Top 5 Living Actresses — Top 5 Tuesday
Celebrating the women of cinema, a day late to International Women’s Day.
Howdy, what time is it? Oh yeah! It’s Top 5 Tuesday time! This week we are shining a light on the top five living actresses. Why have I chosen living? I didn’t think I could manage a top five of all-time because there are just too many that are deserving of a spot.
Since I am a heterosexual male I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that this is based strictly on their talents and not on their attractiveness–although I’m certainly not saying any of them are ugly. If it was based on how pretty they are, number one would just be a picture of Gal Gadot.
The trailers I link to are the films in which I think the actresses showed their best selves. So let’s appreciate the ladies.
5: Viola Davis
Viola Davis could possibly be the best actress on this list. If you’ve read my Top 5 Living Actors article you’ll notice that Denzel Washington was number one. As much as I love every actress on this list, Davis may be the only one that can go blow for blow with Washington on a consistent basis. We’ve already seen this happen in her excellent turn as Rose Maxson in Fences, where she arguably outdid him. Look, if me saying that she can rival my favourite actor ever isn’t enough praise, I don’t know what to tell you.
She’d likely be higher in the list if I was a little more familiar with her filmography. I’ve seen some of her movies, obviously, but I really need to go back and visit some of the stuff I’ve missed.
4: Elizabeth Olsen
One day I was sitting there watching episode 7 of WandaVision and I was looking at Olsen and I had a sudden epiphany. Back in 2011 she bounced onto my radar with a compelling duo of roles in Silent House and Martha Marcy May Marlene, so I’ve been on that train for a decade now. My appreciation for her has only grown since, especially in seeing how she can handle a role as an action star/superhero, while also juggling all the many different acting styles that she’s had to employ during WandaVision so far.
The aforementioned epiphany is that she is one of the most versatile actresses working today. But not only that, she’s a name that sells a movie for me. While her career has not been lengthy, I have no doubt that it will be immense.
3: Julianne Moore
Moore is a treasure. She has long been one of my favourite actresses and while I believe she gets respect within the industry, I don’t often hear her name come up in regular conversation. It’s a shame because she’s had an extensive career that is worthy of legendary status.
Some of the films that she has excelled in are The Kids Are All Right, Safe, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Boogie Nights, The Big Lebowski, Magnolia, Still Alice and Gloria Bell. This is just a short list.
2: Emily Blunt
You could consider this pick and the actual number one spot as 1 a and 1 b because I’m always unsure of where to place them. When I see Emily Blunt she briefly jumps to the number one spot, but I think she is correctly positioned because the number one spot has been my favourite actress longer.
Either way, number two is nothing to scoff at! She proved her horror chops in A Quiet Place; she showed she could be a complete badass in Edge of Tomorrow; she added vulnerability to that badassery in Sicario; she showed her romantic comedy chops in movies like The Five-Year Engagement; she showed she could sing in Into the Woods; she was the best part in The Girl on the Train. Just keep going down the list and you will find more to like about her.
Basically, all I’m saying is that Emily Blunt can do anything. No big deal.
1: Naomi Watts
To demonstrate how much I adore Naomi Watts, let me just say that in the Justin and Tyler Movie Awards that I do with my friend Justin I have given her the best actress of the year award the past two years, with a hope that I can go for three. That, of course, is going to depend on the work that she puts in this year… but thinking that she could accomplish that feat only speaks to the talent I believe she has.
If you need someone who can bring a complex character to life with ease and embody the very definition of acting, then Watts is your girl. She excels at certain types of roles, certainly, but I don’t think that’s bad. She has consistently shown that she can handle difficult material and make it feel as organic and genuine as possible. She’s a gift to cinema and the longer she sticks around the better off we’ll be.
He also thinks Natalie Portman gets slept on, thinks Jennifer Lawrence still deserves the respect that she got early on, and believes Charlize Theron can do virtually anything. He also firmly believes that Toni Collette got robbed when she didn’t get an Oscar nomination for Hereditary. He also reminded me that Liv Ullmann is still alive and she is brilliant.