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Top 10 Female Performances of All Time?

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  • Anonymous
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    #194238

    Which are the Top 10 best female performances of all time?

    My rank (three women with two performances)

    1. Vivien Leigh in “Gone with the Wind”
    2. Meryl Streep in “Sophie’s Choice”
    3. Vivien Leigh in “A Streetcar Named Desire”
    4. Meryl Streep in “Cry in the Dark”
    5. Charlize Theron in “Monster”
    6. Bette Davis in “All About Eve”
    7. Bette Davis in “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”
    8. Julianne Moore in “The Hours”
    9. Cate Blanchett in “Blue Jasmine”
    10. Nicole Kidman in “To Die For”

    Honorable Mentions: Jodie Foster in “The Silence of the Lambs”; Geena Davis in “Thelma & Louise; Kate Winslet in “Titanic”; Judi Dench in “Notes on a Scandal”; Kathy Bates in “Mistery”; Heather Matarazzo in “Welcome to My Dollhouse”; Tilda Swinton in “We Need to Talk About Kevin”; Reese Witherspoon in “Election”; Julie Andrews in “The Sound of Music”; Sigourney Weaver in “Gorillas in the Mist”; Renée Zellweger in “Nurse Betty”; Amy Adams in “Junebug”; Adéle Exarchopoulos in “Blues Is the Warmest Color”; Anne Hathaway in “Rachel Getting Married”; Maribel Verdú in “Pan’s Labyrinth”; Maggie Smith in “California Suite” and Thelma Ritter in “Rear Window”.

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    FilmGuy619
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    #194240

    In no particular order:

    Bibi Andersson/Liv Ullmann, Persona
    Juliette Binoche, Three Colors: Blue
    Bjork, Dancer In The Dark
    Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
    Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky
    Katherine Hepburn, Lion in Winter
    Sissy Spacek, Carrie
    Charlize Theron, Monster
    Emily Watson, Breaking The Waves 
    Reese Witherspoon, Election 

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    Mladen Vukcevic
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    #194241

    1. Meryl Streep in “Sophie’s Choice”
    2. Vivien Leigh in “Gone with the Wind”
    3. Cate Blanchett in “Blue Jasmine”
    4. Bette Davis in “All About Eve”
    5. Dame Maggie Smith in “The Prime of Miss Jean Brody”
    6. Jodie Foster in ” Silence of the Lambs”
    7. Dame Judi Dench in “Notes on a Scandal”
    8. Ellen Burstyn in “Requiem for a Dream”
    9. Julianne Moore in “The Hours”
    10. Marion Cotillard in “La Vie en Rose”

    I took the liberty and did one performance per person. I am still amazed with Meryl’s performance in “Kramer v Kramer” and I thought how groundbreaking that performance must have been for that time. Vivien Leigh has more performances and “Streetcar named Desire” is legendary. I became Blanchett fanboy with Galadriel (I was 10 at the time :)), but role after role, this woman never stops amazing me – “Elizabeth”, “Notes on the Scandal”, “I am not There” (and I suppose “Carol” will do it too). Bette Davis was also magnetic in all her movies. Maggie Smith is also one of my childhood heroes as Minerva McGonagall and as I grew up, discovering her entire career was a pleasure. Personal favorite, beside “California Suite” is “Tea with Mussolini”.

    SEVERAL OTHER MENTIONS: Hillary Swank in “Boys Don’t Cry”, Charlize Theron in “Monster”, Katherine Hepburn in “The African Queen”, Judy Garland in “Wizard of Oz”, Emma Thompson in “Howard’s End”, Kathy Bates in “Mysery”. Kate Winslet in “Reader”… 

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    Sab21
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    #194242

    Great topic.

