Wednesday, September 23, 2009

it's only rock n roll.



today the rock and roll hall of fame announced their longlist of potential 2010 inductees:
  • abba
  • kiss
  • the stooges
  • the hollies
  • the chantels
  • darlene love
  • laura nyro
  • red hot chilli peppers
  • jimmy cliff
  • ll cool j
  • genesis
  • donna summer
it should be:
  • kiss (surprised they aren't already in there)
  • the stooges (ditto)
  • laura nyro (amazing songwriter - long overdue)
  • abba (obviously)
  • darlene love (ditto)
it will probably be:
  • kiss
  • the stooges
  • red hot chilli peppers (ridiculous)
  • ll cool j (laughable)
  • genesis (laughable-est)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

patrick swayze (1952-2009).

johnny castle.
sam wheat.
vida boheme.

no more.

babe of the day.

lori petty
(october 14, 1963 - )

why she's great
  • tank girl
  • a league of their own
  • point break
  • cult icon
  • underrated
  • 1990's
  • tank girl
  • graphic designer, pre hollywood
  • fashion designer, post hollywood
  • tank girl
  • faux lesbian
  • vegetarian
  • criminal
  • tank girl
  • kissed naomi watts
  • director
  • tank girl
  • better actor than most of her co-stars who were probably paid more (rosie o'donnell, andy dick, ice-t, madonna, benjamin bratt, keanu reeves, pauly shore, janet jackson, richard greico, gina gershon, willy)
why she's a babe
  • did i mention tank girl?

Monday, September 21, 2009

babe of the day.

gloria swanson
(march 27, 1899 - april 4, 1983)

why she's great:
  • a vegetarian since 1928, she would pack her own lunches and bring them to set
  • made her first appearance on film in 1914
  • successfully transitioned from silent pictures to talkies in the late 1920's
  • nominated for 3 academy awards, all best actress
  • has two stars on the hollywood walk of fame
  • considered one of the nicest and most cooperative actresses in the business, at the time
  • rumored to have slept with rudolph valentino
  • she was born in the nineteenth century and lived well into her eighties
  • ranked #1 on steelmagnolias' greatest performances that never won an oscar list
why she's a babe:
  • her earliest film stills. like the one above. hello?

#1. gloria swanson in sunset boulevard

are you kidding me?
gloria swanson as norma desmond is THE greatest performance of all time.

i don't want to give a lame summary of the picture, or opine about the beauty and intrigue and facial features responsible for carrying the reclusive actress into an over-the-top psychopathic superstar. i merely wish to bow down to gloria swanson, one of the greatest actors who ever lived. this is how it's done, boys and girls. respect.

nominated for 1950 best actress oscar;
lost to judy holliday in born yesterday

greatest moment:
see below

#2. barbara stanwyck in double indemnity

the only actor with two entries on this list, barbara stanwyck's performance as phyllis dietrichson, arguably one of cinema's greatest femme fatales, is absolutely perfect. ravishing and beautiful, with a steamy and sexy, smoky voice, phyllis traps a travelling insurance salesman (fred macmurray) in her web, seducing him in an effort to kill her husband and cash in on his life insurance policy, which includes a double indemnity clause. meaning: if her husband's death is ruled an accident, the bereaved widow receives twice the normal amount. phyllis' powers of manipulation lead her dumbstruck lover to commit the deed, which ensures her financial expectations, leaving him "holding the gun." when the web is unraveled, walter realizes that phyllis' actions were not out of genuine love for him, simply another obstacle in the way of her pure, unadulterated greed. stanwyck is as beautiful as ever in this role. she never won an oscar in her entire career, despite four nominations. she was given an honorary award in 1982. she died in 1990.

