IMO: Greatest Performance of All Time (Male and Female)

Male:  Robert De Niro in Raging Bull

Female: Charlize Theron in Monster 

Objections? Opinions? Anyone 🙂

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8 responses to this post.

  1. Well, if you dip back into the silent era, then Lon Chaney Sr. (in pretty much everything) and Rene Falconetti (in The Passion of Joan of Arc) would be on my short list of greatest performances ever. Since the invention of sound, perhaps Marlon Brando’s performance in On the Waterfront should be placed next to Robert De Niro’s in Raging Bull (I have not seen the former film, so I make this pick based on reputation alone). Charlize Theron, however, joins the ranks of Falconetti and Meryl Streep for her performance in Monster, and that performance is perhaps the only one to challenge Falconetti’s as the greatest performance on film.

    Reply

    • Falconetti did indeed deliver a jaw dropping performance and it was tough for me not to choose her as a favorite. It is much more difficult to deliver a great performance in a silent film. However, the reason I chose Theron is because I believe the way she delivered her lines was amazing. It’s not just the weight gain (anyone can do that), it’s the body language, her speech delivery and facial expressions. I will say that Falconetti had a more diverse ability to inject her viewers with emotions through facial expressions, she was a master at that…but overall I would have to go with Theron.

      As for Brando in On the Waterfront, I believe his performance was heartbreaking and real and a revolution in cinema. However, I would call it the most influencial performance rather than the greatest. The way I see it, Brando started the method acting trend but De Niro perfected it in Raging Bull. I do believe overall Brando as an actor was superior. However, De Niro’s powerhorse performance in Raging Bull is hard to top for me. I’m yet to see a superior performance regardless of the gender. I also like his performance as Travis Bickle a LOT 🙂

      Reply

  2. on top of my head is Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich and Dustin Hoffman in RainMan…
    I’ve been to wanting to see Monsters and looking for that for years now but cant find one…

    Reply

  3. Posted by adunis on February 9, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    I haven’t seen Ragging Bull yet, but i think Brando in godfather is the best. also with all mu love for theron and her breaking performance in Monster, I think both Gloria Swanson inSsunset Blvd. and Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s are better.

    Reply

    • You should get the first copy of “Raging Bull” that meets your eye and while I adore Brando’s comeback performance in “The Godfather” but I prefer his performances in “On the Waterfront” or “Last Tango in Paris”. His Vito Corleone performance is without a doubt one of the if not THE most iconic role of all time but for a performance that will knock you out of your feet making you constantly remind yourself that it’s just acting and not reality unfolding before your eyes, you can’t go wrong with De Niro in “Raging Bull”.

      Theron’s performance touched me in ways I never knew possible. Gloria Stewart was perfect in “Sunset Blvd” and is a strong contender for that title. I wouldn’t mind her performance being named the greatest female performance of all time. However, as much as I love Hepburn with her strong striking screen presence, I don’t think her performance in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” deserves such a strong title.

      If you don’t mind me asking, where are you from Hesham?

      Reply

  4. Posted by Cinemate on February 23, 2010 at 2:24 am

    Its always difficult to choose the greatest performance/film of all time. In fact, I can never come up with a Top 5 list of my favourite films. I only have a Top 5 at one given moment in time. It’s usually the first 5 that come to my mind.
    Sometime in 2008, I had a discussion with a friend on who was better – Pacino or De Niro. Both of us agreed that DeNiro was good, but Pacino better. One great, the other greater. I hadn’t watched Raging Bull until then.
    When I did get my hands on the film, I knew I wasn’t going to like DeNiro as much as I should because I had come to a conclusion about how far he could impress me.
    Never have I changed a long-standing opinion so easily. I had tears in my eyes at the end of the film. Tears of joy because films could be this absorbing and performances so full of dedication. The fact that a bunch of people in the 1970s got together and made a film that could move a person – not even born then – to tears in 2008 was perplexing.
    I recommended the film to everyone, knowing only few of them would like it. As for comparisons with Brando, hey, he’s in this movie. ‘On The Waterfront’ is in this movie.

    I’ve watched the film twice since. And loved it more every time.

    http://cinemate.wordpress.com/2010/02/05/

    Reply

    • “Raging Bull” is one of the most powerful movies I have ever seen. Both this and “Taxi Driver” are as powerful as movies get. As for the classic Pacino vs. De Niro discussion, I prefer De Niro but Pacino is one of the greatest as well.

      I just checked your blog. My cup of tea 🙂

      Reply

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