    I have yet to see so many performances (especially some classics), but so far:

    1. Vivien Leigh – A Streetcar Named Desire
    2. Elizabeth Taylor – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
    3. Meryl Streep – Sophie’s Choice
    4. Gloria Swanson – Sunset Boulevard
    5. Bette Davis – All About Eve
    6. Charlize Theron – Monster
    7. Katharine Hepburn – The Lion in Winter/The African Queen
    8. Marion Cotillard – La vie en rose
    9. Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine
    10. Jane Fonda – Klute

    Honorable Mentions (only some actresses I haven’t mentioned in my top 10): Glenn Close (Dangerous Liaisons), Jodie Foster (Silence of the Lambs), Diane Keaton (Annie Hall), Julianne Moore (Far from Heaven), Judi Dench (Notes on a Scandal), Nicole Kidman (To Die For), Hilary Swank (Boys Don’t Cry), Frances McDormand (Fargo), Emma Thompson (Howards End), Sissy Spacek (In the Bedroom), Mo’Nique (Precious), Holly Hunter (The Piano), Helen Mirren (The Queen), Kate Winslet (Revolutionary Road), …

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    Titanium
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    #194243

    1. Ellen Burstyn – In The Bedroom
    2. Jessica Lange – Frances
    3. Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine
    4. Julianne Moore – Far From Heaven
    5. Charlize Theron – Monster
    6. Meryl Streep – Sophie’s Choice
    7. Judy Garland – A Star is Born
    8. Naomi Watts – Mulholland Drive
    9. Bjork – Dancer in the Dark
    10. Amy Adams – Junebug

    Honorable Mentions:
    Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
    Nicole Kidman – Dogville
    Elisabeth Shu – Leaving Las Vegas
    Glenn Close – Fatal Attraction
    Natalie Portman – Black Swan
    Annette Benning – American Beauty
    Susan Sarandon – Dead Man Walking
    Ellen Page – Hard Candy

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    Titanium
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    #194244

    1. Ellen Burstyn – In The Bedroom
    2. Jessica Lange – Frances
    3. Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine
    4. Julianne Moore – Far From Heaven
    5. Charlize Theron – Monster
    6. Meryl Streep – Sophie’s Choice
    7. Judy Garland – A Star is Born
    8. Naomi Watts – Mulholland Drive
    9. Bjork – Dancer in the Dark
    10. Amy Adams – Junebug

    Honorable Mentions:
    Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
    Nicole Kidman – Dogville
    Elisabeth Shu – Leaving Las Vegas
    Glenn Close – Fatal Attraction
    Natalie Portman – Black Swan
    Annette Benning – American Beauty
    Susan Sarandon – Dead Man Walking
    Ellen Page – Hard Candy

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    John
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    #194245

    No particular order . . . these came to mind as some of the finest I’ve seen:

    • Vivien Leigh: Gone With the Wind
    • Bette Davis : All About Eve (Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night!)
    • Bette Davis: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane
    • Katharine Hepburn: The Lion in Winter
    • Gloria Swanson: Sunset Boulevard
    • Faye Dunaway: Chinatown
    • Meryl Streep: Sophie’s Choice
    • Emily Watson: Breaking the Waves
    • Greta Garbo: Ninotchka
    • Noomi Rapace: Millennium Trilogy (the Swedish films)
      – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
      – The Girl Who Played with FIre
      – The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

    Honorable Mention:

    • Sigourney Weaver: Alien Quadrilogy (Alien, Aliens, Alien 3, and Alien Resurrection)
    • Elizabeth Taylor: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
    • Holly Hunter: Broadcast News
    • Frances McDormand: Fargo
    • Liza Minnelli: Cabaret

    John
    Edit: added Liza Minnelli to the HM list

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      MrGoodWood
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      #194246

      1. Bette Davis – All About Eve
      2. Frances McDormand – Fargo
      3. Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine
      4. Ellen Burstyn – Requiem for a Dream
      5. Bibi Andersson/Liv Ullmann – Persona
      6. Sissy Spacek – Carrie
      7. Judi Dench – Notes on a Scandal
      8. Noomi Rapace – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
      9. Glenn Close – Dangerous Liaisons
      10. Marion Cotillard – Two Days One Night

      I thought this would be easy, but it was really hard 

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      Anonymous
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      #194247

      1. Audrey Hepburn – Breakfast at Tiffany’s
      2. Jessica Chastain – The Help
      3. Keira Knightley – Pride and Prejudice
      4. Saoirse Ronan – Hanna
      5. Alicia Silverstone – Clueless
      6. Emma Thompson – Saving Mr. Banks
      7. Judy Garland – Meet Me in St. Louis
      8. Julie Andrews – Mary Poppins
      9. Debbie Reynolds – The Unsinkable Molly Brown
      10. Meryl Streep – The Devil Wears Prada