*nominated for 1945 best actress oscar
lost to ingrid bergman in gaslight

greatest moment: see below

tg tiff io (thank god tiff is over)

i have so neglected my countdown of the 100 greatest performances that never won an oscar. it was to coincide with the opening (and then the closing) of the toronto international film festival.but since that shit-show has come and gone (precious with mo-nique and mariah carey won the people's choice award -- it actually looks good), i will now present to you the final two performances. they are pretty fucking epic.

and then no more talk about movies for a while.

Monday, September 14, 2009

babe of the day.

taylor swift
(december 13, 1989 - )

i don't even particularly like her music, but no child deserves to be bullied on national television, whilst accepting an award voted for her by her fans. let alone by some ignorant, egomaniacal prick who stopped being interesting in 2004. you have to wonder if his mother truly raised him to act like that. mind you, if he wasn't famous, his mother would still be alive. ironic.

she's sweet.
she's cute.
she's 19.
and she's no ho.

she was probably told to do it by her puppet-master father, but i now enjoy beyonce for the reasons below:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

#3. maria falconetti in la passion de jeanne d'arc

she would have been eligible for the very first best actress oscar in 1928 (won by janet gaynor) had hollywood actually acknowledged foreign films at the time. instead, maria falconetti's silent performance as joan of arc has gone down in history, in what every legitimate film critic has termed, as the single greatest performance ever captured on film. skeptical at first, i was fortunate enough to catch the passion of joan of arc in it's entirety on youtube, and cried throughout the whole thing. not a single word is uttered, yet falconetti manages to transcend vocal communication and instead use the most beautiful eyes i have ever seen on an actress to dramatize her character's final hours. falconetti, ironically, was famed throughout france as a comedic stage performer prior to her breakthrough role. she never made another picture after joan, dying in 1946. 

i have posted the first three clips of the passion of joan of arc
do yourself a favor and find the rest.

greatest moment: see below

babe of the day.

sandy powell
(april 7, 1960 - )
famed cinema costume designer
attendee of the prestigious st. martins school of art, london

why she's great
nominated for seven oscars for costume design:
  • 1994 - orlando
  • 1998 - the wings of the dove
  • 1999 - velvet goldmine
  • 1999 - shakespeare in love (won)
  • 2003 - gangs of new york
  • 2005 - the aviator (won)
  • 2006 - mrs. henderson presents
she also dressed: 
  • julianne moore in far from heaven and the end of the affair
  • emily watson and rachel griffiths in hilary and jackie
  • julia roberts in michael collins
  • kirsten dunst in interview with the vampire
  • tilda swinton in the last of england and edward II
  • sally dexter in wittgenstein
  • saffron burrows in miss julie
  • jessica lange in rob roy
  • vivian wu in shadow of china
  • miranda richardson in the crying game and the young victoria
  • gwyneth paltrow in sylvia
  • scarlett johansson and natalie portman in the other boleyn girl
why she's a babe
her 2005 oscar dress, fearlessly accentuated with green nail-polish

#4. peter o'toole in lawrence of arabia

peter o'toole has been nominated for 8 oscars throughout his long and prolific career. he has never won. t.e. lawrence, though a real man who served as a military officer / liaison in the arab revolt of 1916-1918,  is also one of cinema's greatest characters, due primarily to the portrayal given by o'toole. the david lean-directed epic is often considered one of the greatest pictures ever, but little is said about the snub to end all snubs at the 1962 oscars. i watched lawrence of arabia for the first time in about ten years last week, and the performance is still as raw as ever. 

*nominated for 1963 best actor oscar:
lost to gregory peck in to kill a mockingbird

greatest moment: see below

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

#5. robert de niro in taxi driver

a gritty, unflinching look into the diseased mind of a psychopathic vietnam war veteran who, surrounded by the bright lights and seedy underbelly of new york, is fueled to commit various acts of violence, all while trying to protect a teenage prostitute (jodie foster). de niro is excellent as travis bickle, a performance i think far superior to his oscar-winning role in godfather part II.

nominated for 1977 best actor oscar;
lost to peter finch in network

greatest moment:
see below

#6. bette davis in all about eve

this one's simple:
what would hollywood be without bette davis? the same thing that cinema would be without margo channing: nothing!

