I already did a Top Ten post this week, but it was featuring all male actors so I felt I needed to do another one – almost like a “part two”…this time featuring my top ten favorite women actors.

This will follow the format of my previous post (and please check that one out HERE if you haven’t already) which consists of The Good (The best role), The Bad (The worst role), and The Sexy (A racy photo because….hey, they are celebrities right? And yeah, I did it for the guys, too). Keep in mind that this is a list of my own favorites, and it is subject to change over the years.

In any case – let’s get on with it!

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10. HALLE BERRY

This was a tough spot for me. I love Halle Berry…I mean, I LOVE her. But she just narrowly missed being dropped off my list in favor of someone else, like Rosario Dawson. I say that because Halle hasn’t really done much lately. And she falls into last place mostly for that reason – but her performances, when they are good, are amazing. She’s played a mutant hero, a cat burglar, a psychiatrist, and an air stewardess…among other things. Some of them were amazing, some of them weren’t. I hope that she returns to what she does best and gets involved with another great project like Monster’s Ball.

THE GOOD: Halle Berry plays Leticia Musgrove, the wife of a murdered man, in the terrific southern drama Monster's Ball.

THE GOOD: Halle Berry plays Leticia Musgrove, the wife of a murdered man, in the terrific southern drama Monster’s Ball.

THE BAD: Halle Berry should have been amazing as Catwoman in the movie of the same name - Catwoman. However, her performance fell flat, as did the movie itself.

THE BAD: Halle Berry should have been amazing as Catwoman in the movie of the same name – Catwoman. However, her performance fell flat, as did the movie itself.

THE SEXY: Halle Berry is gorgeous. Seriously.

THE SEXY: Halle Berry is gorgeous. Seriously.

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09. MERYL STREEP

If you’re talking about actresses, Meryl Streep is almost literally the best technical actress we have in the country. She’s been in countless amazing films, which is why she’s on my list. However, she hasn’t really done much amazing work in recent years, which is why she dipped down a few spots from where she’d normally be. Most of her good work was about a decade ago or earlier. Still, she is a force to be reckoned with and she won’t be going anywhere soon. She’s played an unhappy wife, a mediocre actress, an immigrant fleeing from war-torn Europe, and a nun. She’s got range, for sure.

THE GOOD: Meryl Streep's breakout performance as Linda is still poignant. And she wrote a lot of her own lines, expanding the character more than originally intended.

THE GOOD: Meryl Streep’s breakout performance as Linda in The Deer Hunter is still poignant. And she wrote a lot of her own lines, expanding the character more than originally intended.

THE BAD: Even Meryl Streep couldn't save the abomination that is She-Devil, although Roseanne Barr puts in a great performance. What's the deal, Meryl?

THE BAD: Even Meryl Streep couldn’t save the abomination that is She-Devil, although Roseanne Barr puts in a great performance. What’s the deal, Meryl?

THE SEXY: Meryl Streep is so classy that it was hard to find a truly "sexy" photo. But she is a beaut.

THE SEXY: Meryl Streep is so classy that it was hard to find a truly “sexy” photo. But she is a beaut.

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08. ZIYI ZHANG

Ziyi Zhang has enjoyed international fame ever since Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon first dropped in theaters. She displayed a very polished acting style, even at such a young age – and she has only improved on it in recent years. She is very skilled, and she can play both peaceful and warlike roles. She’s played a kung-fu master, a felon, a geisha, and even a servant. Being so young, she still has a lot of performances to crank out – and I think she has real potential, which is obviously why she’s on my list.

THE GOOD: Ziyi Zhang amazed audiences everywhere with her performance in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon as Yu Jiaolong.

THE GOOD: Ziyi Zhang amazed audiences everywhere with her performance in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon as Yu Jiaolong.

THE BAD: Zhang Ziyi played "War" - Kristen Spitz in a watered-down copy of Se7en called The Horsemen.

THE BAD: Zhang Ziyi played “War” – Kristen Spitz in a watered-down copy of Se7en called The Horsemen.

THE SEXY: Bikini.

