The best looking actress
Over at Atrios's comments, they were kicking around who was the best looking actress ever. The general consensus was Grace Kelly with some objections.
It's funny who gets mentioned in that kind of thing, Kelly, Julie Christie, Kim Novak. All very pretty, all very blonde.
Some of the folks said that Kelly was cool and I kinda disagree. I think that she was as sexual as anyone ever on the screen, but because she was so cultured, that sexuality was muted, but it was clear that she was sexual, that kiss in Rear Window was and is just stunning.
Other people mentioned Ingrid Bergman, but I think she was better in Notorious, playing a totally sexual woman than in Casablanca. You could see why men would toss her into a bed.
But I would say that while pretty, it was always tempered by restraint. As opposed to Ava Gardiner. She had all of the qualities which men loved, which was brassy, tough, sexy but not cheap, and pretty as hell. But she was not easy, which is why she drove Sinatra nuts.
I think people forget how pretty Elizabeth Taylor was. In Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, she could not have been more sexual or beautiful. She still blows me off the screen and I wonder how in God's name Paul Newman wasn't banging her stupid every day........oh yeah, his character was mourning his dead boyfriend.
But I think Grace Kelly's beauty was limited. It was that of a girl's, a sexual girl, but it wasn't fully developed.
I've always found Audrey Hepburn to be stunning in her own way, there was just something about her manner which was so compelling.
It didn't hit me until near the end of 81/2 exactly how beautiful Claudia Cardinale was. Then it did and it almost blew me off my seat.
But nothing, nothing, not watching Naomi Watts fuck Laura Herring in Mullholland Falls, not Nicole Kidman in Birthday Girl, nothing, blew me away like seeing Catherine Deneuve in two movies, Umbrellas of Cherbourg, where she plays this beautiful virginal 17 year old and the day hooker in Belle Du Jour. In Umbrellas, she's just pretty, so heartbreakingly pretty.
But in Belle Du Jour, she's something else, a woman with some very weird tastes, a need to be dominated and god knows what else. The opening scene has her being whipped by a groomsman. Nearly 40 years later, a straight film doing that would be hard to top. Just the most beautiful woman to appear on film, one which can grab your attention cold.
posted by Steve @ 12:15:00 AM