Sunday, 29 December 2013

2013 Review - Top Ten Favourite Actresses

I think last year my list tended to lean towards the movies more than TV shows. I think I've kind of gone in the other direction more so this year, but we'll see.  So here are the actresses that stood out for me this year, those I enjoyed watching the most.

10. Elizabeth Shue - Elizabeth made it onto my list last year with her introduction to CSI. I thought she brought a fresh look to the show, something other new actors and actresses haven't done quite so successfully when trying to move into shows that are already successful. This year was no exception. I think she continues to bring quality to one of our favourite mystery TV series and I think it gave her career a bit of a positive kick. Just the other day I also caught her in The House at the End of the Street. While not a classic movie, she did an excellent job with her role, as Jennifer Lawrence's mother. I'm looking forward to seeing how the rest of the CSI season turns out.

9. Sandra Bullock - I've enjoyed many of Sandra Bullock's movies; The Blind Side, The Lake House, Crash, to name a few. However, it's been a long absence since I've watched anything she has been in and looking at her filmography, it's not surprising as she sort of disappeared after The Blind Side in 2009. But this past year, she was in one of my favourite movies of the year, Gravity. It's an excellent performance by Sandra, basically a one-person show. Brief appearances by George Clooney and Ed Harris (voice only), but the movie is all hers. She brings tension and drama to her role. Both the wife and I loved it. Definitely worth an Oscar (nomination, at least) and a great welcome back. Hopefully we'll see more excellent work from her in the near future.

8. Essie Davis - Essie was on my list last year, a new actress for me in one of our favourite new TV shows, the Australian series, Miss Phryne Fisher Murder Mysteries. She plays a glamorous, sexy Private Investigator in Melbourne, Australia, set right after WWI. Her character is bigger than life, getting into all sorts of scrapes and adventures. While she hasn't been in anything new, Season 2 of the Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries came out this Fall and she is as wonderful as ever. She breathes life into this character, wears the most lovely outfits and is as sexy as ever. It's a fun show, great mysteries and Phryne is often shockingly sexy in her adventures, not that there is anything wrong with that. :0)

7. Lucy Liu - I've never really been won over by Lucy Liu in the past. I liked her role in Abby McBeal back in 97 - 02, but it still didn't really wow me. She's had a busy steady career, but once again nothing that leaps out at me. It wasn't until the missus and I started watching Elementary that I finally thought, wow, she's great! Even then, we weren't wowed on the premise of Elementary, another take on the Sherlock Holmes mythology and with a woman as Watson. But we gave it a shot, watched a couple of episodes in the first season, then a few more and kind of got hooked on it. There is an excellent rapport between Liu and Johnny Lee Miller and she plays the role in a nicely understated manner. I've since caught her in Southland as well, as Policewoman Jessica Tang and she was excellent in that role, a gritty turn for her. I'm looking forward to more Elementary and to seeing what else she will be in.

6. Jessica Raine - Jessica is an English actress known particularly for her role as midwife, Jenny Lee in the wonderful BBC mini-series Call the Midwife. She is wonderful in this role, a key member in a great ensemble cast. It was our introduction to this actress and I'm looking forward to seeing her in many more roles. She brings intelligence and a wonderful personality to the role. I've since seen her in other roles, a relatively minor role as the nanny in the excellent movie, The Woman in Black and also recently in a spot in an episode of Doctor Who, as Emma Grayling. Series 3 of Call the Midwife comes out in 2014. Looking forward to seeing more of this wonderful actress.

5. Madchen Amick - Madchen Amick has been around for a number of years, acting in both TV and film, starting back in the early 1990's. Her big break was in the cult TV series, Twin Peaks. She's not someone I was terribly aware of, although she did have extended roles in Central Park West and ER. However, this past Fall, I started watching and getting engrossed in a new Lifetime series, The Witches of East End, starring Madchen and Julia Ormond as sisters who are also witches of the Beauchamp clan. It's a wonderful show and all of the main characters are excellent with a real chemistry. I have particularly fallen for Madchen Amick's character, Wendy, as she is full of life, spunky, funny and Madchen seems to be having so much fun with the role.

