The best actress of our time?
Who is the best actress of our time? Honestly.
Looking for an actress who disappears into a role, is diverse about her selection, and gives damn good performances in everything she is in (regardless of the overall movie).
Some actresses, like Maggie Smith, I wanted to include, but sadly her days of great performances are over.
|by Anonymous||reply 93||March 17, 2023 9:10 PM
Toss up between Cate Blanchett and Tilda Swinton
|by Anonymous||reply 1||August 20, 2022 7:07 PM
Meryl and Glenn are past their prime.
|by Anonymous||reply 2||August 20, 2022 7:10 PM
I know people here loathe her, but I’d put Nicole Kidman on the list, and probably even rank her just behind Cate and Kate.
|by Anonymous||reply 3||August 20, 2022 7:54 PM
Oh it’s her, we all know it’s her whether we like it or not.
|by Anonymous||reply 5||August 20, 2022 8:37 PM
Viola "One Note" Davis, Jessica "Woke as Fuck" Chastain, and Frances "I Don't Give A Fuck" McDormand have no business being on the same list as G, M, and Cate.
|by Anonymous||reply 6||August 20, 2022 8:40 PM
I can't believe Jessica Chastain won for that Donald Trump in drag movie.
|by Anonymous||reply 9||August 20, 2022 8:46 PM
Frances McDormand is the worst on the list. No range, plays herself in everything, her I don't care attitude is fake and annoying, and owes most of her career to her husband.
|by Anonymous||reply 10||August 20, 2022 8:50 PM
Meryl is the same character
|by Anonymous||reply 12||August 20, 2022 9:10 PM
Streep is the Al Pacino of American actresses. One or two standouts early on and then hackneyed shit.
Tilda Swinton can act rings around her, and is just possibly the most under-appreciated actress of the era.
|by Anonymous||reply 13||August 20, 2022 9:23 PM
Most of these actresses are fine, but Kate is my girl.
|by Anonymous||reply 14||August 20, 2022 9:33 PM
McDormand is the most talented and versatile among these performers. Penelope Cruz belongs nowhere near this list.
|by Anonymous||reply 16||August 20, 2022 9:37 PM
Disappointed Scarlet Johansson isn't on the list
|by Anonymous||reply 17||August 20, 2022 10:00 PM
Let me submit Juliette Binoche and Rebecca Hall.
|by Anonymous||reply 19||August 20, 2022 11:19 PM
Up to 4.5! Well done, Glennie!
|by Anonymous||reply 20||August 21, 2022 12:56 AM
I'd suggest Julianne Moore.
|by Anonymous||reply 21||August 21, 2022 3:19 AM
Léa Seydoux. If "our time" is younger than the crypt keeping eldergays.
|by Anonymous||reply 22||August 21, 2022 3:32 AM
There's a difference, I guess, between best actress of our time and best living actress. Vanessa Redgrave and Maggie Smith are coming to the end of their careers, but they should be here, too. And Meryl might have a surprise or two up her sleeve in the next 10-15 years.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||February 10, 2023 2:01 AM
Why isn't Linda Lavin and Polly Holiday on this list ?
|by Anonymous||reply 24||February 10, 2023 2:23 AM
R16 What is versatile about Frances? She can play every different type of common midwesterner??
|by Anonymous||reply 26||February 12, 2023 7:24 PM
As overexposed as she is, Meryl has to win. She's played such a great range of roles and done so brilliantly even if the films themselves aren't very memorable. The ones that were less Oscar bait-y like The Devil Wears Prada, She-Devil, and Death Becomes Her will end up being rewatched and talked about more than Out of Africa or The Iron Lady as the decades fly by.
|by Anonymous||reply 27||February 12, 2023 7:28 PM
And fuck all these actresses, they’re all pretentious Oscar bait actresses.
