Matt's Blog

Matt's Favourite Actresses: 2012 Edition

In last week’s blog, I covered my favourite directors working today. This week, I’m turning my attention to my favourite actresses.

I always enjoy putting lists like this together. They tend to generate debate amongst some of my film-going friends.

In assessing each actress, I have only considered films they have starred in since 2002. To use a sporting term, I’m only looking at those who are “in form”. The two questions I ask myself are (1) how excited would I be if this actress appeared in a new movie? and (2) how many great films have they appeared in over the past decade?

Honourable mentions go to Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman, Amy Adams, Emily Watson, Marisa Tomei, Mia Wasikowska, Rosamund Pike, Viola Davis and Charlize Theron.

But my 10 favourite actresses based on my current, fragile state of mind are as follows...

Natalie Portman
10. Natalie Portman

Best Recent Performance:
Closer (2004)
Other Great Performances: No Strings Attached (2011), Black Swan (2010), The Other Boleyn Girl (2008), V For Vendetta (2005), Garden State (2004), Cold Mountain (2003)
Patricia Clarkson
9. Patricia Clarkson

Best Recent
Performance: Cairo Time (2009)
Other Great Performances: Friends With Benefits (2011), Easy A (2010), Elegy (2008), Good Night And Good Luck (2005), Dogville (2003), The Station Agent (2003), Pieces Of April (2003), Far From Heaven (2002)
Kate Winslet
8. Kate Winslet

Best Recent
Performance: Revolutionary Road (2008)
Other Great Performances: The Reader (2008), Little Children (2006), The Holiday (2006), Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004), Finding Neverland (2004)
Marion Cotillard
7. Marion Cotillard

Best Recent
Performance: La Vie En Rose (2007)
Other Great Performances: Midnight In Paris (2011), Little White Lies (2010), Inception (2010), Public Enemies (2009)
Michelle Williams
6. Michelle Williams

Best Recent
Performance: Take This Waltz (2011)
Other Great Performances: My Week With Marilyn (2011), Meek's Cutoff (2010), Blue Valentine (2010), Wendy & Lucy (2008), Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Rachel McAdams
5. Rachel McAdams

Best Recent
Performance: Mean Girls (2004)
Other Great Performances: Midnight In Paris (2010), Morning Glory (2010), State Of Play (2009), Wedding Crashers (2005), The Notebook (2004)
Meryl Streep
4. Meryl Streep

Best Recent
Performance: Doubt (2008)
Other Great Performances: Julie & Julia (2009), Mamma Mia! (2008), The Devil Wears Prada (2006), A Prairie Home Companion (2006), Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events (2004), The Manchurian Candidate (2004), The Hours (2002), Adaptation (2002)
Carey Mulligan
3. Carey Mulligan

Best Recent
Performance: An Education (2009)
Other Great Performances: Shame (2011), Drive (2011), Never Let Me Go (2010)
Cate Blanchett
2. Cate Blanchett

Best Recent
Performance: Notes On A Scandal (2006)
Other Great Performances: Hanna (2011), I’m Not There (2007), Babel (2006), The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004), The Aviator (2004), Veronica Guerin (2003)
Tilda Swinton
1. Tilda Swinton

Best Recent
Performance: I Am Love (2010)
Other Great Performances: We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011), Burn After Reading (2008), Michael Clayton (2007), The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe (2005), Broken Flowers (2005), Adaptation (2002)