Monday, September 7, 2009

My Best Actress Winners

Recently, I realized that I've never really shared something very important with you: who I would pick as my Diva Cup Award winners for Best Actress. I've shared with you my recent winners (and I've already changed from Streep to Dench in 2006) but nothing before 2004 or so. In case you're ever curious who I would pick in 1946 or any other random year, here it is for you in beautiful pictorial form starting with 1927/28.

By the way, a note on the 70's, 80's and 90's: I'm a child of TCM. My cinematic awakening coincided with my discovery of films from the 30's and 40's so I watched (and still watch) TCM obsessively. The only problem with that is they usually don't show many films from the 70's, 80's and into the 90's, so that's why I'm noticeably weak there with some of my choices. I hope to someday fill in huge gaps in these years, but my choices for now will have to do.

Row #1: Eleanor Boardman, Lillian Gish, Greta Garbo, Marie Dressler, Joan Crawford

Row #2: Greta Garbo, Norma Shearer, Katherine Hepburn, Jean Harlow, Irene Dunne

Row #3: Katharine Hepburn, Vivien Leigh, Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck, Greer Garson

Row #4: Teresa Wright, Judy Garland, Arletty, Ingrid Bergman, Joan Crawford

Row #5: Olivia de Havilland, Olivia de Havilland, Bette Davis and Gloria Swanson, Vivien Leigh, Judy Holliday

Row #6: Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Susan Hayward, Giulietta Masina, Tatyana Samojlova

Row #7: Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Shirley MacLaine, Audrey Hepburn, Bette Davis

Row #8: Leslie Caron, Joan Crawford, Catherine Deneuve, Elizabeth Taylor, Anne Bancroft

Row #9: Barbra Streisand, Jane Fonda, Raquel Welch, Jane Fonda, Liza Minnelli

Row #10: Barbra Streisand, Ellen Burstyn, Ronee Blakley, Faye Dunaway, Diane Keaton

Row #11: Jill Clayburgh, Bette Midler, Sissy Spacek, Faye Dunaway, Meryl Streep

Row #12: Julie Walters, Lily Tomlin, Cher, Chloe Webb, Glenn Close

Row #13: Susan Sarandon, Jessica Tandy, Anjelica Huston, Mimi Rogers, Emma Thompson

Row #14: Angela Bassett, Sigourney Weaver, Toni Collette, Brenda Blethyn, Pam Grier

Row #15: Cameron Diaz, Reese Witherspoon, Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, Diane Lane

Row #16: Diane Keaton, Imelda Staunton, Joan Allen, Dame Judi Dench, Marion Cotillard

Row #17: Anne Hathaway

See if you can guess the performance at home and if you're confused, just drop me a comment.


mB said...

Wow. That's all I have to say. Very impressive!

I have WAY too many gaps... but I'm glad I recognize a lot of these ;-)

Marcy said...

Some excellent selections!

I, too, would have too many gaps if I were ever to make a list like this.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Jesus christ. What an I don't have a list on my computer:D

Wrong picture for Emma Thompson: that's Sense & Sensibility from not Howards End you have there. But you're forgiven on choosing correctly.

I could probably give you an earful but I'll narrow it down...

Only two for Katharine H...and surprised about her being your 1938 pick. Two for Marilyn Monroe...interesting.

2005: Joan Allen all the way.

I find it very unsettling that I can identify almost all the films here.

Great list, would sure like to hear you talk about some of these performances.

comeinalone said...

How are you with 60's Italian films? My vote for best actress will always go to Monica Vitti... I absolutely adore her.

Dame James said...

Everyone: Thank you for the compliments!

Encore: I kinda figured I had the wrong Thompson picture. It didn't look right at the time but I just went with it.

For the longest while Kate had a 3rd for Long Day's Journey Into Night but then I saw Bette in Baby Jane and I had to change it. I still think two is more than respectable. I'm curious why you're surprised by her win in 1938 (for Bringing Up Baby and not Holiday in case anyone is confused). Her Susan Vance is certainly one of her most well regarded performances nowadays and nothing will ever top it in my mind.

As for Monroe, her two wins is a bit of a fluke. She'll always have one for Some Like It Hot but her 1953 win for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is the one that is likely to change. I have five nominees for that year (Monroe, A. Hepburn in Roman Holiday, Leslie Caron in Lili, Kerr in From Here to Eternity and Jean Peters in Pickup on South Street) and while I like all of them, none of them really scream "Give me a Diva Cup Award" to me. Monroe just seemed like the best pick (although Peters could easily sneak in at some point).

comeinalone: I'm not too well-versed in 60's Italian films I'm afraid. I have seen Vitti in L'Avventura and I was entirely bored by the damn film I can't remember anything about her. Antonioni and I don't agree, as you can see.