THE SEXY: Ziyi Zhang in a bikini? You’re welcome.

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07. NICOLE KIDMAN

I’ve always had a big crush on Nicole Kidman, so I had to decide why she deserved to be on my list. The fact is, this lady can act. She’s portrayed everything from a ghost, to a grieving widow, to the famous photographer Diane Arbus, to Virginia Woolf. She sure has had some stinkers in her career, but when she is on point – she is on point (can we all just take a moment to appreciate her four-minute long monologue in Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut? Holy snaps.) This lady is a classic beauty and cranks out some great performances, which is why she is on my list. (The crush doesn’t hurt, either) The only reason she’s a bit low on my list is, because, again – she hasn’t done a whole lot recently of note.

THE GOOD: Nicole Kidman was pitch-perfect in Baz Luhrman's Moulin Rouge. It seems to have been the perfect role for her.

THE GOOD: Nicole Kidman was pitch-perfect in Baz Luhrman’s Moulin Rouge. It seems to have been the perfect role for her.

THE BAD: Oh man - there are no redeeming qualities in Kidman's film Grace of Monaco.

THE BAD: Oh man – there are no redeeming qualities in Kidman’s film Grace of Monaco.

THE SEXY: Good lord.

THE SEXY: Good lord.

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06. UMA THURMAN

Uma won my heart with her role as The Bride in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill. I’d seen her before in other things, but those two films sealed the deal. The reason she’s so high on my list is because of her versatility for a woman with such a unique look and acting style. She can, on the one hand, play the nervous naive woman – but in the next she’ll snatch your eye from its socket. She’s portrayed everything from a vengeful bride, to a bumbling mother, to an exploited ingénue, to Medusa. She’s got the chops to hold her own on just about anyone on this list.

THE GOOD: Though Uma Thurman had already turned quite a few heads with earlier performances, her role as The Bride in Kill Bill set her status in stone as a top acting lady.

THE GOOD: Though Uma Thurman had already turned quite a few heads with earlier performances, her role as The Bride in Kill Bill set her status in stone as a top acting lady.

THE BAD: Uma. Why. Just...no. Motherhood is a film you should only watch just to remind yourself that everyone makes mistakes (like agreeing to do this film).

THE BAD: Uma. Why. Just…no. Motherhood is a film you should only watch just to remind yourself that everyone makes mistakes (like agreeing to do this film).

THE SEXY: Wow.

THE SEXY: Wow.

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05. SUSAN SARANDON

Susan Sarandon, for me, is enjoyable in almost anything she’s in – from Rocky Horror Picture Show right down to the Mother Lover music video by Lonely Island. She always seems really mischievous when she’s not in character, and her acting is some of the best around. She’s played everything from a murderous outlaw, to a baseball groupie, to a nun, to a casino dealer. Though she only has one Oscar, she’s been nominated a bunch of times.

THE GOOD: Who can forget Susan in her performance in Rocky Horror Picture Show? Not me.

THE GOOD: Who can forget Susan in her performance in Rocky Horror Picture Show? Not me.

THE BAD: You can't waste more talent than putting Susan Sarandon in Speed Racer. Good god.

THE BAD: You can’t waste more talent than putting Susan Sarandon in Speed Racer. Good god.

THE SEXY: Even as an older woman, Susan Sarandon still has it.

THE SEXY: Even as an older woman, Susan Sarandon still has it.

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04. NATALIE PORTMAN

I never really thought Natalie Portman would be such a successful actress. She was in Star Wars, so I thought maybe she’d be typecast into those sorts of roles. But I was wrong. Natalie has starred in some of my favorite films. She’s portrayed everything from a sexy stripper, to a space queen, to a ballet dancer, to a pregnant teen. One of her most recent performances, in the film Black Swan, absolutely skyrocketed her toward the top of my list. (Plus her Natalie Portman Rap is great.)

THE GOOD: Natalie Portman's performance in Black Swan blew my mind.

THE GOOD: Natalie Portman’s performance in Black Swan blew my mind.