4. Maggie Smith - To put it succinctly, Maggie Smith is a timeless wonder. She is fantastic in her role as the Dowager Countess of Grantham, Violet Crawley. She has all of the best lines and fills the role perfectly. In the past year, we've also seen her and enjoyed her acting chops in two lovely movies, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Quartet. Of course, who can forget her role as Professor McGonagal in the Harry Potter movies. 79 years young, she seems to get better with age. She is classy, funny and a wonderful, intelligent actress. I can't wait to see what is next for her.

3. Jenna Coleman - The latest companion to Doctor Who, Jenna Coleman leaped into the role of Clara Oswalt, as Matt Smith's newest companion and has not looked back. She is feisty, intelligent, keeps up a wonderful patter with Matt Smith and she's gorgeous. She is slowly building up a nice resume, along with her Doctor Who role. We've enjoyed her very much in the other things we've seen her in, Annie Desmond, in the BBC mini-series, Titanic, and most recently as Lydia Wickham in Death Comes to Pemberley. I've got to say, I almost hated her in that role, but was calmed down my good missus. Lydia is supposed to be like that she told me and Jenna has played the part perfectly. And I must say there were some nice touches later in the mini-series between Jenna and Matthew Goode that redeemed her character somewhat for me. So there you go, not so bad at all. :0)

2. Sarah Shahi - I've liked US actress, Sarah Shahi, in pretty well anything I've seen her in, and it probably hasn't been a lot, given her reasonably extensive filmography. She was excellent as Police detective Dani Reese in the series, Life, and great as the star, Kate Reed, of Fairly Legal. But it's been the past two seasons of Person of Interest that have really brought her to the forefront for me. In it she plays, Samantha Shaw, an ex-CIA contract killer who has now joined the team, with Jim Caveziel and Michael Emerson to follow the instructions of the computer that provides the names requiring the team's attention. She has a wonderful role, basically a sociopath, who likes nothing better than to shoot somebody. But over this past season, she has demonstrated a dry wit, developing emotional attachments (even if mainly for the dog, Bear).  I think she's a great foil to the other characters and she steals most scenes she is in (from my modest perspective anyway. ;0)). I can't wait for Person of Interest to start up again in 2014.

1. Lizzy Caplan - Another actress that's been around for awhile and up until I started watching Masters of Sex, I only recall seeing her in a minor role in the series True Blood and in that she portrayed a character I didn't really like. So not a winning resume. But having watched the first season of Masters of Sex, I think she has been fantastic and deserves to win awards for her role. Lizzy portrays Virgina Johnson of the Masters and Johnson sex research team. It's a unique series, often quite graphic in portrayals of sex, making it potentially a difficult role to act. But Lizzy is a revelation in this series, a job made even more difficult considering the calibre of her co-stars; Michael Sheen as Bill Masters, Beau Bridges, Alison Janney and Julianne Nicholson. She demonstrates intelligence, sensitivity and real strength in this role and I hope it gives her the opportunity to get even better roles.

Honourable Mentions

Just a couple for you -

1. Emily Wickersham - Keep an eye out for this lady. She seems to have won the part *fingers crossed* as the replacement for Cote de Pablo on the long-running NCIS series. This past year the show has auditioned a number of women in the part, but Emily has now been in it for 4 or 5 episodes and both the wife and I think she's wonderful.

2. Rebecca Romijn - Rebecca is no rookie to the acting profession, having acted in movies, The X-Men series, and also in long - running TV series, Ugly Betty, but the missus and I were very happy to see her again, this past year in King and Maxwell, as Jon Tenney's partner in a Private Investigation business. It was a very enjoyable show and the two stars had an excellent rapport. Hoping now that it is brought back for a second season.

3. Bree Turner - Bree is now a regular on the TV series, Grimm. She had a minor part in the early season, but must have impressed the creators of the series as she came back as a regular in April 2012 and we were happy she did. She has a wonderful personality, is a perfect fit for Silas Weir Mitchell's character. I'm looking for even more from her..

So there you go, my list for 2013. I hope you like. :0)


  1. Not my preferred top 10 exactly with some interesting choices.. but I have to say I wouldn't essentially disagree with any of them.

  2. What would your Top Ten be? I can think of a few possibilities.


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