidman, though. She annoyed me in it at first, but has grown on me immensely. Kidman's songs and tears in that film (the last scene when Ewan she calls Ewan back and they sing!) were the most sincere emotions I think I've ever seen from her. Gorgeous.
And Upside of Anger is your favorite Joan Performance EVER? Wow.
How good do you really think Bates was in Misery? I found her rather cartoonish. I guess she was good and served the material well, but an oscar? Over Huston? Laughable.

danny said...

Surprised you liked Fonda in 9 to 5 over Fonda in California Suite-she's like a tornado of words & energy in that film, very impressive.

And you've become my favorite person of the day for mentioning Madeline Kahn in Clue!

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on most of your choices there, though I'd have probably factored in Kathy Bates in Dolores Claiborne and Julie Christie in Darling. But I'm loving this list mania - keep it up!!


Joe R. said...

The Birth appeal evades me still, although it has its charms. As the designated apologist for The Hours, I'd have put Kidman's performance there as her best. Then The Others. Then Dogville.

If I had one Oscar to give Kathy Bates, it would have been for Primary Colors, but Misery really was tour-de-force, and it was nice to see the Academy award such an atypical Oscar role.

Judy Davis was KILLER in The Ref. Too bad no one took that flick seriously at the time.

par3182 said...

shocking omissions (according to me):

holly hunter - broadcast news
joan allen - pleasantville
jane fonda - they shoot horses, don't they
madeline kahn - what's up, doc?


well, the thing with omissions is i haven't seen some of the movies (he says sheepishly)

And some of the performers i don't really love as much as the rest so saying that Misery is my favorite Kathy Bates performance is not saying that she shoulda won the Oscar. See also: Judi Dench.

i have not seen Jane Fonda in They Shoot Horses if you can believe it! I need to see that because i love Fonda.

ortzi said...

I can't believe Nell is your favorite Jodie Foster performance. It's obscenely shocking that her most OTT perf topped her masterwork in Silence of the Lambs.

par3182 said...

'they shoot horses don't they' is a sensational film. please watch it asap.

Anonymous said...

"They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" is a devastating film. One of my favorites.
Please, Mr. Rogers, watch it soon.

Marcelo - Brazil.

Film Reader said...

Nat, you're sick. No really what is it with these polls!??? They seem to be coming one after another.

That said, I'm sick too. Love'em!! Keep up with the great work!


well the NELL thing. I'm not alone. Jodie also thinks it's her best performance. But one thing I have noticed is the less you love an actress the weirder your selections are in terms of what is their best performance. so that's a long way of saying that Jodie Foster I like a lot. Jodie Foster i do not really love a lot. and maybe i'm just being perverse with Nell ;) it's an easy performance to ridicule (funny voice performances always are so watch out Ledger and Hoffman this year -the backlash will probably happen for both)

I almost put Timecode as #1 for Salma Hayek because it's the only time ever prior to Frida that I thought: oh, maybe she can act. She still does nothing for me as an actress (not even in Frida)

and Judi Dench... i think she's a very good actress but just not a favorite of mine. Hence the fun cameo topping the one everyone loves the most (mrs brown)

John T. said...

My choices:

Nicole Kidman
1. The Hours 2. Moulin Rouge! 3. The Others
Jodie Foster
1. The Silence of the Lambs 2. Taxi Driver 3. Contact
Holly Hunter
1. The Piano-haven't seen enough for the rest
Diane Keaton
1. The Godfather, Part II 2. Annie Hall 3. Something's Gotta Give
Glenn Close
1. Sarah, Plain and Tall-don't care if it's a tv movie
Joan Allen
1. Pleasantville 2. The Contender 3. The Upside of Anger
Kathy Bates
1. Misery 2. Primary Colors 3. Titanic
Jane Fonda
1. Julia 2. They Shoot Horses, Don't They? 3. Klute
Judi Dench
1. Mrs. Brown 2. Iris 3. Shakespeare in Love
Madeline Kahn
1. Clue 2. Young Frankenstein 3. Blazing Saddles
Annette Bening
1. Being Julia 2. American Beauty 3. The American President

Anonymous said...

I think Salma Hayek gives a great performance in "El Callejón de los Milagros". I really think she is a good actress.

adam k. said...

Does all caps by the film mean the perf is a film bitch award winner?

Also, wow the next leftover actress poll is actually hard faught. Though Ellen Burstyn seems to be pulling away from the pack.

Anonymous said...

One performance that I think is missing is Madeline Kahn's work in Judy Berlin. I realize that it's a small film and not many people have seen it, but she's excellent in it.

Anonymous said...

I like some of your picks, but I think you missed some key performance by the actress that I'd like to point out.

Nicole Kidman - the Hours

Jodie Foster - The Accused

Holly Hunter - Broadcast News

Diane Keatonn - Baby Boom

Kathy Bates - Dolores Clairborne, About Schmidt (Titanic, yuk)

Jessica Lange - Frances, Rob Roy, Blue Sky

Jane Fonda - Coming Home, On Golden Pond, Julia

Judi Dench - Iris

Julie Christie - Doctor Zhivago, Bonnie and Clyde

darkcypherlad said...

Faye Dunaway, not Julie Christie, starred in Bonnie & Clyde.



ohmygod. i forgot American Beauty with Bening. That was so weird of me. I changed it.

Anonymous said...

Nath (sorry, that's what I call my friend who's called Nathalen, it's ingrained in me) only had three slots to fill and some of these actresses have had killer careers. I don't think he ignored certain performances per se...

(except for Joan Allen in Pleasantville EXPLAINATION PLEASE!?!)

sorry... that rabid love took over again.

I went to Blockbuster to get some Jane Fonda but could only get 9 to 5! So Instead I just hired some movies out that I haven't seen from the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die book that I got last Christmas. And 'The Boys', an Australian classic (supposedly) with David Wenham and Toni Collette.


Anonymous said...

Oh, that's right....that was Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde...what was thinking. Did she ever a fling with Warren Betty...maybe that's why I'm getting her mixed up with Julie Christie.

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