Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ten Best Actresses of All Time Relay Race


Well I'm not usually a fan of these types of posts, and am quite content when my name gets skipped, but this one was too interesting to pass up.

Originally conceived by the genius Nostra of My Filmviews, and passed on to me by Andy of The Film Emporium, the concept of this blog-a-thon is as follows:

“I’ve created a list of what I think are the best actresses of all time. At the end of the post I, just like in a real relay race, hand over the baton to another blogger who will write his own post. This blogger will have to remove one actress (that is an obligation) and add his/her own choice and describe why he/she did this. At the end the blogger chooses another blogger to do the same. The idea is to make this a long race, so that enough bloggers get a chance to remove and add an actress. We will end up with a list (not ranked in order) which represents a common agreement of the best actresses. It will also mean that those who follow this relay race will get to know new blogs as well!”

Here is a list of the blogs that have participated thus far:
And the current line-up:

Audrey Hepburn
Barbara Stanwyck
Cate Blanchett
Ingrid Bergman
Isabelle Huppert
Julianne Moore
Juliette Binoche
Kate Winslet
Katherine Hepburn
Meryl Streep
My Removal:

I actually think the list at this point is pretty solid so taking anyone out will be a very tough decision that will likely result in some backlash. But this is supposed to be a fun game after all, so I'm going to treat it like one since there really isn't any objective way to do it.

Therefore I've decided that the list has just too many Katherines (and its derivatives) for my liking and needs some wider first name variety, so one of them has to go.

Now as far as I and everyone else is concerned Hepburn is untouchable, so that leaves Blanchett and Winslet to battle it out.

I think both are equally gifted, they each have an Oscar, a bunch more nominations and decent bodies of work. I think that if this relay race gets run again 20 years from now, they will no doubt be unanimously considered among the best of all time, but at this point it remains debatable.

Still, I can't decide who goes and who stays so I'll need some external help.

As my tie breaker, I'm going to refer to a post made last year by CS from Big Thoughts from a Small Mind pitting the two together, and looking through the comments I count 10 votes for capital 'C' Cate to 6 votes for capital 'K' Kate.

Also, according to the Hollywood Stock Exchange: CBLAN is worth H$105.59 while KWINS is only worth H$24.91 (at the time of writing).

Click to reveal


So it's bye for now Kate Winslet. Sorry Andy and co.


My Addition:

Now for the even tougher task of choosing who I want to add to the list...

There are several ways I could play it:

Go for a safe pick and take one of the well known legends who have yet to be named, people like Bette Davis, Greta Garbo, or Lauren Bacall.

Get some brownie points for replacing one of the well deserving actresses previously taken out in earlier rounds such as Liv Ullmann or Gena Rowlands.

Do what everyone expects of me and choose a foreign actress, of which many names immediately come to mind: Ingrid Thulin, Bibi Andersson, Simone Signoret, Jeanne Moreau, Isabelle Adjani, Monica Vitti, Anna Magnani, Anouk Aimée...

Or choose someone from left field, who chances are won't last very long on the list because most people won't be familiar with their work, but at the very least get them some attention for a brief moment.

Click to reveal

I've decided to go with a combination of the last two, and add some variety to the list by choosing Hong Kong actress Maggie Cheung.


Here are my reasons why:

For her multiple collaborations with renowned director Wong Kar Wai including an iconic role co-starring opposite Tony Leung in one of my all time personal favorite films, In The Mood For Love.


Since her first appearance at the age of 19 in 1984, she has starred in over 70 motion pictures; and is currently a five time Hong Kong Film Award winner and also a five time Taiwan Golden Horse Award winner.

In 2004 she became the first Asian actress to be awarded at Cannes for her role (performed in fluent English, French, and Cantonese) as a heroin junkie with dreams of a singing career, in Clean, a film directed by French director Olivier Assayas who was her ex-husband at the time—talk about an amicable breakup.

She also won a Silver Bear for Best Actress at the 1992 Berlin International Film Festival for her performance as 1930's Chinese actress Ruan Ling Yu in Stanley Kwan's Center Stage.

Making her one of only eight actresses in history to be awarded prizes at both Cannes and Berlin. Two of whom are currently on the top 10 list (Juliette Binoche and Meryl Streep)

Maggie Cheung

Well there you have it, I now pass the baton over to Michaël Parent from Le Mot du Cinephiliaque. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

What do you think of my choices? Flame away below.

28 comments:

Jessica said...

