Top Ten Thursdays: My Favorite Actresses

It has been some time since I have posted a top ten Thursday list, mostly due to my lack of a solid topic, but that has all changed with the realization that I had yet to do my favorite actors and actresses as a subject.  As such my next two Top Ten Thursdays will consist of such posts.  For this week I will do my favorite actresses.  I should not going into this that it is not a "definitive best" actress list, because I am not an expert of the craft of acting.  Instead I will just choose my favorite actresses by pure admiration.  Some for their presence, others for their relationships with certain directors and in other situations purely because of a clear mastering of the craft of acting, at least from what I and their countless awards can glean.

10. Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman is perhaps one of the most vibrant actresses working in Hollywood today, yet on screen her beauty is understated and often delivered in a very minimalist fashion.  For being a big name Hollywood star, she certainly earns my respect for being brilliant at her job.  Key Performance: Eyes Wide Shut

9. Sanndrine Bonnaire 

French actress Sanndrine Bonnaire has become synonymous with art house French films as well as her willingness to expose everything for a role.  It is a shame she has become less of a presence in the past years.  Key Performance: A Nous Amours

8. Keira Knightley

Like Kidman, Keira Knightley has become a staple of Hollywood stardom, however, it appears as though she will still have her time in big budget movies for at least another decade.  Key Performance: Atonement

7. Chloe Sevigny 

Indie darling and, at times, bad girl, Chloe Sevigny has become a thing of avant-garde in acting alone.  It is a safe bet that when you see her name attached to a product that what you get will be something dark, contemplative and uniquely its own.  Key Performance: Boys Don't Cry

6. Isabella Rossellini

Like Sevigny, the attachment of Rossellini most certainly assures an unusual viewing experience.  However, Rossellini has a penchant for engaging in some rather dark roles, particularly when working with David Lynch and Guy Maddin.  Key Performance: The Saddest Music In The World

5. Marilyn Monroe

Monroe is Hollywood's timeless beauty.  She represents everything one has come to understand about classic Hollywood starlets.  Deservedly so I might add, but also want to note the problem of placing Monroe into a category of the pretty blonde actress with no brains.  She was much more than that and was, in fact, one of the greatest actresses to ever grace film.  Key Performance: The Seven Year Itch

4. Setsuko Hara 

Ozu's muse, Setsuko Hara had an ethereal presence on film that has become like her American counterpart Marilyn Monroe quite timeless.  She became a staple of Japanese cinema for a few decades and is an engaging presence to any viewer today.  Key Performance: Late Spring

3. Meryl Streep

 Simply put, there is a reason she has been nominated for 17 Oscars, 3 of which she has won.  Key Performance: Doubt

2. Tilda Swinton

A more composed actress does not exist.  Swinton often known for her gender bending performances is an enigmatic presence in her films.  Often choosing complex and tough roles, she has become a defining marker for how to act in film.  Key Performance: I Am Love

1. Ingrid Bergman 

One of the first actresses to have a deadly combination of looks and great acting, Ingrid Bergman is everything a person could desire in a film actress.  She is quite simply the greatest female film presence to ever live.  Key Performance: Saratoga Trunk

Honorable Mention

Anna Karina (Alphaville)
Julianne Moore (The Kids Are Alright)
Marlene Dietrich (The Blue Angel)
Shannyn Sossamon (Wristcutters: A Love Story)

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