THE BAD: Despite the aesthetics and the appeal of seeing Natalie Portman strip, the movie Closer was duller than watching paint dry.

THE BAD: Despite the aesthetics and the appeal of seeing Natalie Portman strip, the movie Closer was duller than watching paint dry.

THE SEXY: Speechless.

THE SEXY: Is that fur?!

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03. Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron. What’s not to love about her? She’s badass, she can be dramatic, and she hasn’t really done a lot of bad movies. She’s played everything from a serial killer, to a futuristic rebel assassin, to a lawyer’s wife, to a jungle girl. Charlize Theron is so high on my list because she’s still churning out quality material and she’s still relevant. She’s the total package.

THE GOOD: Charlize Theron's portrayal in Monster of prostitute-turned-serial killer Aileen Wuornos has been called by Roger Ebert "one of the greatest performances in the history of cinema"

THE GOOD: Charlize Theron’s portrayal in Monster of prostitute-turned-serial killer Aileen Wuornos has been called by Roger Ebert “one of the greatest performances in the history of cinema”

THE BAD: Though this movie should have been amazing, it turned out to be simply a sci-fi fashion show.

THE BAD: Though Aeon Flux should have been amazing, it turned out to be simply a sci-fi fashion show.

THE SEXY: Sweet baby Jesus.

THE SEXY: Sweet baby Jesus.

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02. JULIANNE MOORE

Julianne Moore is a very talented actress who I am always interested in watching on the big screen. Her roles are usually subtle, focusing on mental shifts as in her breakout film Safe. Or, at least those are the ones she’s best at. However, she can also play in comedies, and she’s not bad as an action heroine either. Julianne has portrayed everything from 1950’s housewives, to a porn star, to one half of a lesbian couple, to a self-centered actress. She’s certainly one of my favorites.

THE GOOD: Julianne displays her acting chops in Far From Heaven.

THE GOOD: Julianne displays her acting chops in Far From Heaven.

THE BAD: Julianne was unfortunately a complete miss in Hannibal.

THE BAD: Julianne was unfortunately a complete miss in Hannibal as Clarice Starling.

THE SEXY: Yep.

THE SEXY: Yep. She’s a babe.

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01. HILARY SWANK

We all knew Hilary Swank was going to be a talented actress back when she did Boys Don’t Cry. She seems to have a track record of either getting an award or being relegated to DVD-only. Such extremes. With Hilary’s performances she has not only made me actually feel, but she’s also made me believe that she is those characters. She’s played everything from a homesteader in the 1800’s, to transgendered hate crime victim Brandon Teena, to an aspiring boxer, to a white teacher working with inner-city youth. From her heartbreaking performance in Million Dollar Baby, to her subtle shift in personality in The Homesman, Hilary Swank is my favorite actress. It’s always a surprise to see what role she’ll take next. The fact that she does sometimes have stinkers shows her courage because she goes for something that’s not a sure thing, something she hasn’t done before – and I applaud her for that.

THE GOOD: Hilary Swank pulled out all the stops in Million Dollar Baby.

THE GOOD: Hilary Swank pulled out all the stops in Million Dollar Baby.

THE BAD: Hilary took a turn at horror with The Resident, which unfortunately went straight to DVD. Ouch.

THE BAD: Hilary took a turn at horror with The Resident, which unfortunately went straight to DVD. Ouch.

THE SEXY: Wow!

THE SEXY: Wow!

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So, with that you have my own personal Top Ten Favorite Women Actors. This list is, of course, subject to change over the years for me, but right now – these ladies are my top ten. Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments. And now, here are some honorable mentions.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Mila Kunis, Julia Roberts, Rosario Dawson, Chloë Grace Moretz, Amanda Seyfried, Katey Sagal, Betty White, Sandra Bullock, Whoopi Goldberg

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Graduated from Saint Joseph's College Of Maine with a Bachelor's in Fine Arts - Creative Writing as well as Stonecoast, a low-residency MFA program through University of Southern Maine. Has several screenplays, a novel, graphic novel and a memoir all in development.

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