Friday, June 11, 2010
1991 Best Actress Rankings
5. Bette Midler, For The Boys - 2 Stars
For the Boys gives us the story of Dixie Leonard (Midler), a rough and tough singer with a naughty sense of humor, and Eddie Sparks (James Caan), a secretly sexist comic. When the two meet on a World War II USO tour, it's loathing at first sight--but their audiences adore the combination. Trouble is, you can't imagine why. Both Midler and Caan are expert performers, but they have remarkably little on-screen chemistry, and although they score points individually they never quite seem to be working in tandem. To make matters worse, while the dialogue is often witty, the plot is leaden, and it promptly goes off into a host of predictable directions as it drags its characters from World War II to Vietnam in order to make a series of well-intended but extremely obvious and over-worked comments about changing times and the wastefulness of war.
4. Laura Dern, Rambling Rose- 4 Stars
Gorgeous, touching film about a Southern family in the 1930s whose lives are disrupted by the arrival of Rose (Laura Dern), a so-called "loose" woman with a real heart of gold. Dern is perfectly cast in the delightful title role, and her real-life mother Diane Ladd is brilliant as the matriarch of the conservative clan who does everything in her power to make sure the ignorant and self-righteous men around her don't harm the charming and "rambling" girl. Dern makes the difficult title role her own by making her character's weakness and vulnerabilities also her strengths and virtues.
3. Susan Sarandon, Thelma & Louise- 5 Stars
Sarandon is at the top of her game and plays the crusty, worldly wise, vulnerable Louise with tenderness and understanding. Davis and Sarandon share a great bond on the film. Thelma and Louise are great friends, but completely different characters in their own right. With Sarandon, I got the feeling that she was the one that had the 'balls' out of the two, making her best friend realize that they should stand for no crap anymore. She also has a past to overcome, and the two of them are drawn together by the events that happen on the run. Sarandon and Davis create an on screen duo that is one of the best in film history.
2. Geena Davis, Thelma & Louise- 5 Stars
I have never seen Geena Davis better. Her unique style is melded very well into a naive woman who never had a chance to express herself, but goes hog wild and seems a natural at it when the time comes. Davis plays a ditsy sort of character, who is naive, but becomes an individual once again, after the men in her life have been nothing but tragedy after tragedy. I gave Davis the edge because I think her character showed more growth from beginning to end.
1. Jodie Foster, The Silence of the Lambs- 5 Stars
Silence of the Lambs' is the story of a young FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) who is summoned to help find one serial killer called `Buffalo Bill.' by interviewing another. Foster's performance is absolutely brilliant. While Anthony Hopkins receives most of the (well-deserved) praise for his chilling portrayal of incarcerated serial killer `Hannibal ‘the Cannibal' Lector', it is Foster's performance that holds the movie together. The fear she shows just behind her eyes makes Clarice's outward courage all the more interesting and vulnerable. This is the perfect way to play the part because it explains Lector's interest in Clarice. Her only bargaining chip in getting Lector's help is to let him `feed' on her innermost secrets and fears in exchange for his brilliant insights into the psychotic mind. It's an intense commanding performance without any false notes.