I like someone like Kirsten Dunst who I think can take on genuinely good parts without thinking about an Oscar.
|by Anonymous||reply 28||February 12, 2023 7:28 PM
OH, some people chose Glenn. In a Best Actress poll. Bless their hearts.
|by Anonymous||reply 31||February 12, 2023 7:42 PM
I think Streep wins this one. Once she dies or retires. Cate, Frances, and Jodi can fight it out.
|by Anonymous||reply 34||February 12, 2023 7:49 PM
If Cate wants to take Meryl's crown, she is going to need to make some better movies and give some more coherent performances with less scenery-chewing. And learn how to relax and be more "relatable" in interviews, which is maybe Meryl's greatest sleight-of-hand.
|by Anonymous||reply 35||February 13, 2023 8:08 PM
Meryl and quite a few women on the list's entire star persona is contingent on their being great actors, thus, people explicitly go to see their films to watch them 'act' in the same way people go to see Julia Roberts to see her laugh and fall in love against the odds. Meryl is the archetype of this actor, but Blanchett and Winslet also fall into this category. The problem with this is that their choices in material become a bit obvious and while sometimes challenging, oftentimes repetetive. Daniel Day-Lewis and Pacino would be the male equivalents that I could think of, off the top of my head.
Meryl is a great actor, but I would say among her peers from the 1970s and '80s, Debra Winger was a far more raw and honest in her performances. Kidman makes far more interesting choices in terms of roles and directors (though she sometimes can also get caught up in being a 'great actor' PR). Both probably have less range than Streep, though to be fair, has Meryle ever played a character who wasn't intelligent?
|by Anonymous||reply 36||February 13, 2023 8:57 PM
Mary Fisher and that sex therapist woman from "Web Therapy" and the vulgar president in "Don't Look Up" are not the brightest....and Meryl condescends to their dumbness. But she can play ordinary not-too-bright women, as in "Marvin's Room" and "Hope Springs."
|by Anonymous||reply 37||February 13, 2023 9:03 PM
My favorite used to be Joan Allen but she doesn't get work anymore.
Samantha Morton. Always outstanding, she's doing a fabulous Catherine de Medici in "The Serpent Queen" right now. Her ten minutes of screentime, or however many it was, stole that "Elizabeth" sequel right out from under Cate Blanchett. Granted it was nothing compared to the first "Elizabeth" flick but Morton put them all to shame anyway. She's a wonderful actress.
|by Anonymous||reply 38||February 13, 2023 9:18 PM
Seconding Andrea Riseborough!
|by Anonymous||reply 40||February 14, 2023 3:03 AM
Kate Winslet has terrible choices in projects but I find her to be a much better actress than Streep or Close. Cate Blanchett runs so hot and cold. When she's great, there's no one better, when she's bad, she's horrendous, which prevents me from calling her the greatest of our time. Nicole Kidman is awful 90% of the time but has occasional moments of inspired acting, it's laughable she's getting an AFI award.
Julianne Moore is pretty great but seems to not get the Great Actress respect that Winslet, Blanchett, or even one-note (but entertaining) Frannie McD gets...is it because she's very good looking? Gets naked a lot while being American?
Isabelle Huppert is probably my pick if we're going international. I guess I like redheads!
|by Anonymous||reply 41||February 14, 2023 9:36 PM
Meryl is such a boring actress. I never buy her dramatic performances as honest, she's best in comedy when she doesn't have the usual stick up her ass. People look at me like I'm insane when I say her best work was Death Becomes Her!
Her ex-classmate Sigourney Weaver is a lot more charismatic and fun to watch, if less "technically" (whatever THAT means) gifted.
|by Anonymous||reply 42||February 14, 2023 9:40 PM
And someone PLEASE explain to me the new reverence for Kirsten Dunst on here. She is someone who never registered to me except for Melancholia, which I totally credit to Lars von Trier being a fantastic (yes, he is) director of actresses. He got great acting work out of Bjork, for fuck's sake.
Sofia Coppola's movies are beautiful tableaus which would have the same effect with with any fresh faced young actress.
|by Anonymous||reply 43||February 14, 2023 9:44 PM
I've been impressed with Dunst's abilities since Interview with a Vampire, where she pretty much stole the movie from Cruise and Pitt, not just because she was doll-like and adorable, but conveyed the frustration and despair of a much older woman stuck in the body of a child. I've liked Dunst as an adult as well, however, she's a bit limited by her voice, similar to Sally Field. It can be hard for them to play gravitas with such high, thin voices.
|by Anonymous||reply 44||February 14, 2023 10:19 PM
Funny, R44. I agree with you about Dunst - few actresses of her generation can serve crumbling bravado with the nuance she can - but I was coming in here to say Sally!
|by Anonymous||reply 45||February 15, 2023 12:15 AM
Winslet can fucking do anything. She’s brilliant.
|by Anonymous||reply 46||February 15, 2023 12:25 AM
OP, how about your time?