      Honorable Mentions:
      .Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids
      .Diane Keaton – The Family Stone ( I put it here to avoid the hate)
      .Meryl Streep – Sophie’s Choice
      .Margaret Hamilton – The Wizard of Oz
      .Ingrid Bergman – Casablanca 
      .Nicole Kidman – Moulin Rouge
      .Julia Roberts – Erin Brokovich
      .Natalie Portman – Black Swan
      .Emma Stone – Easy A
      .Mia Wasikowska – Jane Eyre 

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      Eddy Q
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      #194248

      In chronological order:

      Renée Falconetti – The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) – still the greatest performance in cinema history I reckon
      Vivien Leigh – Gone with the Wind (1939)
      Bette Davis – All About Eve (1950)
      Gloria Swanson – Sunset Boulevard (1950)
      Bibi Andersson & Liv Ullmann – Persona (1966) – I consider this to be a true duo performance, rather than two separate performances, and those who’ve seen the film will hopefully know what I mean (I think Ingmar Bergman might have called the film “a sonata for two instruments” or something like that)

      Vanessa Redgrave – The Devils (1971) – one of the riskiest performances I’ve ever seen
      Gena Rowlands – A Woman Under the Influence (1974)
      Ingrid Bergman – Autumn Sonata (1978)
      Emily Watson – Breaking the Waves (1996)
      Isabelle Huppert – The Piano Teacher (2001)

      Oh dear, it all looks a bit grave and serious doesn’t it? Couldn’t be helped.

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      JOHN
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      #194249

      Charlize Theron has given the best female performance of all time in Monster. What she did in that film wasn’t a performance, it was an embodiment. The best thing I’ve seen on film to this date. 

      1. Charlize Theron – Monster
      2. Hillary Swank – Boys Don’t Cry
      3. Marion Cotillard- Rust and Bone
      4. Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
      5. Holly Hunter- The Piano
      6. Charlize Theron- Young Adult
      7. Monique- Precious 
      8. Elizabeth Olsen- Martha Marcy May Marlene
      9. Marion Cotillard- La Vie En Rose
      10. Naomi Watts- Mulholland Drive
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      JayDF
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      #194250

      Look over your #1 listing again and make sure there wasn’t a mistake.

      1. Ellen Burstyn – In The Bedroom
      2. Jessica Lange – Frances
      3. Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine
      4. Julianne Moore – Far From Heaven
      5. Charlize Theron – Monster
      6. Meryl Streep – Sophie’s Choice
      7. Judy Garland – A Star is Born
      8. Naomi Watts – Mulholland Drive
      9. Bjork – Dancer in the Dark
      10. Amy Adams – Junebug

      Honorable Mentions:
      Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
      Nicole Kidman – Dogville
      Elisabeth Shu – Leaving Las Vegas
      Glenn Close – Fatal Attraction
      Natalie Portman – Black Swan
      Annette Benning – American Beauty
      Susan Sarandon – Dead Man Walking
      Ellen Page – Hard Candy

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      OnTheAisle
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      #194251

      in chronological order

      1939  Vivien Leigh in Gone With The Wind

      1950  Bette Davis in All About Eve

      1962  Anne Bancroft in The Miracle Worker

      1962  Patty Duke in The Miracle Worker

      1968  Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl

      1972  Liza Minnelli in Cabaret

      1977  Diane Keaton in Annie Hall

      1982  Meryl Streep in Sophie’s Choice

      1985  Geraldine Page in The Trip to Bountiful

      2013  Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine

       

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      benbraddock
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      #194252

      This thread is being repeated for my 3rd time on this site!!!

      My personal top 10 are

      1. Elizabeth Taylor- Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf ?
      2 Meryl Streep- Sophie’s Choice
      3. Bette Davis- All About Eve
      4. Barbra Streisand- Funny Girl
      5. Anne Bancroft- The Graduate
      6. Vivien Leigh- A Streetcar Named Desire
      7. Marion Cotillard- La vie en Rose
      8. Jane Fonda- Julia
      9. Cate Blanchett- Blue Jasmine
      10 Meryl Streep- A Cry in the Dark

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      Tye-Grr
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      #194253

      So many picking Cate Blanchett for ‘Blue Jasmine’… She wasn’t even my winner that year, let alone Top 10 of all time. I thought she was terrific, but clearly y’all think much higher of that performance than I do.

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