Tuesday, May 15, 2012

TOP 10: Best Actresses Relay Race

Earlier this month, Myfilmviews started a fun blogathon called "The Ten: Best Actresses of All Time". It's a relay race where bloggers contribute by removing and adding an actress to maintain a running top 10 list. This race continues by passing it on to another blogger and now it's my turn! Here are the previous legs of the race:

The Velvet Cafe
Martin Teller
The Movie Review Warehouse
Benefits of a Classical Education
Just Another Movie Blog

Now here is the list as I received it from Steve:

Cate Blanchett

Katharine Hepburn

Frances McDormand

Julianne Moore

Barbara Stanwyck

Meryl Streep

Liv Ullmann

Kate Winslet

Viola Davis

Juliette Binoche

My Removal
My decision came down to 3 women - Viola Davis, Barbara Stanwyck and Liv Ullmann. I adore Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet (my 3 personal favs) and the other 4 have delivered some amazing performances. Apart from "Doubt" and "The Help", I don't think Viola has given enough memorable performances to warrant a place on an all-time best list. However, it's not really her fault as it's difficult for black actresses to get leading roles in quality films. I'm not very familiar with Barbara's filmography, however I did see her in "Double Indemnity" and she was superb in that role. Unfortunately, I am forced to cut...

Liv Ullmann

Apologies to Jessica, but I haven't seen any of Liv's films and I love the other actresses too much to keep her.

My Addition
All the women above are known more for their serious dramatic turns, so I thought I would take it in a slightly different direction. My choice is a famous musical actress, she is...

Judy Garland

With her pleasant demeanor and beautiful voice, she came into public esteem with her iconic role as Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz". So accomplished was her performance that the Academy give her a special "juvenile" award. After this she made a seamless transition to more mature roles. She was so beautiful in "Meet Me In St. Louis" as a young woman in love and showed her extensive talent for physical comedy in "Easter Parade". She gave another legendary performance in "A Star Is Born", once again thrilling me with her voice, while being utterly heartbreaking at times. Despite her personal insecurities, she projected such confidence on screen. It's no wonder that 3 of her films have featured in my "Oldie Goldies" series. For me, she is one of the most captivating performers and certainly deserves a place on this list.

I now hand the baton to Dan over at Public Transformation Snob.


  1. Having just seen Scenes From a Marriage last night, it pains me to see Liv disappear. She is amazing. Judy Garland is an... interesting choice. Certainly a solid actress, but she didn't really have much of a range.

    Also, I'm happy to see Dan take a shot at this list. His blog is one of my favorites.

    1. Have you seen "A Star is Born"? I think she showed great range throughout that one film alone.

    2. I haven't seen A Star is Born. I'll have to check it out.

  2. I do like Judy Garland (most of the time), but losing Liv for her is... well, like Steve said, painful. She might well have been my choice if Jessica hadn't picked her before me. Although it's too late to save her, I do hope you check out some of her work, especially Scenes from a Marriage.

  3. This is a very cool idea for a blogathon! I agree with you about never having seen Liv Ullmann's work but from the comments, maybe I should look into that asap.

  4. Interesting addition to the list. I haven't seen much of Ullman (or maybe nothing), so I can understand removing her.

  5. I love Juliette Binoche . relay race is a good idea!

  6. I saw "Persona" couple of months ago and I was impressed by Liv Ullmann's muted performance. It was probably one of the most best female performances I've ever seen.