A french lector said...

Thanks for posting this !

Just to be sure -and I have some interrogations about 1927-1972 (Excuse me If I make mistakes writing the titles : I’m French and my English is very bad)

The crowd, The wind, Anna Christie (?), Min and Bill, Grand Hotel,

Queen Christina, Miss Barrett, Alice Adams, Libeled Lady (?), Theodora goes wild

Bringing up Baby, GTW, The Letter, Balls of fire, Mrs Miniver (? Or Random ?)

Shadow of a doubt, Meet Me in Saint Louis, Les Enfants du paradis, Notorious, Posseded

The snake’s pit, The Heiress, Sunset Boulevard/All About Eve, Streetcard named desire, The carrying kid,

Gentlemen prefer blondes, A star is born, I’ll cry tomorrow, Le Notti di Cabiria, ???

The cat …, Some like it hot, The appartement, Breakfast at Tiffany, Baby Jane

The L-shapperd room, Strait Jacket (?), ?, Virginia Woolf, The Laureat

Funny Lady, They shoot the horses, Myra Brickenridge, Klute, Cabaret

I’ll be very happy to have your nominations.

That’s mines, if you are interested, but with French titles 1935-1965 (* means “academy award nominated this years for this performances. The first name is the "winner"'s name)

Katharine Hepburn pour Désirs secrets*
Ann Harding pour Peter Ibetson
Miriam Hopkins pour Becky Sharp*
Merle Oberon pour L’Ange des Ténèbres*
Greta Garbo pour Anne Karénine

Irene Dunne pour Théodora devient folle*
Katharine Hepburn pour Sylvia Scarlett
Norma Shearer pour Romeo et Juliette*
Ruth Chatterton pour Dodworth
Rosalind Russell pour L’Obsession de Mrs Craig

Jean Arthur pour Le Destin se joue la nuit
Luise Rainer pour Visages d’orient**
Greta Garbo pour Le Roman de Marguerite Gautiers*
Zarah Leander pour Paramatta, bagne de femmes
Anna Neagle pour Victoria, the great

Katharine Hepburn pour L’Impossible Monsieur Bébé
Norma Shearer pour Marie-Antoinette*
Margaret Sullavan pour Trois camarades*
Wendy Hiller pour Pygmalion*
Bette Davis pour L’Insoumise**

Vivien Leight pour Autant en emporte le vent**
Bette Davis pour Victoire sur la nuit*
Marlène Diétrich pour Femme ou démon
Irene Dunne pour Elle et lui*
Claudette Colbert pour La Baronne de Minuit

Rosalind Russell pour La Dame du vendredi
Joan Fontaine pour Rebecca*
Bette Davis pour La Lettre*
Joan Crawford pour Susan et ses idées
Greer Garson pour Orgueil et préjugé
Margaret Sullavan Rendez-vous

Olivia de Havilland pour Par la porte d’or*
Heddy Lamarr pour H.M. Pushlam Esquire
Lana Turner pour La Danseuse des Folies Ziegfields
Joan Crawford pour Il était une fois
Bette Davis pour La Vipère*

Norma Shearer pour Her Corboard lover
Lucille Ball pour La Poupée brisée
Veronika Lake pour Les Voyages de Sullavan
Greer Garson pour Prisonniers du passé
Bette Davis pour Now Voyagers*

A french lector said...

La suite !

Jean Arthur pour Plus on est de fous*
Joan Fontaine pour Tessa, la nymphe au cœur fidèle*
Jennifer Jones pour Le Chant de Bernadette**
Dorothy MacGuire pour Claudia
Deborah Kerr pour Colonel Blimp

Judy Garland pour Le Chant du Missouri
Ingrid Bergman pour Hantise*
Bette Davis pour Mr Skeffington*
Claudette Colbert pour Depuis que tu es parti*
Barbara Stanwyck pour Assurance sur la mort*

Wendy Hiller pour Je sais où je vais
Alice Faye pour Crimes passionnels
Maria Casares pour Les Dames du bois de Boulogne
Joan Crawford pour Le Roman de Mildred Pierce*
Ingrid Bergman pour Les Cloches de Sainte-Marie*

