About a week and a half ago, I spent some time thinking about which actors would be on my must-see list. I then started thinking of which women I would include on a similar top ten list. At first, I thought it would be a very difficult task, as I could think of far more actresses I would avoid than that I would make a point of seeing in a movie. But as I thought about it, I came up with a strong list based on acting ability, rather than physical appearance (though many of them are quite attractive). Here are my top 10, along with a couple of honourable mentions.
Honourable mentions: Sigourney Weaver, Frances McDormand, Emma Thompson - I don't think I would ever see a movie because of these actresses, but they are strong in almost everything they act in. Also to Amy Adams, who might have made this list if I had already seen Doubt.
10. Maggie Gyllenhaal - Her short-lived performance in The Dark Knight proved that she can do major movies as well as indie flicks.
9. Anne Hathaway - She stole the show in Brokeback from everyone except Heath Ledger, and she has proven that she can do comedy and drama.
8. Michelle Williams - She has come a long way from Dawson's Creek, and she has some serious acting ability. The best is yet to come from Williams.
7. Emily Watson - The soft-spoken British actress is still relatively unknown after thirteen years, which is a shame.
6. Charlize Theron - The South African can do funny (Arrested Development) and serious, and she chooses interesting roles. I'm excited about the upcoming The Road, in which she stars with Viggo Mortensen.
5. Julianne Moore - She has made a couple of mis-steps, and her career is a little overfull of weepy movies, but she can act.
4. Catherine Keener - She has starred in one commerically successful movie - The 40-Year-Old Virgin. I'm good with her continuing to shine in indie roles.
3. Laura Linney - The first time I remember Linney was in The Truman Show, and I've kept an eye out for her since.
2. Cate Blanchett - Though she can occasionally veer into "overacting" (see The Aviator or Indiana Jones 4), Cate's performances often have nuance and boldness. Her Bob Dylan was spot-on, and she almost always chooses interesting roles.
1. Kate Winslet - Her double-win at this year's Golden Globes finally brought Winslet's consistent brilliance to critical approval. No actress is consistently as strong as Winslet, and she is still only 33! The best still may be yet to come...wow.