*nomniated for 1950 best actress oscar;
lost to judy holliday in born yesterday

greatest line: "bill's thirty-two. he looks thirty-two. he looked it five years ago, he'll look it in twenty years. i hate men"

greatest moment: see below (with the phenomenal thelma ritter)

#7. gary oldman in sid and nancy

the greatest performance by an actor to never receive an oscar nomination was given, without a doubt, by gary oldman in alex cox's sid and nancy, the spellbinding biopic of punk rocker sid vicious. oldman is spot-on in one of those deliveries that come along once in a while (since 1987, i have seen maybe 5 male performances of near-equal quality). needless to say, i love this man. i can forgive him for lost in space. anyway, to prepare for his role, oldman maintained a strict, unconventional diet to mimic that pale, emaciated heroin-addict's body. you really can tell when an actor has done their homework. his mannerisms, accent, idiosyncrasies -- all matched. i always thought that the sex pistols' bassist was a smarmy bastard with no discernible talent, but oldman manages to draw sympathy and provide a deeply affecting human side to an otherwise despicable individual. i cannot say enough about my love for gary oldman. had he been nominated for an oscar in 1987, he would have been up against a lot of mediocre / shit performances, all of which pale in comparison: 
  • michael douglas wall street (winner)
  • robin williams good morning, vietnam
  • william hurt broadcast news
  • marcello mastroianni in dark eyes
  • jack nicholson in ironweed
the subject matter must have been too intense for stuffy academy voters. there is no excuse as to why gary oldman was not nominated. he is awesome. i love him.

greatest moment: see below

#8. orson welles in the third man

i love the original radio broadcast of graham greene's the third man. when i first saw the 1949 film, with its unique cinematography and eerie score, i became immediately enamored not only with carol reed, but the film noir genre. as the mysterious harry lime, welles' creepy, to-the-point vocal delivery alone should have won him an oscar. his sinister ruthlessness, delivered in an iconically villainous performance is what should have definitely won him an oscar. 

greatest moment: see below

babe of the day.

cindy wilson.
(february 28, 1957 - )
sole heterosexual member of the b-52's.
and all around hot piece.

why she's great:
  • 2x grammy nominee
  • 2x mtv video music award winner
  • #47 on vh1's 100 greatest women in rock n' roll list
  • debut album, the b-52's (1979), ranked #152 on rolling stone magazine's 500 greatest albums of all time
  • rumored to be included on the 2010 ballot for induction into the rock and roll hall of fame

why she's a babe:

Thursday, September 3, 2009

#9. anthony perkins in psycho

norman bates is one of those characters that live beyond their associated film. alfred hitchcock, henceforth, made it so that women would think twice before ever stepping foot into a motel room shower -- well, alfred hitchcock and anthony perkins. the titular character in this 1960 classic, perkins is creepy to the max as the innkeeper of the last resort 'bates motel,' whose ominous neon sign attracts the sweet and genteel secretary-on-the-lam-with-$40,000-in-her-purse marion crane (janet leigh). an innocent conversation ensues: philosophy, taxidermy, institutions (you know, the usual), but it isn't before too long that the sporadic line of questioning hits a little too close to home. perkins is, theoretically, perfect for the role with his disarming good looks and friendly demeanor, ideal for luring his audience in, enlisting them to hang on his every word... but make a disparaging remark about 'mother' and you are dead meat. leigh was fantastic as marion, and received her only oscar nomination for her performance. how perkins did not, is a mystery to us all.

greatest moment: see below

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

#10. jack lemmon in some like it hot

no other performance in lemmon's prolific and exceptional catalogue of film is as side-splittingly hilarious and effortlessly acted than his role as jerry / daphne in billy wilder's classic "some like it hot." after witnessing a mob hit, jerry and joe (tony curtis) flee chicago for sunny florida, under the guise of new identities: daphne and josephine. the two musicians take to drag in order to travel with an all-female musical troupe, where they meet sugar kowalczyk (marilyn monroe). an hilarious idea, the two are surprisingly convincing as beautiful (if not large) women, vying for the affection of the clueless sugar. lemmon however brings something extra to the table: his portrayal of daphne is intended more for slapstick entertainment, compared to curtis' serious attempt at finding romance. with two oscars on his shelf, lemmon was no stranger to critical acclaim. for this film, he definitely should have won a third.

