Monday, August 2, 2010

Weekend Wrap-up: Nothing happened, so let's make a list!

I'm not going to lie to you, I love you far too much for that (don't ever leave me). The truth is that nothing happened over the weekend. Like, nothing, nothing. Like what's between Glen Beck's ears. Like what could keep me from Natalie Portman's side if she wanted me there. Like the inherent moral or social value of the Twilight saga. Nada. Not a casting scoop, not a leaked picture from the set of a comic book movie, not a rumor about how the second villain in Batman 3 is going to be King Tut or Captain Crunch. Nothing.

This is a rather unfortunate development for someone tasked with writing something about movies every day. Fear not, though, as I will not let a Monday devoid of information ruin what is sure to be a week of infinite productivity! Instead, I will engage in that time-honored tradition that all bloggers depend on when there's a void in rumors and news: I will make an arbitrary list based solely on my feeble opinion, present it here with some kind of false bravado and authority, and see if anybody finds such a thing worthy of discussion or consideration. Oh, and I'll include some pictures, because everybody loves pictures. This is actually going to be a thing I'll do more often coming up if only because news is slowing and I like making lists.

I wanted originally to start with something clever like "the top 5 death scenes involving farm equipment" or something unique like that. But it is Monday, so my brain is one step behind me, watching me from the shadows. So instead, let's give you the list that sort of started me thinking about lists these days, which is the top 5 actresses of this generation. I shall define this generation as those whose career started as early as as the late 70s/early 80s through today. Why? Because I said so. I think there are a ton of possibilities here, but let's see if I can't make something definitive and stir up trouble. Be sure to point out how wrong I am because, spoiler alert, I don't have Meryl Streep at number one.

Here we go.

5.) Naomi Watts

My serious take: Effortlessly gorgeous and insanely talented, this Aussie lass laps circles around the somehow more-respected Nicole Kidman. Her unique ability to blend naive innocence with eyes that never betray her as an actress is only exceeded by the four other ladies in this list. She may not have risen to the level of respect her talent deserves, but she's still making quality work, so there's still hope.

My funny take: In her dreams, Kidman is played by Naomi Watts.

For proof see: Mullholland Drive, 21 Grams, and Eastern Promises

4.) Cate Blanchett

My serious take: What kind of a list are you dealing with when Cate Blanchett isn't at the top of it? Yowza. Blanchett weighs all of a water-logged twinkie, but can command a scene like she's morbidly obese. Her controlled, measured voice combines with her regal look to deliver knock-out after knock-out. I truly do not know if she's capable of a bad performance. She had a look, just one look, in Benjamin Button that should have won an Oscar. She's a goddess, and we aren't worthy.

My funny take: If I met Blanchett and she told me to punch myself in the junk, I'd be speaking Alvin-and-the-Chipmunks-style for a week.

For proof see: Elizabeth, The Aviator, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

3.) Meryl Streep

My serious take: This isn't for dramatic effect or anything. Streep is untouchable. I get that. She can do anything at any time. If they wanted her to play a piece of drywall, she'd find a way. I know. She's had a flawless career, shows no sign of slowing, and is beyond reproach. She also gets all the best shots at things and has plateaued a bit. Her reputation is only slightly ahead of the massive talent she represents. Her presence is such that I'm defending why she's only number 3 on a list like this, which is pretty impressive.

My funny take: I truly believe that this is how I would really rank these talented ladies, but I guarantee if anything cheeses anyone off, it's going to be this ranking here. Streep defenders are a lethal, gun-toting bunch.

For proof see: Any Meryl Streep movie that isn't It's Complicated (and she's actually pretty good in that too.)

2.) Kate Winslet
My serious take: Who knew when she made Titanic that we would be honoring her over and over again all these years later. She's so incredible that I would have given her the Oscar for The Reader, and that was my pick for worst movie of the year. Her ability is such that she is a colossal, world-ending beauty who makes you forget that. She so fully sinks into her craft that one is never left contemplating her as a movie star, only as a character. She's incredible.

My funny take: She did a movie with Cameron Diaz and I still like her.

For proof see: Revolutionary Road, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Little Children

1.) Julianne Moore
My serious take: If you can watch the scene of her on the bed with Heather Graham in Boogie Nights and honestly tell me you're not watching the best actress of our generation, I will slap you in the face. She's breathtaking consistently and has shown that she can do comedy (The Big Lebowski), right alongside drama (Far From Heaven), right alongside action/sci-fi (Children of Men). She's a red-headed angel, a once-in-a-lifetime talent, and we gave Sandra F**king Bullock an Oscar before her.

My funny take: Sandra F**king Bullock. Seriously. Think about that.

For proof see: Boogie Nights, The Big Lebowski, Children of Men, and Magnolia

Okay, so that's it for this list. It's not incredibly detailed nor is it well researched or argued. It's just my opinion on a slow-news Monday. Have at it, y'all.

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