Or are you caught between Helen Twelvetrees and Nazimova?
|by Anonymous||reply 47||February 15, 2023 1:01 AM
I can’t stand Winslet, nor Drunkst.
|by Anonymous||reply 48||February 15, 2023 1:08 AM
I just now realized from this thread that Cate Blanchett and Kate Winslet are two different people. I know who Kate Winslet is, I think, so now I have to figure out who Cate B. is.
|by Anonymous||reply 49||February 15, 2023 1:19 AM
How is Kate Winslet in the back end? She's about as good as it's possible to be.
|by Anonymous||reply 50||February 15, 2023 1:25 AM
Annette Bening Julianne Moore
|by Anonymous||reply 51||February 15, 2023 1:26 AM
Sally Field is lot more vivacious than Dunst. She is watchable in very shitty comedies, which Dunst did a lot of (and fell totally flat in) during the 2000s. I saw many of her movies because she was at her mainstream peak when I was in high school/college - we’re about the same age.
She was also totally miscast in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, which was otherwise a perfectly cast movie. Mary Jane is supposed to be a sassy bombshell, not some whiny girl next door.
|by Anonymous||reply 52||February 15, 2023 1:59 AM
R52 yeah but you have to admit her voice (Sally Fields that is) prevents her from having the gravitas her contemporaries have. Her height probably contributes to that as well. I agree she’s always enjoyable to watch though (even when she’s not very good) which is another quality worth noting in actors generally.
|by Anonymous||reply 53||February 15, 2023 2:03 AM
Judi Dench is still alive, still the queen here, with Maggie Smith and Helen Mirren making up the triumvirate. Meryl is our greatest screen actress, but Glenn counts for a lot (and she continued to do stage work much more than Streep). I love everything Emma Thompson does, and also Tilda Swinton. I think Cate Blanchett, Kate Winslet, Regina King, are all fine too.
Everybody wins. But Judi Dench is still alive.
|by Anonymous||reply 54||February 15, 2023 2:45 AM
Once upon a time Jane Fonda would have been on this list. It makes me sad people forget how superb she used to be.
But of everyone, I would honestly say Judy Davis is the very best of all of them. "My Brilliant Career," "A Passage to India," "High Tide," "My Brilliant Career," "Husbands and Wives," "Barton Fink," "Me and My Shadow"... she played incredibly different characters in these, and yet she was great in all of them.
|by Anonymous||reply 55||February 15, 2023 2:55 AM
Glenda Jackson - still hasn't lost it even after all those years away from acting. Being a politician kept her skills sharp.
|by Anonymous||reply 56||February 15, 2023 3:02 AM
Kate Winslet is the most underrated overrated actresses.
|by Anonymous||reply 57||February 15, 2023 3:02 AM
Seconding Samantha Morton. Love her. Cate could be great if she learned to be more relatable in interviews. Stop preaching . You won't ever hear I'm dying to see the new Cate Blanchett movie like you would hear someone say I want to se the new Meryl movie. Merely is a charming woman. Cate can be great but she needs to come down to earth. Like Nicole her whsipery voice acting is shit but I enjoy watching her movies.
|by Anonymous||reply 59||February 15, 2023 3:06 AM
Perhaps I just haven’t watched enough Meryl Streep movies because I have yet to be impressed by her.
