A chronic problem of the movie industry is the rejection of great actresses and meaty roles for them to play with. Most great actresses are under praised in favor of their male counterparts. So I decided to do a top 5 favorite actress countdown in honor of WOMEN! YAY!
5. Julie Delpy
Julie stars in a pair of my favorite romantic films ever, Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. In these films, I fell in love with her. She is silly and enthusiastic and intellectual and just plain awesome. Those films came about through workshops with herself, her co-star Ethan Hawke and the director Richard Linklater, so I like to think that she infused her character with aspects of herself. She is a multi-talented actress who picks roles she likes, not roles she makes a lot of money from. She has even directed a few films, which is totally awesome. Favorite films: Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, 2 Days in Paris. Movies I can’t Wait To See: The Countess, Two Days in New York
4. Maggie Cheung
Most of these actresses won the way into my heart by playing leading roles in romantic/drama films. Maggie is no different. One of my favorite films of all time, In the Mood for Love, stars her and Tony Leung (one of my favorite actors of all time). She plays a secretive woman whose husband is cheating on her with Tony Leung’s wife. They find out together and they pretend to be each other’s spouses so they could break up with them. Of course this leads to them falling in love. It is a film of subtlety and that is how I describe Maggie’s acting style. She conveys a plethora of emotions through one look, one word. She is also very versatile in the roles she plays. She can go easily from doing acrobatic stunts on wires to playing a rock star addict very easily. Favorite Films: Clean, In the Mood for Love, Hero, Irma Vep, 2046. Films I Can’t Wait to See: The Soong Sisters, Ashes of Time (original), Centre Stage, Days of Being Wild
3. Juliette Binoche
If you don’t love Juliette, then you don’t love international cinema. Beyond what she has done in the States, she has put in some of the most amazing performances that I have ever seen in on the screen. She has worked with some of the most influential film directors of all time and yet she makes their films that she stars in the highlights of their filmographies. If you haven’t seen Blue, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Summer Hours and man more, just go out and see them. Your life will be better for it. Films I Can’t Wait To See: Certified Copy, Cache, Cosmopolis, Code Unknown, Flight of the Red Balloon
2. Isabelle Huppert
I get giddy every time I see her name in the credits when I do my pre-viewing prep. Her small lips, freckled skin, shock of red hair and her quiet yet affecting voice just makes me want to ask why she isn’t the height of female beauty? She transforms into her characters so effortlessly it is something to see. One of my favorite performances of all time it the Piano Teacher. If you want to see Isabelle at the top of her game, watch this film. Favorite Films: The Piano Teacher, White Material, 8 Women, Madame Bovary. Films I Can’t Wait to See: Die Blutgrafin, Time of the Wolf, Les Destinees, Loulou, The Story of Women, The Lacemaker, Every Man for Himself
1. Tilda Swinton
What an awesome actress Tilda is. She inspired this list because I just got finished watching I am Love. She is so great in that film that I got to thinking, what is she not great in? I came up with nothing that I have seen at least. She is avant-garde, she is sweet, she is beautiful in a unconvential way and she is a phenomenal actress. From her early more experimental films to the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, she is amazing. I cannot wait to see We Need to Talk About Kevin. Favorite Films: Orlando, Michael Clayton, Burn After Reading, I Am Love. Films I Can’t Wait To Watch: Julia, The Man from London, Edward II, Caravaggio, Moonrise Kingdom, Die Blutgrafin, We Need to Talk About Kevin
I seem to have picked mostly European actresses, so this is my American alternate list:
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Nicole Kidman (sorry I know she is Australian, but she has done a lot of American films)
Dian Keaton and Mia Farrow (with Woody Allen and in their early careers for the most part)
My next top 5 is going to be actresses I would see any film they were in (Classic). I am not giving anything away, so you will have to be patient, man.