PREMIERE’S 100 GREATEST PERFORMANCES

I know. Yet another list. But it really is fascinating even though there are some glaring omissions. You can never please everyone, though. This is just the way it all shakes out.

To see the list in its entirety, please go here

These are my personal favourites below. Their #1 selection is unequalled perfection in its utterly fabulous glory. That’s all I have to say.

100. MALCOLM McDOWELL AS ALEX DeLARGE (A CLOCKWORK ORANGE)

98. BARBARA STANWYCK AS PHYLLIS DIETRICHSON (DOUBLE INDEMNITY)

97. BEN KINGSLEY AS DON LOGAN (SEXY BEAST)

88. CHRISTOPHER WALKEN AS NICK CHEVOTAREVICH (THE DEER HUNTER)

85. JESSICA LANGE AS FRANCES FARMER (FRANCES)

84. ANJELICA HUSTON AS LILLY DILLON (THE GRIFTERS)

75. JULIE CHRISTIE AS DIANA SCOTT (DARLING)

72. JUDY GARLAND AS ESTHER BLODGETT/VICKI LESTER (A STAR IS BORN)

70. ANTHONY HOPKINS AS DR. HANNIBAL LECTER (THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS)

68. JACK LEMMON AS JERRY/DAPHNE (SOME LIKE IT HOT)

64. PAUL NEWMAN AS FAST EDDIE FELSON (THE HUSTLER)

58. SIGOURNEY WEAVER AS ELLEN RIPLEY (ALIENS)

54. KATHARINE HEPBURN AS TRACY LORD (THE PHILADELPHIA STORY)

53. DANIEL DAY LEWIS AS BILL “THE BUTCHER” CUTTING (GANGS OF NEW YORK)

40. NICOLE KIDMAN AS SUZANNE STONE (TO DIE FOR)

33. DUSTIN HOFFMAN AS MICHAEL DORSEY/DOROTHY MICHAELS (TOOTSIE)

32. AUDREY HEPBURN AS HOLLY GOLIGHTLY (BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S)

28. ROSALIND RUSSELL AS HILDY JOHNSON (HIS GIRL FRIDAY)

20. AL PACINO AS MICHAEL CORLEONE (THE GODFATHER PART II)

19. PAUL NEWMAN AS FRANK GALVIN (THE VERDICT)

18. EMILY WATSON AS BESS McNEILL (BREAKING THE WAVES)

17. KATHARINE HEPBURN AS ELEANOR OF AQUITAINE (THE LION IN WINTER)

11. DANIEL DAY LEWIS AS CHRISTY BROWN (MY LEFT FOOT)

5. BETTE DAVIS AS MARGO CHANNING (ALL ABOUT EVE)

4. AL PACINO AS SONNY WORTZIK (DOG DAY AFTERNOON)

3. MERYL STREEP AS SOPHIE ZAWISTOWSKA (SOPHIE’S CHOICE)

8 Responses to “PREMIERE’S 100 GREATEST PERFORMANCES”

  1. although i haven’t seen it in years so cool that emily watson for breaking the waves makes the list and so high too/ i didn’t think this film had a “high enough” media profile (well you know what i mean) to have a performance from it rank so high on the a list such as this. wow all those big names/known movies…

    hmm you’re probably not surprised that i liked emily in this are you ????
    šŸ™‚

    breaking the waves is likely a perfect example of what the mainstream fears an indie would be. but tell’em circa 2008. you can’t even dream anything different getting released/so all is safe in the movie world….

  2. ok i’m gonna list you…uh wait…that wasn’t clear enough…i’m gonna link a premiere list. now it’s your turn (ok you’ve likely seen this… )

    premiere’s dangerous list

  3. Miranda Wilding Says:

    Well, in spite of the fact that BREAKING THE WAVES was an odd, rather obscure film it was pretty damn powerful. EMILY gave such a magnificent, bold, electric performance in that. I’ve loved her for a long time. She’s so gorgeous and gifted – and in BREAKING THE WAVES SHE TOOK IT TO THE WALL.

    It’s been a dozen years now since it was released. But I do believe (from what I’ve heard) that people started talking about EMILY’S performance at CANNES…and then never really stopped. I think that the thing that automatically raises her profile in that film is that she got an ACADEMY AWARD nomination for that, glim.

    Apparently a lot of hard core feminists were genuinely upset with Mr. Von Trier. They thought that EMILY had been exploited and that her character’s descent into madness and her ultimate fate were part of some horrific sexist fantasy.

    Well, I’m a feminist as well. Bess goes on a journey that is harsh, difficult and eventually tragic. Personally, I don’t think it’s sexist. AT ALL.

    Bess is desperately trying to please a husband who is not only injured physically but has enormous psychological problems. She’s vulnerable, naive and trusts like a small child. But she takes on the role of martyr because she’s not right in the head herself. Otherwise I’m sure she would’ve told him where he could put his selfish misplaced desires and she would’ve gotten the hell out.

    There is a lot of subtext to this film and a point behind all of it. Anyone that would be offended in that way by this movie is likely not looking at in the proper context.

    It’s very sad. She was a sweet girl and that adorable doctor was in love with her. He would’ve done anything for her but she threw it all away. Bess was determined and she was more than willing to do whatever she felt was necessary.

    Yes, I do think I understand why you liked EMILY in this. She’s a GREAT actor. I hope she gets her due some day. She’s been wonderful in anything I’ve ever seen her in.

  4. Miranda Wilding Says:

    Your second comment was automatically classified as spam. So I’m terribly glad that it made its way over here intact, glim. I wasn’t sure where it was going to end up.

