Last week I thought about male actors and their top performances in film. It’s time to consider the women. What’s the best performance by an actress EVER? In no particular order, here are my favorite seven:
Remember this one? Jodie Foster, 1988, Oscar-winning performance in The Accused. It was a hard film to watch, but Jodie’s wide range of emotions made her performance believable and beyond the norm.
Natalie Portman, The Black Swan (2010. The facial and body language was intense. The dancing made her performance a notch higher, and no other actress could have pulled off the role better.
I love William Styron’s novel Sophie’s Choice. Here’s an interview with him and Meryl Streep and the making of the 1982 film. Streep’s multi-lingual accent and depth of emotions made her 1982 performance unparalleled.
She’s funny. She’s dramatic. She can act and belt out a song better than anyone, even Judy or Liza. Barbara Streisand, 1968, Funny Girl.
Kate Winslet, The Reader (2008) The accent, the bewilderment, the age progression. A no-nonsense woman sucked up into the times became a heinous character. Her self-taught literacy gave her grace. How did Kate do it?
There’s a little of Blanche DuBois in all women. Vivien Leigh’s best performance opposite the explosive Marlon Brando.
Million Dollar Baby, (2004), Hilary Swank played Maggie Fitzgerald with the heart and right hook to rise to heroic stature. No one could have played Maggie better than Hilary Swank.
It was tough narrowing it down to 7. So many I didn’t mention! It’s easy to fall for the beauty of the actress and her charms. But when I think of stellar performances, I believe they extend beyond the beauty of the star. She becomes the complex, even unlikable character. Or, they showcase other talents like singing or dancing or boxing or languages–it makes their acting a one-of-a-kind performance.
What is your favorite performance?