I did watch Viola Davis act circles around her in Doubt though.
|by Anonymous||reply 63||February 15, 2023 3:21 AM
R57 VERY apt way of describing her. She's overblown for the wrong reasons. Her best performances - Heavenly Creatures, Holy Smoke, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - are rarely cited among mainstream discussion of her talent.
|by Anonymous||reply 64||February 15, 2023 3:29 AM
Gina Rowland is still alive.
|by Anonymous||reply 66||February 15, 2023 12:40 PM
R41 Winslet and Blanchett are also hot. And Winslet gets naked a lot. Or at least she used to. Bit she's not an American.
|by Anonymous||reply 67||February 15, 2023 12:42 PM
R43 Kirsten Dunst was great in second season of Fargo. Should have won The Golden Globe for the best actress, instead of Lady Gaga.
|by Anonymous||reply 68||February 15, 2023 12:45 PM
Best of the last 30 years:
|by Anonymous||reply 69||February 15, 2023 12:46 PM
Nicole Kidman, Andrea Riseborough
|by Anonymous||reply 70||February 15, 2023 12:49 PM
Toni Collette is a better actress than all of those listed in the poll.
I also think Adele Haenel is fantastic in everything she’s in.
|by Anonymous||reply 72||February 15, 2023 12:54 PM
The Ice Queen Rampling anyone?
|by Anonymous||reply 73||February 15, 2023 12:56 PM
Marion Cotillard - can speak 5 languages, do hundred of accents, can sing and dance, and still doesn't mind presenting her cooter. Glenn and Meryl would never do that.
|by Anonymous||reply 74||February 15, 2023 12:57 PM
R67 Cate blanchett hot? You need your eyes checked Sir.
|by Anonymous||reply 75||February 15, 2023 1:53 PM
Penelope is a great actress in her native language, but awful in English. Same with Marion. They deserve to be on this list more than half the choices.
|by Anonymous||reply 77||February 15, 2023 3:50 PM
Has no one mentioned Michelle Williams? I kinda think she's up there...
|by Anonymous||reply 78||February 15, 2023 3:54 PM
Sarosie Ronan is missing form the list. She is a real talent. At the tender age of 28 and already 4 Oscar nominations
|by Anonymous||reply 79||February 15, 2023 4:03 PM
The best actress over the century might be Maureen Stapleton. Or Geraldine Page.
|by Anonymous||reply 80||February 15, 2023 7:38 PM
R75 Like you would know what's hot
|by Anonymous||reply 81||February 15, 2023 8:06 PM
R77 Neither actress is awful in English. The Immigrant, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
|by Anonymous||reply 83||February 16, 2023 5:44 AM
Winslet was terrific in STEVE JOBS and in MARE OF EASTHAM (though the latter was very contrived). Not so much in MILDRED PIERCE, but that series became dull after a few episodes so it wasn't entirely her doing.
|by Anonymous||reply 84||February 16, 2023 4:07 PM
It's easy to hate on Meryl and dismiss her because when you're at the top, there's nowhere to go but down and people love to be contrary. But you don't "accidentally" get 21 Oscars noms.
She's elevated truly awful things like the Bridges of Madison County and She-Devil (where she gave an absolutely brilliant comedic performance). And nobody has the range that she does. Cate's great, but Meryl is just...Meryl. She's the greatest living actress and possibly the greatest actress of all time. She's never turned in a poor performance and if she's gotten bored and is just phoning it in, she's still so good you can't tell.
And she has Oscars, Emmys, and a Grammy. I've always been surprised she didn't take a Broadway job just to get herself a Tony and EGOT, but I think she probably doesn't care. She's not all ego. She's genuinely surprised when she wins things and she's happy for the success of other actors.
Basically, she is the best. You can write that she isn't but we're all just expressing an opinion. None of this is based on fact. Except the fact that more people think she's the best than any other actress.
|by Anonymous||reply 85||February 16, 2023 5:22 PM
I feel like people only say Meryl is overrated because they CAN'T say she's underrated! She's the most awarded and esteemed actress alive. What are you gonna say? She's fairly rated? Nah, you're just going to look for non-existent flaws and say "she's overrated".
|by Anonymous||reply 87||February 16, 2023 11:16 PM
^two extremely deserved Oscars. NOT overrated.
I recognize your posts, Mrs. Beatty!
|by Anonymous||reply 90||February 17, 2023 8:17 PM
It's still Meryl...no one else can touch her at her best.
|by Anonymous||reply 91||March 14, 2023 10:55 PM