Do you have any favorite actresses? It’s subjective, for sure, but I wanted to share five actresses that excel in every way. At least in my book.
After my heavy heart on Wednesday, I thought I would go to the shallowest place I could think of…Hollywood. And because I have a particular fondness for acting (side note: I was a Theater minor in college and once upon a time dreamed of being a movie star), I thought I would share with you who I think are the most captivating actresses out there right now.
Keep in mind that I have a young child and I may not be that current on the hottest actresses. But I can guarantee my picks will stand the test of time.
Here is my criteria: have charisma (you don’t have to be beautiful but you should be captivating), be believable (I need to believe you in your role 100%), be interesting (offer me something unexpected).
1. Kate Winslet
She’s one of my absolute favorite actresses. I’ve always loved her grace and honesty and her willingness to take on a role completely. But where I really fell in love with her acting was long before her famous turn in Titanic. If you haven’t had a chance, you should watch Heavenly Creatures. You’ll see a whole new side of Kate.
2. Kathy Bates
Yes, she’s a character actress but what a character she is. It doesn’t hurt that I’m a big fan of Stephen King (she became well known for her lead role in Misery). But my absolute favorite role of hers is Dolores Claiborne. As the title character, she masted the Maine accent and showed an incredible complexity to a character with decades of history.
3. Charlize Theron
Another pretty face. She’s been in many forgettable movies and some I’d like to forget (Sweet November, anyone?) But when I watched her in Monster, I was completely captivated and forgot entirely that she was Charlize, the movie star. It was an incredibly powerful and shocking performance that lent a certain level of humanity to her role as female serial killer, Aileen Wuornos.
4. Meryl Streep
Call it predictable but none can really top Meryl Streep in my book. She can make you laugh and cry with the greatest of ease. Whether she is playing a tough whistleblower in Silkwood or an elegant Danish woman in Out of Africa (my all time favorite movie), she is magic on the big screen.
5. Annette Bening
My unsung hero. Not only was she the only woman to snag a ring from Warren Beatty, but she also snagged an incredible role in another one of my favorite movies, American Beauty. Her strong, earthiness resonated with me the moment I saw her in Bugsy and she still rocks it in my book.
Who are your favorite actresses?
Completely agree with all 5 of them. Kathy Bates most of all. I remember seeing her in Fried Green Tomatoes. I loved her and think she was just fantastic and spot on character. I saw Dolores Claiborne and was absolutely shocked how much she reminded me of my mother both her character and looks even the accent was close being from MA. It is because of those reasons plus the fact she takes on each role in such a professional and fresh manner she is by far my favorite actress.
Solid list. Kate Winslet's willingness to be naked emotionally as well as physically so often is astounding. She deserves every Oscar she's been nominated for. Who doesn't love Kathy Bates? I'd watch her read the dictionary, but especially enjoy when she does comedy. Charlize is vulnerable and so incredibly talented and beautiful. Her J'Adore commercial is sexy in all the right ways. Yeah, Sweet November was a paycheck, but she's more than made up for that. Monster haunted my dreams for weeks. Ah, Meryl. Just her name is perfection. Not sure I can go with you on Annette Benning, she does have a certain screen presence but her body of work overall is not in the same class with the other amazing talent you mentioned before her. “American Beauty” was a one-off in my humble opinion, in the same way that Halle Berry was in a class by herself with “Monsters' Ball.” For pure talent I would add: Samantha Morton, Julianne Moore, Ellen Burstyn, Joan Allen, and my number one would be Cate Blanchett. Surprisingly Julia Roberts would also be on that list, she's a natural, and making it look that way is the hard part.
Oh yay! Another Kathy Bates fan! I think even in the stinkiest films she is incredible because she commits 100% to the role. And your mom talks like that? Wicked awesome!
I struggled with #5 on my list. In fact, only 3 of these were no-brainers for me. I forgot to add in my other criteria. I have to feel like I would like them in real life. Julianne Moore: great actress but something about her seems a little aloof. Joan Allen: very good but a little stoic. Julia Roberts? Not a chance. She may be a good actress but she's too much like a generic leading lady. (also remember, you have seen waaaaay more films than me).
Runners up for me would probably be: Cate Blanchett (good choice), Tilda Swinton, Jodie Foster, Judi Dench. I'm sure there's more.
As for Annette Bening, she just commands my attention when she's on screen. Perhaps its her voice I love so much.
See, I hated Monster … I was like “I just wasted 2 hours of my life?”
Good choices! I absolutely love Meryl Streep. Devil Wears Prada was one of my favs.
Oh, isn't Kathy Bates a joy to watch? Even when the character is a nut job, I still fall in love.
I agree with your list 100%. I love Kathy Bates too. Another of my favorite roles for her was in Primary Colors.
One I would probably add to this list is Hillary Swank. She was amazing in Million Dollar Baby, Boys Don't Cry and Iron Jawed Angels.