by Laurent Kelly
Nothing like a beautiful leading actress to make a poor movie bearable and an average movie almost enjoyable. What follows here is a list of what I feel are the five most beautiful women to have lit up the big screen. Mini bios, quotes and clips included for each entrant. I have only included actresses who have had a relatively succesful career so the likes of Pamela Anderson and Holly Vallance will not be appearing in this list.
5.) EVA MARIE SAINT
At a time when over the top, hammy acting was all the craze Eva Marie Saint brought an element of realism to her roles in a career which has lasted an incredible sixty years. She is most famous for starring alongside Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront for which she won a best supporting actress Oscar and for playing Cary Grant’s mysterious love interest in Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller North by Northwest. She has also starred in numerous televison shows and won an Emmy for her work in the series People Like us. Off the screen she has always presented herself as a classy and sophisticated lady who seems to have loved her work and lifestyle without ever taking herself too seriously.
QUOTED: “America is now obsessed by stars in an unhealthy way. They don’t actually deserve this kind of attention. They`re only actors – not scientists who are triumphing over cancer or doing some other wonderful thing.”
4.) RACHEL MCADAMS
Rachel Mcadams has such a compelling and likeable screen presence that she can make fairly bland and mediocre films entirely watchable when she appears on screen. She has primairly starred in films aimed at female teenagers including the entertaining but dumb Mean Girls, the dumb and not so entertaining The Hot Chick and the sickly but well filmed The Notebook which caused women of all ages to weep uproariously. Since these films she has gone on to star in more serious vehicles including a solid performance in the intriguing but flawed Red Eye and bland and sickly Time Traveller’s Wife. She also starred in the hard hitting film adaptation of the televison series State of Play.
QUOTED: “I have a certain curiosity for life that drives me and propels me forward.”
3.) NICOLE KIDMAN
Nicole Kidman has always treated her craft with the utmost seriousness and her hard work has been justly rewarded with several knockout performances in films such as To Die For, Moulin Rouge, The Others, Birth, The Hours and The Interpreter. She took a backseat to Tom Cruise during their intensely followed marriage but since escaping his shadow has gone on to remind people of her unmistakeable talent.
QUOTED: “Even from a very early age, I knew I didn’t want to miss out on anything life had to offer just because it might be considered dangerous.”
2.) GRACE KELLY
Apperances can be deceiving and whilst her rare beauty was undeniable, the elegant, classy demeanour which Grace Kelly exhibited on screen disguised a real life persona which was anything but graceful. Neglected by her father, Grace took comfort in the arms of older men as she quite literally slept her way around Hollywood. She thought nothing to jumping into bed with fellow co-stars after a first date and followed a regular ritual of inviting men back to her home only to appear stark naked from the bathroom. Legendary director Alfred Hitchcock even nicknamed her the ice queen due to how many men she was sleeping with on the set of Dial M for Murder.
On screen however Grace Kelly was a natural talent with impeccable movement and good vocal timing. Her film career only lasted four years although in that time she managed to win an Oscar and star in such classics as Rear Window and High Noon.
QUOTED: “I don’t want to dress up a picture with just my face.”
1.) KEIRA KNIGHTLEY
Keira Knightley has been acting since she was a very young girl and whilst her beauty blossomed into her late teens it wasn’t until her performance as the much loved Elizabeth Bennet in the 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice that people began to take her seriously as a proper actress. At the age of 20 she was nominated for an Oscar for her performance becoming one of the youngest actresses to receive an Academy Award nomination. Since then she has continued to impress with excellent performances in Atonement and The Duchess although it has to be said that she seems a lot more comfortable in corset style dramas than she does in action pictures to which she is not well suited. It will be interesting to see how her career develops and if she can prove to be a truly versatile actress or simply a woman who plays one role very well. At the moment she has not shown much range as an actress but her career is still very young and her extreme determination to keep improving is both obvious and admirable.
QUOTED: “In this business, fame lasts for a second. You can be blown up and be blown down. People keep losing interest in faces because new ones come along every single second. I’m one at the moment. Tomorrow I won’t be. That’s cool. I’m not saying that when it does end, I’ll be like, ‘Yay! It’s ending.’ But I’ll move on and do something else because that’s what has to be done. It’s about survival. If you’re sad about it, then you’re in the wrong job.”