Monday, December 08, 2008

10, 20, 50 Actresses...

Nathaniel and I are having actressy mind-meld today, and while I know your first reaction is to ask what else is new, I didn't know that this morning he was going to start this offhanded meme about people's 20 favorite actresses. And he didn't know that last night, amid a strenuous bout of syllabus prep, I would have curricular need to screen Lady Sings the Blues and Our Town and thereby hit a mile-marker of 50 Best Actresses nominees to go, out of 398. Cosmic convergence? I'll let you decide, but for all you occult numerologists, check this out, too. Since Martha Scott in Our Town was the last nominee I had left from 1940, at the same moment that I have 50 nominees left to watch, I have exactly 50 Oscar years completed with regard to this category.

You can see what I have left to screen by scrolling down here. I think it's fair to say that I'm most excited at this point about these ten: Eagels '29, Bergner '35, Dunne '39, Garland '54, Bergman '56, Hayward '58, Hepburn '59, Wood '61, Stanley '64, and Ullmann '72. They won't be my last, since I'm intending to conclude with the '54 trifecta, give or take whenever I can make it out to UCLA to see The Barker. More yearly profiles to follow when the Favorites Countdown is finished.

Meanwhile, tossed off over lunch, my answer to Nathaniel's graphic meme. I couldn't help ranking a little bit in terms of tiers, and like everyone who's answering, I'm sure I'd swap some of the lower-rung candidates on a different day, but it speaks to my ardor that I had all these images saved up on my hard drive and knew just where to find them. Not necessarily my favorite performances, but it's what I found most quickly to work with:

Click to enlarge. In case your vision's bad or you're unfamiliar, that's Tilda Swinton presiding; then Katharine Hepburn, Jessica Lange, and Barbara Stanwyck; then Claudette Colbert, Holly Hunter, Julianne Moore, Bette Davis, Vanessa Redgrave, and Liv Ullmann; and finished off with Patricia Clarkson, Vivien Leigh, Marlene Dietrich, Delphine Seyrig, Harriet Andersson, Agnes Moorehead, Meryl Streep, Cicely Tyson, Joan Allen, and Gena Rowlands.

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Blogger Guy Lodge said...

You've never seen "Seance on a Wet Afternoon?" What a treat awaits you.

6:28 PM, December 08, 2008  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

I wasn't as foresightful as Goatdog was about his Best Pictures, but I have attempted to save at least a few gems for the end run. Hence, Stanley, whom I've loved in everything I've seen her in up till now. Wish there were some way to get my hands on The Goddess...

7:06 PM, December 08, 2008  
Blogger Dame James said...

They occasionally play The Goddess on TCM. That's where I saw it a couple of years ago. The film is a bit stodgy, but Stanley is impressive.

8:05 PM, December 08, 2008  
Blogger NATHANIEL R said...

Nick... there are so many numbers within the text of this post that I feel like I should have an abacus or an excel spread sheet handy just to keep track ;)

TILDA has advanced. For whatever reason I thought Katharine and Claudette were your #1 and #2?

7:15 AM, December 09, 2008  
Blogger NicksFlickPicks said...

@DJH: I've gotta get TCM again. It's the only reason I'm ever tempted to reconnect my cable, but it's a good one.

@Nathaniel: Granted, it's been a phenomenal year to be a Tilda fan, between Michael Clayton and Julia, but she hasn't really advanced... it's basically been her and Katharine and Jessica crowded around the top for me since I was in high school, with one or two of the others joining them at different times. Stanwyck is the big gainer here, after I watched a lot of her early 30s stuff this summer.

10:13 AM, December 09, 2008  

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