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Entries in Best Actress (472)

Wednesday
Jul122017

Stage Door: An Ode to S. Epatha Merkerson 

Editor's Note: I've been away at the National Critics Institute in CT but will be back in a few days to regular blogging right here at The Film Experience. In the meantime please enjoy this review of one of the shows I saw in my absence, starring two of television's best actresses. The Roommate is playing through July 16th at the Williamstown Theater Festival and you should expect a transfer to NYC stages. - Nathaniel R

S. Epatha Merkerson in rehearsals. Photo by Daniel Rader

She wanted to be a spy… or a baker if espionage didn’t work out. It’s tough to square these  interchangeably silly abandoned dreams with timid Iowa retiree Sharon, standing right there in her well-stocked suburban kitchen. Sharon dreamt of being a spy? — Sharon!?!  Her new roommate doesn’t seem trustworthy but is right about at least one thing: Sharon shouldn’t “mummify” herself this early and needs to get out there and live.

I’m speaking like you know Sharon because I do. Sharon is fictional, you see, but the glorious actress S Epatha Merkerson and the playwright Jen Silverman have breathed such life into this rich idiosyncratic character in the new play The Roommate that for two hours I was convinced otherwise...

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Friday
Jul072017

Annette Bening as Gloria Grahame

by Murtada

We just got the news that Annette Bening will be presiding over the Venice Film festival jury. Now we get two new photos of her as Gloria Grahame in the anticipated biopic Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool. And that's not all. The film has a UK release date of November 17. A US distribution and release date news must be imminent. Unfortunately Bening presiding over the Venice jury not only rules the film out of that festival, but also out of Telluride which takes place at the same time, and the first and more important week of buzz building at TIFF. Unless they unspool the film without its star which seems unlikely. And we'd like her to get that festival buzz that is important for awards later on.

Till then enjoy the Bening and Jamie Bell as Grahame and Peter Turner, an actor she befriended late in her life while appearing in a production of The Glass Menagerie in London. The film is based on Turner’s memoir about the time Grahame spent recuperating at his family home in Liverpool when diagnosed with cancer. Directed by Paul McGuigan (Victor Frankenstein), it also stars Julie Walters and Kenneth Cranham as Turner’s parents.

Will Bening follow Blanchett and win an Oscar for playing an Oscar winner? 

Monday
Jul032017

C O N S I D E R - Actresses of 2017, 2nd Qtr

With the year's second quarter over, here's a listicle of noteworthy performances we'll eventually compare to what's to come. These are my personal favorites from screenings and releases from April 1st through June 30th (if the film hasn't opened in theaters yet, it's marked with an asterisk). Herewith the 17 best from the year's second quarter, divvied up into three categories. (If you'd like to group them with the women from the first quarter, that list is here). Did these actresses speak to you with their turns?

Disclaimer: Key actress-focused films I missed that I'll have to catch up with later were Beatriz at Dinner, Manifesto, A Quiet Passion and Rough Night. If you've seen them give their MVPs a shout-out.

6 LEADING ACTRESSES

 

Gal Gadot as "Diana" in Wonder Woman

Nicole Kidman as "Miss Martha" in The Beguiled...

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Thursday
Jun292017

Susan Hayward's Final Oscar Appearance

SUSAN HAYWARD CENTENNIAL

by Nathaniel R

We're doing our Susan Hayward party all out of chronology and will end with an early role. It's our way of saying that the big movie stars never really die but live on in their films. But for the penultimate stop in this Hayward fest, let's take a lot at the 1973 Oscars. She made her last public appearance on April 2nd, 1974 when she presented Best Actress with Charlton Heston at the Oscars. They were contemporaries at the peak of their stardom in the 1950s (and both won leading Oscars in the late 1950s) but Heston's career was still going strong at this point while Hayward had only intermittently working... 

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Wednesday
Jun282017

Susan Hayward in "My Foolish Heart"

SUSAN HAYWARD CENTENNIAL WEEK

by Timothy Brayton

Yesterday, Eric did an extraordinary job of tackling Susan Hayward's performance in I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955), which I think a lot of us might agree was her all-time best performance. Today, I'd like to offer up what I consider to be her most Susan Haywardiest performance: as the good girl-turned-wretched alcoholic in 1949's My Foolish Heart, the film that netted Hayward the second of her five Oscar nominations.

It's a story tailored with laser focus on letting the lead actress show off Everything with a capital "E"...

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Tuesday
Jun272017

Susan Hayward in "I'll Cry Tomorrow"

SUSAN HAYWARD CENTENNIAL WEEK

"this story was filmed on location... inside a woman's soul!"
-I'll Cry Tomorrow's tagline.

by Eric Blume

I’ll Cry Tomorrow, a biopic of singer Lillian Roth, won Susan Hayward the fourth of her five Oscar nominations, in 1955.  The film starts with a young Lillian and her stage mother, played by Jo Van Fleet. Ten minutes in, though, Hayward gets a true star entrance belting out “Sing You Sinners” in a lengthy number with only four cuts.

It’s a fun introduction, partially because you try to place yourself in 1955, when part of the excitement (one guesses) was hearing Hayward sing for the first time, and it’s quite a boisterous number. Then Hayward was known mostly as a tragedienne (Hollywood star variety), it must have been a blast for audiences to see Hayward let loose (Hollywood star style) in a big production number where she gets to snarl and dance (Hollywood star style, as the musicality doesn’t come easily to her)... 

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