Written by / 9/12/2012 / No comments /

GREATEST ACTRESS PERFORMANCES

1) FAYE DUNAWAY (CHINATOWN)
Evelyn Mulwray hides everything from the audience, and Jack Nicholson… Watching the first time you center on Jack, and all the other times on Faye… She holds the key and lock both…
2) ELLEN BURSTYN (ALICE DOESN'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE)
Embodies the complete loneliness of Alice, a piano playing widow, and she’s hardly ever alone… Scenes with her son, full of love and annoyance… And the fear of Harvey Keitel at his most menacing…
3) LOUISE FLETCHER (ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST)
Nurse Ratched commands the mental hospital with an iron fist, but such a subtle performance… Mildred might actually care about these guys, as long as she’s in control… And she’s always in control, until...
4) SALLY KIRKLAND (ANNA)
Playing a Czech actress, Anna, whose career faded in her homeland, she can’t revive it in New York City… A dead-on performance that, if you didn’t know any better, would seem like Sally was really from another country…
5) LORRAINE BRACCO (GOODFELLAS)
Losing the Oscar to Whoopie was not only a shock, but a travesty… For a mob film, a genre usually centered on tough guys, Lorraine not only held her own, but controlled, and narrated, much of the proceedings…
6) DOROTHY COMINGORE (CITIZEN KANE)
The breakdowns are great, but the moments of tortured pain as Susan Alexander Kane, the trophy wife of Charles Foster Kane (Orson Welles), becomes an opera singer – who can’t sing a note… And as she walks across the stage in an awkward manner… And plays checkers in a dark mansion, all alone…
7) MIA FARROW (ROSEMARY'S BABY)
A haunting, mesmorizing film brought to life by an amazing director, sure, but it’s Mia’s expressions as chaste Rosemary, like a deer in headlights, and her eventually attempt to break from a mysterious prison, that makes this an experience like no other…
8) SISSY SPACEK (COAL MINER'S DAUGHTER)
The naivete of a simple, backwoods girl born with nothing except hidden talent that, even at her peak, she wasn’t quite aware of… And Sissy played each aspect like she’s not even acting… And sang Loretta Lynn’s songs as if they were her own…
9) KAREN BLACK (FIVE EASY PIECES)
As learned from my Karen Black interview, director Bob Rafelson said, “I think you’re too smart to play this part.” And Karen said, “Well when you say action I’ll just stop thinking”.  But Nadine has many layers, and isn’t just a dimwit starving for attention… She carries much of the film, and yet she's not always there...
10) HOLLY HUNTER (BROADCAST NEWS)
Jane Craig, a woman who can produce a newscast but has no social skills… Cries on cue even when no one’s watching… Is a control freak never in control, but has a skill no man can equal… So don’t let the first billed actors mislead you… This is Holly’s film…
GREATEST ACTRESS PERFORMANCE LIST BY JAMES M. TATE
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