Olivia de Havilland pour A chacun son destin**
Gene Tierney pour Le Fil du rasoir
Jennifer Jones pour La Folle ingénue
Dorothy MacGuire pour Deux mains, la nuit
Celia Johnson pour Brève rencontre*

Deborah Kerr pour Le Narcisse noir
Jane Greer pour La Griffe du passé
Loretta Young pour Ma Femme est un grand homme**
Susan Hayward pour Une vie perdue*
Joan Crawford pour La Possédée*

Joan Fontaine pour Lettre d’une inconnue
Jane Wyman pour Johnny Belinda**
Irenne Dunne pour Tendresse*
Olivia de Havilland pour La Fosse aux serpents*
Jean Arthur La Scandaleuse de Berlin

Joan Bennett pour Les Désemparés
Olivia de Havilland pour L’Héritière**
Linda Darnell pour Chaines conjugales
Barbara Bel Geddes pour Caught
June Allysson pour Les Quatre filles du docteur Marsh

Bette Davis pour Eve*
Jane Wyman pour La Ménagerie de verre
Eleanor Parker pour Femmes en cage*
Claudette Colbert pour Three came home
Gloria Swanson pour Boulevard du crépuscule*

Vivien Leight pour Un Tramway nommé désir**
Thelma Ritter pour La Mère du marié/*
Jeanne Crain pour On murmure dans la ville
Claudette Colbert pour Tempête sur la colline
Irene Dunne pour Le Moineau sur la Tamise

Shirley Booth pour Reviens, petite Shebah**
Joan Crawford pour Le Masque arraché*
Lana Turner pour Les Ensorcelés
Judy Holliday pour Je retourne chez maman
Maureen O’Hara pour L’Homme tranquille

Jennifer Jones pour Plus fort que le diable
Barbara Stanwyck pour All I desire
Gloria Grahame pour Règlement de comptes
Ava Gardner pour Mogambo*
Leslie Carron pour Lili*

Daniele Darrieux pour Madame de …
Grace Kelly pour Une fille de la province*
Judy Garland pour Une étoile est née*
Dorothy Dandrige pour Carmen Jones*
Jane Wyman pour Le Secret Magnifique*

Susan Hayward pour Une Femme en enfer*
Anna Magnani pour La Rose tatouée**
Doris Day pour Les Pièges de la passion
Jean Simmons pour Blanches colombes et vilains monsieurs
Vera Clousot pour Les Diaboliques

Dorothy MacGuire pour La loi du Seigneur
Audrey Hepburn pour Guerre et paix
Marilyn Monroe pour Arrêt d’Autobus
Nancy Kelly pour La Mauvaise graine*
Ingrid Bergman pour Anastasia**

A french lector said...

La fin !

Kay Kendall pour Les Girls
Audrey Hepburn pour Ariane
Deborah Kerr pour Dieu seul le sait*
Anna Magnani pour Car sauvage est le vent*
Marlene Diétrich pour Témoin à charge

Rosalind Russell pour Ma Tante**
Susan Hayward pour Je veux vivre*
Maria Schell pour Les Frères Karamazoff
Kim Novak pour Sueurs Froides
Dorothy Malone pour La Ronde de l’aube

Simone Signoret pour Les Chemins de la haute ville*
Audrey Hepburn pour Au risque de se perdre*
Elisabeth Taylor pour Soudain l’été dernier*
Katharine Hepburn pour Soudain l’été dernier*
Doris Day pour Confidences sur l’oreiller*

Jean Simmons pour Elmer Gantry
Doris Day pour Piège à Minuit
Shirley MacLaine pour La Garçonnière*
Sophia Loren pour La Diablesse aux collants roses
Joanne Woodward From the terrace

Geraldine Page pour Ete et fumée*
Shirley MacLaine pour La Rumeur
Gina Lollobrigida pour Volupté
Natalie Wood pour Splendor in the grass*
Deborah Kerr pour Les Innocents

Anne Bancroft pour Miracle en Alabama**
Katharine Hepburn pour Long voyage du jour à la nuit*
Lee Remick pour Le jour du vin et des roses*
Geraldine Page pour Doux oiseau de la jeunesse*
Bette Davis pour Qu’est-il arrivé à Baby Jane*

Kim Stanley pour Seance on a wet afternoon*
Heley Mills pour Mystère sur la falaise
Kim Novak pour Embrasse-moi idiot
Julie Andrews pour Mary Poppins**
Debbie Reynolds pour Molly Brown*

Maggie Smith pour Othello/*
Julie Andrews pour La Mélodie du bonheur*
Simone Signoret pour La Nef des fous*
Samantha Eggar pour Le Collectionneur*
Julie Christie dans pour Darling**

Dame James said...

french lector: My my, your list of nominees certainly is thorough. There are still some years where I can only find one or two worthy nominees.