*nominated for 1959 best actor oscar;

lost to charlton heston in

greatest moment:
see below

...and the oscar should have gone to...(part II)

so, the toronto international film festival starts on september 10th.
and to coincide with the kick-off, i have decided to finish off my top 10 list of the 100 greatest performances that never won an oscar.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

the day my music died.

  (1940 - 2009)

ellie greenwich, one of pop music's greatest songwriters, died today at 68. she was responsible for a catalogue of music that i never knew possible from one person, including:
  • "be my baby" / "baby, i love you" - the ronettes
  • "leader of the pack" - the shangri-las
  • "river deep, mountain high" - ike & tina turner
  • "da doo ron ron" - the crystals
  • "chapel of love" - the dixie cups
  • "doo wah diddy diddy" - manfred mann
  • "(today i met) the boy i'm gonna marry" - darlene love
  • "he's got the power" - the exciters 
....and countless other classics.
can you believe 1 woman wrote and / or co-wrote all that?

in 1991, ellie was was inducted into the songwriter's hall of fame.
a musical of her life, leader of the pack, debuted in 1984 and was nominated for a tony award for best musical.
below are some of ellie's masterpieces.
rest in peace, girl.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

summer reading.

go and read this book.
i just finished it.

it drags a bit at the end, but all in all a chillingly accurate portrayal of drug use in america as freelance writer david sheff chronicles his son's addiction to crystal meth.


so i have revealed the 90 greatest performances that never (yet should have) won an oscar. it is pretty exhausting, especially since anybody who reads this probably won't care what i think. i am going to put the top ten on hold until the commencement of the toronto international film festival (lame). in the meantime, take a look at this photo that i came across the other day whilst looking for things to complain about:

yeah. it is kim kardashian ("hooker/stripper/pole-dancer/amateur-porn star extraordinaire) working the robertson boulevard stroll in beverly hills, accosted by a bunch of screaming, crying, eternally appreciative 12-year old fans. 

immorality personified.
children are the future. 

Monday, August 17, 2009

#11. emily watson in breaking the waves

emily watson's role as bess mcneill ranks very high on this list. the highest ranking for an actor in a performance from the 1990's. and it more than deserves it place. bess mcneill is a character unlike any other: strange, simple, childlike -- as if she were an 8 year old barely living in a grown woman's body. lars von trier virtually plucked watson out of obscurity to tackle this role. it is near perfection, painfully beautiful. bess is completely dependent on her husband jan (stellan skarsgard), an oil rigger who is sent away to a platform in the middle of the sea. without jan, bess is incomprehensible and all she can do is pray for his return. when he is finally sent home, paralyzed in an onshore accident, bess blames herself. she is volatile, self destructive, catatonic. her reluctance to have sex with other men, an order given by jan who cannot have sex himself since his accident, results in a dizzying spiral into near-madness as she copes with her disintegrating marriage and the views of her calvinist community. arguably, one of the greatest performances in history, watson won just about every best actress award from critics and film festivals around the world. competing with brenda blethyn (for secrets and lies), who gave an equally powerful performance that year, the two stellar british actresses made 1996 a fantastic year for film.

*nominated for 1996 best actress oscar;
lost to frances mcdormand in fargo

greatest moment: see below

#12. david thewlis in naked

david thewlis is sensational as johnny, the streetwise philosopher who spends the majority of this film in a dizzying stupor, paranoid and drunk, assumedly suffering from undiagnosed medical afflictions, most likely schizophrenia. as we discover, johnny is equally a danger to others as he is to himself, even though his troubled soul comes off as endearing when he strikes up friendships with others miscreants he meets along his way (on the way to nowhere). a nihilist with a penchant for violence, johnny seeks refuge with an old girlfriend (the brilliant lesley sharp), seduces her roommate (the brilliant katrin cartlidge), and is forced in and out of the destitute streets of london. i don't know why i feel it worth mentioning, but brad pitt had said somewhere that this is his favorite performance of all time. don't let that discourage you. thewlis won the best actor award at the 1993 cannes film festival for his role. and should have absolutely been nominated for an oscar.

greatest moment: see below

#13. glenn close in fatal attraction

as the diabolical alex forrest, glenn close is iconic as an unhinged woman scorned, in adrian lyne's fatal attraction. playing her part with such conviction, she is fearsome and brutal -- every philandering husband's worst nightmare. at first, you fall in love with her. after she is rejected, you feel nothing but pity. when she is ignored, and results to boiling rabbits, you hate her. never has there been a time spent watching a film where i have so vocally cheered the death of a villain as when beth (the brilliant anne archer) shoots alex during the intense bathtub scene. close does what every good actor is supposed to: she believably takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotions. close was nominated for five oscars during the 1980's; if ever she deserved one (and she definitely deserved at least one) , it was for playing alex.
*nominated for 1987 best actress oscar;
lost to cher in moonstruck

greatest moment: see below

#14. dennis hopper in blue velvet

as fucked up as david lynch gets, blue velvet is disturbing, confusing, magnificent -- all because of dennis hopper. as frank booth, the angry, foul-mouthed masochist who kidnaps a lounge singer's (isabella rossellini) husband  and holds him ransom in order to have his wife available for violent, sexual encounters. the performance that ultimately typecasted hopper as the ultimate crazy bad-guy, frank booth is probably the most interesting character in any of david lynch's films (except eraserhead), and was a huge surprise to many, considering the mediocre roles that hopper had in the 1970's. an all-round classic nowadays, blue velvet was nominated for an oscar for best director. even in a career-defining performance, hopper was not nominated.

greatest moment: see below

#15. deborah kerr in from here to eternity

as the neglected wife of captain holmes, deborah kerr is oscar-worthy -- and not just for the iconic beachside make-out session with sergeant warden (burt lancaster). karen is heartbreaking from her opening scene: a husband who is never around to give her the time and love she needs. when she finally finds it in milton, he can't become the man she needs him to be in order to receive a divorce from her husband, and she is left lonely once again. you wonder how a woman so beautiful never seems to get her way? this is clearly an exceptional portrayal of a real woman, not your typical hollywood fabrication. karen is supposed to be a detestable character, promiscuous and immoral, but i read her in a completely different way -- an excellent example of pitch-perfect acting. ms. kerr never won an academy award, despite six nominations throughout her immense career. she was given an honorary oscar in 1994. she died in 2007.

*nominated for 1953 best actress oscar;
lost to audrey hepburn in roman holiday 

greatest moment: it's lame, and she has many scenes of great dialogue, but this IS kerr's greatest moment

#16. angela lansbury in the manchurian candidate

one of the greatest villains in the history of cinema, angela lansbury as mrs. john iselin is spellbinding. you would never guess that she is only two years older than lawrence harvey, who plays her cowardly son raymond shaw, as lansbury still manages to draw intense emotions from her audience -- gripping, malicious and manipulative -- the quintessential and evil matriarch. always the bridesmaid, lansbury was nominated for three academy awards and has been nominated for nineteen emmy awards, no wins (she does have six golden globes and five tony awards). patty duke was excellent, but there is no plausible excuse for lansbury not winning an oscar for this film. 

*nominated for 1962 best supporting actress oscar;
lost to patty duke in the miracle worker

greatest moment: see below

#17. al pacino in the godfather part II

what bothered most people about al pacino not winning an oscar for his portrayal of don michael corleone was chiefly because of the actor who did win. art carney gave a very sweet and heartwarming performance in harry and tonto, and for the most part it was considered a sympathy vote. but i mean, come on. don michael fucking corleone. ironically, pacino would find himself, 18 years later, receiving the most obvious sympathy vote in oscar history, winning for the ridiculous scent of a woman in 1992. oscar rarely seems to get it right. anyway, i really don't need to tell you how great the godfather, part II was. or the godfather, part I for that matter (godfather, part III i will not watch. ever.) michael corleone is one of those rare characters that is brutal and evil and horrible, but you don't really hate him. the mark of an exceptional actor. and one of the greatest robberies in oscar history.

*nominated for 1974 best actor oscar; lost to art carney in harry and tonto

greatest moment: see below

#18. brenda blethyn in secrets and lies

the final and most profound example on this list of mike leigh's genius ability to extract a spellbinding performance from his female characters. brenda blethyn as cynthia purley, a lower-class factory worker who learns that the daughter she gave up for adoption as an infant is now a successful black woman, is one of the greatest performances in recent memory -- vulnerable, comedic, afflicted, and devastating. a primarily improvised role, blethyn uses her tremendous acting talents to write her own story for cynthia, in a manner that is both disarming and sympathetic to the audience. she is never over the top in her delivery; her use of humor to combat uneasy situations is so real and natural. an absolutely perfect performance. blethyn won a golden globe for best actress (drama) along with countless other critics awards. she also won the 1996 best actress award from the cannes film festival for her role. 
*nominated for 1996 best actress oscar;
lost to frances mcdormand in fargo

greatest moment: see below

#19. john goodman in the big lebowski

john goodman is a greatly unappreciated actor. he has made so many exceptional performances in his prolific career -- both comedic and dramatic, in leading and supporting roles. the big lebowski, the coen brothers' first film made after the oscar-winning fargo was not enjoyed by many critics at the time, however, goodman's portrayal of walter sobchak is as iconic as 'the dude' himself, and impossible to ignore. 

greatest line: 'this is what happens when you fuck a stranger in the ass'
greatest moment: see below

#20. ellen burstyn in requiem for a dream

as sarah goldfarb, ellen burstyn reminds us of the epic range she possesses and why she is truly one of our greatest performers. with a body of work like the last picture show, the exorcist, alice doesn't live here anymore, resurrection & the people vs. jean harris, she still manages to surprise as a pill-popping game-show enthusiast who dreams of being a television star. coping with the addiction of her heroin addicted son (jared leto), coupled with her own hallucinations, sarah descends into a dizzying, nightmarish downfall that is heart-wrenching and affecting. burstyn won just about every critics award for best actress in 2001.  

*nominated for 2001 best actress oscar;
lost to julia roberts in erin brockovich

greatest moment: cut and paste.

#21. bjork in dancer in the dark

#22. chloe webb in sid and nancy

chloe webb had only made a couple of films before taking on the role of nancy spungen in alex cox's iconic sid and nancy. since, she has only made minor television appearances and had a recurring role on china beach. i will never understand this. webb is absolutely riveting as the drug-addicted groupie-turned-girlfriend of sex pistols' bassist sid vicious (gary oldman), whose tragic life ended at 20 in a sleazy apartment at the chelsea hotel, stabbed to death. assumedly a difficult role for a relative newcomer, playing nancy spungen required tapping into a dark, painful life -- webb is not only brutal in her connection, she does it beautifully. webb received best actress awards from the boston society of film critics and the national society of film critics in 1987 for her role.

greatest moment: her last fight with sid
great moment: see below

#23. liv ullmann in the emigrants

an exceptional actress of the 1970's, ullmann was twice nominated for an oscar in her prolific career, but it was her performance as kristina in jan troell's the emigrants that truly highlights her immense acting skills. as a woman who travels from her native sweden to a rural life in minnesota, the nilssons face abuse, discrimination and hardships faced by many that acquire a new life in the land of the free. 

