Sometimes I wish I could watch movies like a normal person.
Well- Actually I don’t. I’m not sure why I just said that.
Being an actor myself I can sometimes be overly critical of the acting of others. A bad actor can spoil a movie for me. On the other hand, a good actor can elevate the status of the movie by a great deal.
There are a great many actors who have earned my respect and appreciation. Far too many to mention in this single post. Hence I will here focus on actresses and get to actors at a later date.
Even so I cannot say these are my ‘7 Favorite Actresses’. Rather, they are 7 of my favorite actresses. (Please keep in mind I am judging them solely by their acting. I know nothing of their personal lives.)
1. Miranda Otto
I’ve only actually seen Miranda in one role. But she does it beautifully. Her elegance, intensity, and sorrow are wonderfully done and quite convincing. When watching the behind-the-scenes, I was surprised to find that she is actually a rather bubbly sort of person. Which goes to show how well she played her part.
Noteworthy roles: Eowyn in The Lord of the Rings
2. Emily Watson
I’ve always admired Emily Watson for the uniqueness she brings to a role. I’m not quite sure what it is, but something about her has always struck me as different.
AHH! This kills me.
Well, actually both of them do.
Noteworthy roles: Millie in Miss Potter. Rosa in The Book Thief.
Interestingly enough the first thing I saw her in was this:
Yes. That is Kermit’s head. And Rolf’s ear. The first time I saw her act was her cameo in The Muppets. Then it was this:
And then this:
Diversity of roles is something I greatly value. The ability to flourish as an actor in different settings and time periods is most important. I didn’t realize how much I valued this until I saw it done poorly. There is something most unpleasant about watching a movie supposedly set in the 1800 where the lead acts as if they are from the 21 century (which they are, but that’s the point of acting). Emily Blunt does well in different surroundings with different character types (because some people just have one sort of character that they play over and over again [*cough cough* Tom Cruise *cough*]).
Noteworthy roles: Rita in Edge of Tomorrow. The Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods. Queen Victoria in The Young Victoria.
4. Jennifer Lawrence
I did not plan on liking the Hunger Games movies. In fact, I had no intention of watching them until it happened.
The character of Katniss needed to have a great amount of emotional depth beneath all the action and killing in the films. She isn’t just some action hero, running around shooting people and having car chases. She is a girl who is forced into these horrific circumstances and must do all she can to survive. She’s intense, but she’s scared. She’s human. Jennifer Lawrence did an excellent job of making the character real and vulnerable.
And this scene. THIS SCENE.
One thing about Jennifer Lawrence I like is that when she cries in the films, she cries like a real person. None of this ‘And the single tear slipped down there cheek as they stared off at the horizon’. When she cries it’s ugly. All her pain manifesting itself in her face.
This scene is one of my favorite death/mourning sequences in a film.
The other day I walked into the room where someone was watching this movie. It had just gotten to this part. I didn’t think it would make me cry just walking in on it without having followed the story up to this point.
But Jennifer Lawrence changed that. To quote Mike Wazowski “If you cry, I’m gonna cry-”
And JAMES NEWTON HOWARD. He really has no place on this list as he is in fact a composer. But if I’m talking about this sequence I have to mention him because the MUSIC has as much to do with the emotional impact as Jennifer Lawrence’s acting.
5. Maggie Smith
Maggie Smith is fantastic.
I can’t really think of any more to say…
She’s definitely one of my favorite actresses in the Harry Potter movies.
And David Copperfield!
Noteworthy roles: Professor McGonagall in Harry Potter. Betsy Trotwood in David Copperfield.
6. Helena Bonham Carter
Helena Bonham Carter does a wonderful job playing a variety of characters. As I said before, diversity or roles in an actor is something I greatly appreciate.
And so, while she does a wonderful job as Queen Elizabeth, a perfectly nice and normal person….
She also plays a very convincing (not to mention creepy) deranged Belatrix.
Noteworthy roles: Queen Elizabeth in The King’s Speech. Belatrix Lestrange in Harry Potter. Jenny/ The Witch in Big Fish. Miss Havisham in Great Expectaions (She gave a wonderful performance as Miss Havisham, unfortunately it was the only thing I really liked about this movie).
7. Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson is brilliant. Quite possibly my favorite actress.
She does very well in a variety of roles.
And though many of her characters are hilarious, she also does a phenomenal job of emotional characters.
Often times a mix of humor and emotion.
AHHH! I love this movie.
Noteworthy roles: Sibyl Trelawney in Harry Potter. Karen Eiffel in Stranger than Fiction. Nanny McPhee in Nanny McPhee. Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing. P.L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks.