Monday, January 19, 2009

Best Actors, Living, Dead, Men, Women, and Otherwise

My thoughts on your list, Jonathan, then my lists:

I like a lot of the love you're giving out here, even though I don't agree about Dame Judi Dench (care to highlight some notable work I might not be thinking of?) or Angela Bassett (same question?); however, I am a total loss as to why in the freaking world you included Charlize Theron. Yes, she's good in MONSTER, fine in a few other movies...but where is she transcendent? REINDEER GAMES? TWO DAYS IN THE VALLEY? THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE? AEON FLUX? She's spent the majority of her years as gratuitous T&A, and although her recent push towards "serious" work has been successful so far, she's hardly spent enough time doing it to really rank among the elites. My opinion? You're giving an ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT bump here...

Okay, gripes are done for now. So, first the (co-ed) list of living, working actors:

Daniel Day Lewis
Meryl Streep
Benicio Del Toro
Cate Blanchett
Tom Hanks
Robert De Niro
Kate Winslet
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Dustin Hoffman
Willem Dafoe

Honorable Mentions:

Gary Oldman
Sean Penn
Ian McKellen
Johnny Depp
Helen Mirren
Anthony Hopkins
Clint Eastwood
Jack Nicholson
Emma Thompson
Christian Bale

Now, for Best Actors Ever, in order:

Marlon Brando
Robert De Niro
Meryl Streep
James Stewart
Paul Newman
Katherine Hepburn
Daniel Day-Lewis
Bette Davis
Henry Fonda
Charles Chaplin

**a caveat: I'm thinking of almost exclusively American/Hollywood actors here, with a few Brits-this isn't to suggest there aren't excellent Asian and European stars-it's just that I'm not sure it's fair to evaluate them based on the limited work I've seen. But one gratuitous shout-out feels about right:

Word to Toshiro Mifune!

Alright, let me have it, already.

1 comment:

Gaston Monescu said...

You're right about Daniel Day and Kate Winslett. Don't know how I forgot about them. I'll sacrifice Angie and Charlize for those two.

Also we need to start articulating some criteria here.