Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Best Actress...wait do they exist?

I actually thought of this topic about 2 weeks ago but never wrote anything about it due to time/interest. After Primes recent posts, I thought I would throw a quick little one on paper just to see what you all thought....

The thought occurred to me when one of my (nub) friends said she was watching Seven for the first time. As I stated in my recent comment on Prime's blog, I think that this movie is simply the best that I have ever seen. It brings everything to the table: great cast, suspenseful plot, and killer ending. As I was thinking about it, the one thing I thought of that was interesting was that Gweneth Paltrow was in it. I was thinking that, although she is a famous and admired actress, the fact that she was in that role added nothing extra to the movie. I imagine that many other actresses out there could have played that part the same and the movie would have been the same greatness.

Then I was thinking of other great movies without a high impact role from a female. A few titles that come to mind: Fight Club (another Pitt great, debatable top 5 actor), Road to Perdition, Shawshank Redemption, basically any good action movie, There Will Be Blood, etc. Many of the movies in my top 10 have no large impact from an actress. The only movie that I can say (with not a whole lot of thought or research) that was good due to the large role of a female would be Kill Bill. I simply cannot think of anyone who could better play the role that Uma Thurman did.

I think my main arguement would be this: there are certain roles in which I don't think any other actor could play a particular part better than who was cast. Examples would be Daniel Day Lewis in TWBB, Pitt in Fight Club, Spacey in Seven, Nicholson in Shinning. These kind of roles are amazing and unforgettable. What role that a women has had the same impact as some of the roles I have listed? Any? I would say no, but I am very interested to hear, for my movie knowledge isn't great.

So what does it all mean? Do writers not provide enough impact roles for women in Hollywood today? Are we all just guys and can't relate to women's roles in movies? Or are women just not as good on the big screen as men? I'd say it is a combination of them all, but what are your thoughts?


pex said...

I think as a whole, there are more movies aimed toward male audiences. So the majority of quality roles are reserved for men by default. There just aren't as many movies made with a lead actress in mind. Dont get me wrong, Ive seen some strong female perfomances, but theyre just too rare to really comment on. Some examples:

Charlize Theron - Monster
Halle Berry - Monster's Ball
Cate Blanchett - Elizabeth
Hilary Swank - Million Dollar Baby, Boys Dont Cry
Julia Roberts - Erin Brockavich
Kathy Bates - Misery

nyphon said...

i don't even think it's a debate who the best actress is (for our time at least)...that would be natalie portman.

-the professional
-garden state
-v for vendetta
-star wars

Staboski said...

apex pointed out some good movies, and to touch on two (one of which you mentioned) movies that seem to brought up several times is fight club and blood diamond. although the main characters were male(both of them) and both of them did brillantly, they were backed by strong women. Helena Bonham Carter was great in fight club as Marla, and Jennifer Connelly was strong and emotional in Blood Diamond. Now both were supporting, not leads. To expand on Pex's movies listed, we've got Tomb Raider, not a great movie(s) in my mind but did well at the box office. And a few more oldies but goodies:
Judy Garland - The Wizard of Oz(probably my favorite movie of all time)
Julie Andrews - The sound of music, Mary Poppins

nyphon said...

striptease - demi moore

Prime said...

I'm not really sure what the reasoning is behind why no movie starring a woman has really been "great" (imo, cant think of one). A reason could be a lot of these movies are based off of either historical happenings or books, which are all pretty much dominated by men because of the time period they are from. But I also think men just might be better actors overall.

Just to touch on roles where there were strong female performances to where I think no one could have been better:

American Beauty - Spacey's wife (cant think of her name) was pretty strong, don't think anyone would have been better for that role

Titanic - Kate Winslet (also thought she was good in Life of David Gale)

Any Given Sunday - Cameron Diaz

Erin Brockavich, mentioned by pex, is really the only movie I can think of that was had a clear cut female star that I thought was a close-to-great movie.

Staboski said...

But also keep in mind most movies where the lead is a female are considered "chick flicks" and most of us do not watch them. I mean The Queen for example won/was nominated for a shit load of awards but I never saw it, nor really have any desire to.

nyphon said...

one actress that has won a bunch of stuff and has been in some quality movies is jodie foster. I really dont understand her "great" acting, she has a lisp, is ugly, and really has no appeal....i just don't get it

-silence of the lambs (academy won)
-taxi driver (academy nominated)
-little man tate!
-the accused (academy won)
-nell (academy nominated)

pex said...

wizard of oz your favorite movie...no comment

i agree about the chick flicks thing, i was gonna say that too. it kinda goes with what i was saying. most good movies are aimed toward men.

i forgot to add showgirls and whoever the girl was

term said...

As much as I like Jennifer Connelly, I don't really see her performance in Blood Diamond as anything special. Her in Requiem for a Dream is a MUCH stronger argument.

pex said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Prime said...

yea i think connely could have easily been replaced in blood diamond, nothing special. her top 2 roles were requiem and a beautiful mind

i got a chuckle when i read the wizard of oz too haha, revolutionary movie dont get me wrong, but your fav? cmon bosk

nyphon said...

i thought boski's favorite 2 movies were 1)fast and the furious and 2) too fast too furious


Staboski said...

Boon, don't forget FF3 Tokyo Drift..lol, btw on that topic they are making a FF4, we'll see how it turns out.

I think Wizard of OZ is def. in my top 5. But my true favorite movie is A Clockwork Orange...done by the best director Stanley Kubrick

nyphon said...

clockwork is a great movie, but not even kubricks best...i happened to like eyes wide shut and full metal jacket more.

my #1 probably has to be pulp fiction. sammuel L could be in Snakes on a Plane 4 and I'd still respect him after that great performance/last scene of the movie

pex said...

i probably have to agree with pulp fiction as #1