April 25, 2009

The top ten list is interrupted at the half-way mark to bid farewell to Maude and Golden Girls icon Bea Arthur. Thank you for being a friend, Bea! We'll miss you.

April 24, 2009

Ten Talented Temptresses

6. Gong Li
She's been called the 'Chinese Meryl Streep' for the sheer power of her talent and vast sweep of her range. She's undeniably beautiful, nearly flawless, but her greatest appeal is in her quiet power and the emotion lurking behind her eyes. The Red Hot Chili Peppers even immortalized her in a song ('Gong Li') on the B-side of their 'Scar Tissue' single. Perhaps it's difficult for English-speaking audiences to truly appreciate how revered she is. In 1998 she received the Ordres des Arts et des Lettres for her contribution to world cinema. She is a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference which, among other things, introduces proposals on education, the environment, and introducing a film ratings system to China. And in 2005 she was named one of the top ten most influential people in Chinese film. Forget her American movies, cruelly lovely though she was in Memoirs of a Geisha. She's at her brilliant and alluring best in films like Farewell My Concubine, The Emperor and the Assassin or as the deliciously formidable Empress in personal favorite The Curse of the Golden Flower.

April 23, 2009

Ten Talented Temptresses

7. Marisa Tomei
She's equal parts adorable and unbelievably sexy with that radiant smile and those saucy curves. Though her early Academy Award win threatened to pigeon-hole her as a Brooklyn babe forever, she went on to play everything from 20s screen star Mabel Normand (Chaplin) to a long-suffering pregnant wife (The Paper). Proving the Oscar for My Cousin Vinny was no mistake, she was nominated again for the acclaimed drama In the Bedroom and once more this year for The Wrestler. She's diverse in more than film, too. She was the voice of Mary Magdalene for Word of Life, a dramatized New Testament Audio Bible, and she's a member of innovative New York based theatre company Naked Angels. But the highlight for me is likely The Perez Family in which she's the quintessential hot-blooded firebomb who redefines sizzling and steamy without sacrificing the ability to be utterly endearing and showcasing boatloads of talent besides.

April 22, 2009

Ten Talented Temptresses

8. Tilda Swinton
If David Bowie is the master of glam rock androgyny then surely Tilda Swinton is androgyny's new modern mistress. She's not sizzlingly sexy but she is definitely sexually charged. Her beauty is hardly traditional but it is staggering. The role that most clearly defines her magnetism is Jadis, the White Witch, in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe where she rules both Narnia and the film with the coldest blue gaze ever committed to celluloid and all the warm allure of a living icicle. She's likewise the most mesmerizing part of Constantine as the androgynous angel Gabriel and single-handedly steals the entirety of the freakishly fabulous Orlando in which her character spontaneously, and without explanation, changes from male to female overnight. She is a predator of an actress, eating up words and scenes with an almost bored air but never chewing scenery and never going the predictable route. The end scene in Michael Clayton between her and George Clooney is to die for. It's not only her strange beauty that defies explanation because her personal life is equally as fascinating: she has twin daughters with the husband she lives with but, with his blessing, travels with her lover. And she once created a performance/installation art piece for London's Serpentine Gallery where she was featured on display in a glass case for a week, seemingly asleep. She is truly beyond description, is true to her own vision, and is all the more intensely appealing for it.

April 21, 2009

(I can't bear to use the term 'Lady Boner Popper' so I'm going with Ten Talented Temptresses. Which is not as catchy but far less offensive-sounding in my head.)

Ten Talented Temptresses

9. Jennifer Tilly
Jennifer Tilly is what Jessica Rabbit would be if she were flesh-and-blood and brunette instead of redhead. She's a decent enough actress and certainly physically lovely. But it's her innate raw sexuality, the signature smoky-airhead rasp of her voice, and the baffling in-your-face quality of a lot of her roles that make her irresistible. She's the patient-but-saucy voice of Joe's endlessly pregnant wife Bonnie on Family Guy, for example. She's also a champion poker player which just adds to the mysterious allure of her. But it's her captivatingly sexy mob moll in the stylish lesbian noir Bound and wild turn as a punk-rock junkie stripper in the brilliant Dancing at the Blue Iguana that cement her appeal.

April 20, 2009

AskMen.com recently compiled a list of the top ten celebrity Lady-Boner Poppers.

First, 'Lady-Boner Popper'? Did you hear that? That was the sound of the English language howling in agony.

Second, I strongly suspect their list was made up by a man. How else to explain a top ten that includes Kate Beckinsale, M.I.A., Scarlett Johansson, Beyonce Knowles, Gisele Bundchen, and Angelina Jolie?

Third, AskMen.com defines a "lady-boner popper", intriguingly, as being the following:
"A 'lady boner' is the female equivalent of a man crush. Women get excited about women who aren't just hot, but also smart, sexy, talented, and funny. Their crushes are women they'd like to be, or at least hang out with -- women they respect, but who also get them hot." That's actually a very cool definition for a very heinous term.

All the celebrity women I personally find appealing are "smart, sexy, talented, and funny" along with being attractive. I find talent immensely alluring. I also prefer women. As opposed to girls or starlets. So I thought I'd go ahead and re-write the list on my own terms. And because this is my Crypt, I'm going to post all ten at the maddening pace of one per day. If you know me at all you should be able to name at least four right off the top of your head. But aren't you curious about the other six? Well, even if you aren't let's go ahead and start at ten so we can work our way up to the blindingly obvious one delicious step at a time.

10. Annette Bening
It's The Grifters that made everybody sit up and take notice. Her naturally lower voice was lofted an octave or two to play the sweet-and-saucy con artist Myra. She's frequently naked in the film, and dangerously sexy, but it's the scenes where her big eyes well with tears or her sweet mouth hardens with fury that rate her. She has been nominated for three Academy Awards (The Grifters, American Beauty, Being Julia) but perhaps her greatest achievement thus far is taming notorious womanizer Warren Beatty, whom she has been married to since 1992. She's got an irresistible quality, not to mention that reddish hair and blinding smile, and keeps on delivering fabulous performances about beautiful women with fatal flaws or unearthly amounts of grit in films like Bugsy, Richard III, and Running With Scissors.