*nominated for 1972 best actress oscar;
lost to liza minelli in cabaret

#24. john turturro in barton fink

just about every aspect of this film is bizarre: the characters, the hotel, the business of hollywood. and the fact that it is a coen borthers' film, wraps it all up nicely. as barton fink, john turturro is a demented writer, enlisted by hollywood to come up with a new film. more interesting however is his time spent with his neighbor (john goodman) and a famous writer w. p. mayhew, modeled after william faulkner (john mahoney) and his secretary (judy davis). his performance is crazed, but his dedication to the role is sensational. turturro won the 1991 best actor award at the cannes film festival for his role.

greatest moment: discovering that audrey (davis) wrote the majority of mayhew's books

#25. ray winstone in nil by mouth

very seldom does an actor manage to encompass a role so entirely, to the point where you think that the director must be capturing sheer madness on film. nil by mouth, directed by gary oldman, is a gritty and intense chronicling, semi-autobiography if you will, of his early life in seedy east london. he enlisted winstone to portray ray, a violent alcoholic who dabbles in drugs and petty crime, and brings forth a performance of epic proportion. ray as ray is a mean brute, famously beating his wife (kathy burke) to the point where she miscarries their child, and for the rest of the picture, desperately tries to pursue her after the fact -- in an attempt to further control her or seek reconciliation? we aren't exactly sure -- regardless, he goes a little mad, as highlighted in numerous scenes where ray delivers rambling, non-sensical monologues as his wife and daughter have packed up and left. what is most chilling about winstone's role is the similarity his character shares with many real men of the time. violent, drunk, angry family men -- this is not only another performance, it is the performance.

greatest moment: see below

#26. guy pearce in memento

guy pearce as leonard shelby, the amnesiac insurance fraud investigator who uses a series of notes, photos and tattoos to store information about the man he believes killed his wife. he can't trust anyone, not even those who help in his investigation (joe pantoliano and carrie ann moss), and his struggle with memory, and the desperation of his pursuit is effortless and moving. 

greatest moment: see below

#27. gena rowlands in a woman under the influence

john cassavetes and his wife, gena rowlands made many great films in the 1970's. this is arguably the greatest of both of their careers. as mabel longhetti, rowlands is sweet, good-natured and devoted to her husband nick (peter falk) -- she is also prone to some odd behavior. when these strange mannerisms become too severe, nick decides that it is time to do something about it, committing mabel to an institution, leaving him the sole caregiver to their children. a powerful film for the time, nick is incapable of being a father and a mother, a role that society expects him to serve. a great and important film for the earlier feminist movement, rowlands is a revelation and was greatly deserving of an oscar.

greatest moment: see below

#28. william h. macy in fargo

as that despicable weasel jerry lundegaard, the used-car salesman who has his wife kidnapped in order to secure a ransom from his wealthy father-in-law, macy is great at playing such a lovable prick. from the beginning, you hate jerry and want nothing but the worst possible outcome for him, however, as his barney fife-ish personality grows on you, when he is arrested fleeing from north dakota, you can't help but feel sorry for him. 

*nominated for 1996 best supporting actor oscar;
lost to cuba gooding, jr in jerry maguire (a joke)

greatest moment: see below

#29. judy garland in a star is born

in a role that mirrored her own tragic life, judy garland is an obvious sensation as vicki lester, a superstar who reaches the top, only to sink into depression following the death of her husband norman maine (james mason). after living for years as a recluse, lester finally agrees to  return to the stage in an attempt to honor norman, closing with those famous last lines. judy garland landed the lead in a star is born, her first film since being released from her mgm contract. this was touted as her triumphant comeback. fifteen years later, she would be dead at 47.

*nominated for 1954 best actress oscar;
lost to grace kelly in the country girl

greatest moment: see below