And you only missed a couple of the performances.

-The first Garbo is for The Kiss, not Anna Christie.
-Irene Dunne for The Awful Truth (I can see the confusion because I flipped her and Jean Harlow on the picture).
-Stanwyck for The Lady Eve
-Garson in Random Harvest (hated her in Mrs. Miniver)
-Samojlova is from a Soviet film called The Cranes are Flying
-Deneuve for Repulsion
-Streisand for Funny Girl (Funny Lady is the American title for the '75 sequel)

A french lector said...

Yeah ! I was suspicious about Anna Christie because it's difficult today to say it's an impressive performance. (But Dressler is amazing in her scenes.)

I don't hate Garson in Mrs Miniver (I think she does her job with her particular charm and manierism) but now I agree with you : she is much more interesting in Random,so touching, lovable and even funny.

What a fool about Dunne ! I knew it (and I knew about Funny Girl, of course !) But I'm so in love with her Theodora : may be it's an explication.

I have no list before 35 (except 33) and no list after 66 so I'm not THAT thorough. And I'm older than you !

Thanks for your answer (but you won't give us your entire list until it'll be completed, I suppose).

Excuse again my english (It's very frustrating because I can't express the things I think about all the thing with the americans ... and in France nobody is interested by that !)

Dame James said...

french lector: I liked Garbo in Anna Christie and even nominated her but that's mostly because it's such a weak year then because it's one of her greatest performances.

Maybe hate is a strong word for Garson in Mrs. Miniver, but it's certainly the weakest of her nominated performances (so, of course, she had to win the Oscar for it!)

Don't worry, your English is very good--much better than my French would be in the opposite situation.

If you're interested, I'll list the rest of the winners for you.

A French lector said...

Of course I'm interested. I'm obsseded by "listes" .... (Heaven knows why ... )
But until yesterday I didn't know your "rantsofadivaawars blog" (with your choices for 1939 !Thank you for that).

About 1930 I'havent seen enough performances to have an opinion, but I was impressed by none of them. May be I prefer Shearer, but I'm not sure.

I haven't seen Sunrise at Campobello, but for me the weakest of the Garson's nominations is, perhaps, The valley of decision. She's charming and lovely to look (and the entire Picture is worthy, at least as a "divertissement" if you see what I mean) but she acts so exactly as you know Greer Garson will act .... it's a little boring. However I like her very much, even here. And I adore her "brio" (in a very "Jane Austen manner") in Pride in prejudice, for exemple. (But she was NOT nominated for this ....)

Glenn said...


Over Michelle Pfeiffer? Meg Ryan? Kelly Lynch? Charlotte Burke? Amy Madigan? Winona Ryder? Hell, even Andie McfuckinDowell!

Other than that I generally this entry is amazing.

Dame James said...

french lector: Here are the rest for you:

The Way We Were, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Nashville, Network, Annie Hall

An Unmarried Woman, The Rose, Coal Miner's Daughter, Mommie Dearest, Sophie's Choice

Educating Rita, All of Me, Mask, Sid & Nancy, Fatal Attraction

Bull Durham, Driving Miss Daisy, The Grifters, The Rapture, Howards End

What's Love Got to Do With It, Death and the Maiden, Muriel's Wedding, Secrets & Lies, Jackie Brown

There's Something About Mary, Election, Erin Brockovich, Moulin Rouge!, Unfaithful

Something's Gotta Give, Vera Drake, The Upside of Anger, Notes on a Scandal, La Vie en Rose

Rachel Getting Married

Glenn: I could say that I am weak on 1989 (and I am) but I think that Tandy is legitimately good in that film (although it has been quite a few years, if that's any consolation). But don't even get me started on how overrated Michelle Pfeiffer is in The Fabulous Baker Boys. Everytime someone complains about Tandy winning over that crap performance, I want to roll my eyes.

A french lector said...

Many thanks Dames James !

Three things I adore about your awards :
Joan Crawford in Strait Jacket
Raquel Welch in Myra Breckenridge
Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest

That's what I call Diva's tastes !

Plus I'agree with you. In the three pictures the three actresses are amazing. Not only camp figure, I mean. Not only prima donna. They plays theirs parts with with such intelligent sens of demesure, with both serious and provocation.

But you have said all that very well about a less "cult" movie, I'll cry tomorow.