    Yes, I did see PREMIERE’S DANGEROUS LIST before. But now that you’ve linked to it I’ll give you my views on it. Of the ones that I’ve seen I liked most of them a lot. They’re all subversive and often quite disturbing. But they’re meant to be.

    BOYS DON’T CRY, DEAD RINGERS, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, HAPPINESS, RESERVOIR DOGS and THE LOST WEEKEND are all really effective, startingly good films.

    CATHERINE DENUEVE is absolutely mesmerizing in REPULSION. She’s quiet and deceptively sweet. Just a vision of glamorous Gallic blonde perfection. But she’s suffering from a severe mental illness that no one else in the film is aware of.

    The innocence that she unknowingly projects (this was 1965, after all) allows her to get away with the most unspeakable things while her mind slowly unravels. But, in the end, her fragile, damaged psyche is only exacting revenge.

    Polanski makes it abundantly clear in the last shot that her character was permanently wounded by sexual abuse she suffered as a young girl, which makes the entire film even more haunting and deeply sad.

    ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST derives much of its brutal power from having HENRY FONDA (generally warmly relatable, down to earth and cast repeatedly as a decent, gentle person in many films) play a low life gunslinger that thinks nothing of shooting children dead just for the fun of it.

    His azure eyes (usually so tranquil and inviting) are like the coldest steel in hell. He makes the mistake of severely underestimating CLAUDIA CARDINALE because she’s not only an independent woman making her own way with no assistance from anyone, but her great beauty and distracting sensuality allow him to surmise that’s she’s even less of a threat than most. It’s rare that a man has ever been so unbelievably wrong….


    IN THE COMPANY OF MEN
    has AARON ECKHART in a gutsy, star making performance as one of the nastiest amoral sociopathic sleazeballs that has ever appeared on film. What kind of man would make a bet with a work colleague (who is also supposedly a good friend) to see who can first seduce and then abandon/emotionally destroy a lovely young woman who also happens to be deaf?

    (For a Mormon, Neal LaBute sure as hell knows how to illuminate the darkness in people’s souls.)

    Twists and turns are the order of the day. Big surprises are in store for anyone who sees this. But I can guarantee you they won’t be the sort that hardly anyone will see coming…

    As excellent as all those films are, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE and BONNIE & CLYDE are sheer masterpieces.

    The brilliance of ACO has mostly to do with STANLEY KUBRICK’S fluid, risky direction and MALCOLM McDOWELL’s spectacular acting as Alex DeLarge. Alex is so irretrievably warped that nothing and no one can save him. But when he is selected for rehabilitation after being incarcerated (and his life plummets into the gutter) you can’t help but feel something for him.

    Although he’s been totally responsible for endless amounts of pain and suffering to others – and clearly deserves to be punished. There’s a sly ironic tone running through the entire film that makes the ending seem particularly unsettling in the deepest, darkest, most oddly amusing way possible. Some things never change. Even if they should have long ago.


    BONNIE & CLYDE
    is one of the most tragic true stories ever to be committed to celluloid. The overt, almost casual violence still packs a wallop today though it’s certainly been diminished over the decades.

    WARREN BEATTY is iconic and GENE HACKMAN is a revelation. But it’s FAYE DUNAWAY who carries the day for me. BONNIE PARKER is a green eyed goddess who knows she’s too beautiful, sharp and sexually driven to be stuck in a one horse Texas town working at the diner as a lowly server and getting her kicks with the local men.

    Her poetic soul craves adventure, freedom, money and a wild time. Her way out is Clyde. Their love for each other will lead them down a path from which there is no escape.

    But their reckless rebellion is so deeply fascinating and so gorgeously detailed that it hits all the harder when they don’t find the soft landing that you inevitably want for them.

    Thanks for the list, glim. They were definitely interesting ideas to write about.

    Very engaging. Glad you thought to send it my way.

  5. and the word maven does it again. how does she write so well ???? šŸ™‚

    anyway i haven’t seen in the company of men.

    but your describation had me thinking of this. ) maybe for once i’ll put a movie on your radar.ha ha… )

    http://imdb.com/title/tt0099436/

  6. Miranda Wilding Says:

    The word maven…

    Hee hee. You’re so adorable, you. That’s a very lovely compliment, glim. Thanks for that. You’re so sweet.

    I think you may like ITCOM. AARON ECKHART is supposedly a very nice guy. (From what I hear, anyway.) He is entirely convincing in that part. But, as any actor will tell you, bad people are MUCH more interesting and fun to play. You can get into it (being entirely aware it’s only fantasy) and just let yourself go.

    When I saw it, I ran into an Australian woman in the bathroom. She was about 40. She really enjoyed it but she found his character’s behaviour thoroughly appalling. (As did I. But the guy’s a sociopath. There’s no there there.)

    She said, “He really was a bastard, wasn’t he?” I burst out laughing.

    “Yeah,” I replied. “He really was.”

    Hmmm…La Discrete? I LOVE the French. But I must confess I’ve never even heard of it. I’ll try to track it down. If I see it, I’ll let you know what I thought of it, glim. I am getting a rather heavy duty Les Liaisons Dangereuses vibe from that.

    Sounds very intriguing…

  7. ok, gone with the wind and then in the company of men !!! šŸ™‚

  8. Miranda Wilding Says:

    You should watch them as a double bill. That would really blow your mind.

    But watch GWTW first. If you see ITCOM to begin with, you may not want to watch anything for a while…

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