What a beautiful, ambitious editing you've made! Fantastic with the reveal button and a good overview of previous choices.

Can't approve or disapprove with your addition since I'm not familliar with her. Had hoped for Ullmann's glorious return ofc, but alas... maybe next time.

Martin Teller said...

Ah, interesting choice! Her stuff with WKW is great, and she's absolutely terrific in IRMA VEP (and to a lesser degree CLEAN). Not too shabby in those Jackie Chan movies, either!
Can't say I'm crying any tears over Winslet. Hopefully if someone feels compelled to add her back in again, it'll be at the expense of someone less amazing than Rowlands.

Michaël Parent said...

Great selection BT! It won't be an easy task!

SJHoneywell said...

Maggie Cheung is a fantastic choice! Sad to see Winslet go, but I don't disagree in this case, considering her company.

Steven Flores said...

Oh... Maggie Cheung... I love you!

-E- said...

I need to give In the Mood for Love another chance, I guess.

Christine said...

What a fun game! As much as I would love to still see Gena Rowlands and Winslet on the list, I do like your pick. Love Maggie Cheung!!

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Thanks Jessica. I originally setup that button script quite awhile ago and it's purpose was to hide spoilers, and since I never write them, I've never had the chance to use it. Until now.

I was almost going to put Ullmann back on there, but then I figured she wouldn't last long, so I thought I should enter someone new, and at least that way I'll have contributed a new name into the discussion.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Yay someone who knows what I'm taking about! Irma Vep is indeed a terrific and underrated film.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Thanks, and no it's not easy, but I'm sure with your film knowledge it will at least be a well informed decision.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Haha, I'm pretty sure someone will put her back on the list before the game is over. And you should definitely see Hero, excellent film, and she has a very memorable role in it.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Glad we're both on the same page. :)

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Cool. I didn't realize there were so many MC lovers... thought I would get more resistance to my decision.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Definitely.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Haha. I'm happy it all balances out. Lots of bloggers are in love with Kate though so I'm sure she'll be back soon.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Thanks Christine. It is a fun idea, and a tricky one. 10 spots are not nearly enough to represent all of the best. I will be happy though, if just one person who's unfamiliar with Maggie Cheung watches a movie of hers because of this post.

filmnohito said...

That's a tough list of actresses for anyone to break into because they are so good and so well known. For those familiar with Maggie Cheung's work she fits in perfectly because she is that good. Oh, and thank you for putting a non-western actress in there (although overlooking the very beautiful Isabelle Adjani must have been tough).

Michaël Parent said...

Here are my choices: http://cinephiliaque.blogspot.ca/2012/06/ten-best-actresses-of-all-time-relay.html

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Thanks, glad you like my choice. I did feel the list was lacking in diversity.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

That was quick. Nice work.

Kevyn Knox said...

I love that you have added the great (and underappreciated) Maggie Cheung. If nothing else it will open people's eyes about this great actress. And maybe even get more people to see films like Irma Vep, Clean and In the Mood for Love.

I am about to post my addition (having had M. Parent pass me the baton after you) and Maggie is definitely sticking around.

Kevyn Knox said...

I
love that you have added the great (and underappreciated) Maggie
Cheung. If nothing else it will open people's eyes about this great
actress. And maybe even get more people to see films like Irma Vep,
Clean and In the Mood for Love.

I am about to post my addition (having had M. Parent pass me the baton after you) and Maggie is definitely sticking around.

Kevyn Knox said...

I
love that you have added the great (and underappreciated) Maggie
Cheung. If nothing else it will open people's eyes about this great
actress. And maybe even get more people to see films like Irma Vep,
Clean and In the Mood for Love.

I am about to post my addition (having had M. Parent pass me the baton after you) and Maggie is definitely sticking around.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Oh excellent! Very happy to see another Maggie fan. Off to check out your contribution now.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

I'm sooo late to this but since I just saw this post, I'm gonna chime in if you don't mind Bonjour :D I'm glad Blanchett won over Winslet. Both Cate & Kate are talented but I still give Blanchett a slight edge as she's such a chameleon actress.


I like your addition of Maggie Cheung, too. Well done! I like how you hide the answer, VERY cool!

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Wow time flies, I can't believe it's almost been a year since this post. Thanks for checking it out, Ruth. Glad you agree with my choices!

Bonjour Tristesse said...

If you want to see the list of Top Ten Richest actresses in the world, go to http://www.iafrica.tv

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Removing Kate Winslet is madness. Best actress alive under 40!

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