Thursday, August 11, 2011

Which is Better?

Laura Linney
10 sample films:

The Truman Show
You Can Count on Me
Primal Fear
The Savages
The Mothman Prophecies
The Squid and the Whale
Mystic River


Frances McDormand
10 sample films:

Almost Famous
Mississippi Burning
Wonder Boys
North Country
Lone Star
Blood Simple
Aeon Flux
Friends with Money
Laurel Canyon

Which do you prefer? Let me know in the comments section


  1. Johnny B!10:21 am

    Hands down Laura Linney.
    No question, Frances is good in Coen Bros, that's it. Laaura is amazing.

  2. I love Frances, but Linney is on a completely different level. Top 5 in my books.

  3. i have to go the other way to current opinion. laura linney irritates me whilst mcdormand irritates only when her character is supposed to be that way.

    and they both get naked in odd movies for some reason. i say no!

  4. I'd have to go with McDormand,
    I do like Linney a lot as well, but I've always had a soft spot for McDormand.
    I'm surprised to didn't mention her role in Raimi's Darkman. She was rather good in that.

    Linney was great in Mystic River though, but then again, the whole cast was great.

  5. Oh, I can't choose. I like them both. But I'm going with McDormand because of Almost Famous. ("I know what's going on.")

    BTW, amusing you chose actresses that were in the same movie. (In this case, Primal Fear.)

  6. As I tweeted Laura Linney hands down. Frances is great in Fargo but thats it. Laura Linney hasn't a bad performance in her career yet!

  7. I'm going with Frances McDormand. She's funnier and can really be serious. Even in a bad movie like Aeon Flux, she can maintain some dignity unlike a recent blockbuster extravaganza.

    I like Laura Linney as well but McDormand as the edge of playing one of the best characters ever in Marge Gunderson.

  8. McDormand is great in Fargo, Almost Famous, Burn After Reading, and Laurel Canyon - and just gives the screen an energy unparalleled to others.

  9. One word - FARGO. Frances is better (imho).

  10. These two are both fantastic!

    But I gotta go Frances. And not only because I love that she's in so many Coen Brothers films. She's fantastic in everything, even throwaway films like Madeline.

  11. @Johnny B! – Laura Linney always seems to give great performances but is often forgotten when people list the top actresses working today.

    @Red – Top 5 eh? Honestly I cannot disagree.

    @Toby – I am sure the nudity was “necessary for the character development...” or at least that is what I tell myself. LOL.

    @Jack – Nice pull on Darkman. I thought about adding it but opted for Mississippi Burning as few remember that she was in the film.

    @Movienut14 – I came close to listing Primal Fear as well. This is the second week in a row where the actors have overlapped in a film. Let’s see if we can go three for three next week.

    @JoelB – I have to agree with you that Linney has been aces in every film. Even in Congo she was decent, despite the film being awful.

    @thevoid – While I sided with Linney, I cannot deny that McDormand is a great actress. She really elevates the material.

    @Duke – Was not a fan of Burn After Reading, thought it was one of the weaker Coen Brother films. Loved the other films you mentioned though.

    @Sqausher88 – I had a feeling Fargo would sway a lot of people. Really it is hard to argue against her work in the film. She was outstanding.

    @Jandy – You get bonus points for referencing Madeline. I thought I was the only one who had seen that film. If I recall correctly it did not do too well in theatres.

  12. This is the first time I'm a bit nonplussed about the comparison (when I saw Laura at the top I thought she'd be going against Joan Allen). Frances is a good actor, but I don't find myself moved by her often, she often seems so brittle...admittedly, Laura seems so some times, too but Laura wins this easily for me.

    I've never had a Frances performance floor me.

  13. Linney is an excellent actress but Frances wins, if only for that performance in Fargo. She was also excellent in Curtis Hanson's Wonder Boys alongside Michael Douglas.

  14. @Andrew - Funny enough I had consider pitting Frances McDormand against Joan Allen, but went with Linney instead.

    @Dan - I really enjoyed McDormand's work in Wonder Boys as well. That film does not get enough praise in my opinion.

  15. Lemme say this: it took me years to "get" Laura Linney. I absolutely hated her for years, and then came the one-two punch of The Nanny Diaries and The Savages and BLAMMO - I got it. I got what a subtle, real actress she is. And she's just so sexy.

    On the other hand, I've always liked Frances McDormand, as should anyone with vague childhood memories of a confusingly hot Miss Clavel (something is not right, indeed). Then add to that her Coen Bros performances, her wonderfully prickly performance in Friends with Money, scene-stealing cameos in Lone Star and Something's Gotta Give, and the underappreciated Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day...

    Yeah, I'mma have to go with Mrs. Coen on this one.

  16. @Walter – Interesting that it took up until Nanny Diaries for you to start appreciating Linney. She has been consistently good for a while, but The Savages did make a lot of people take notice.

    Loved McDormand in both Friends with Money and Lone Star, though I felt she got lost in the shuffle in Somethings Gotta Give. Especially with all the other bigger performances in the film.

  17. This is such a tough matchup! I love both of them so much but Linney gets just a tiny edge over McDormand. Perhaps it's because Linney gets flashier roles, but she never ceases to blow me away.

  18. I choose Door Number 2, but maybe my choice says more about whom I prefer as an actress (McDormand)and the type of movies I like (slightly off the beaten path) because I've only seen 2 of the first 10, and 6 or 7 (unsure of one) of the latter. Perhaps I'd like some of the movies that Laura Linney acted in, but there are some titles that don't even ring a bell.

  19. @Cracked America - I highly recommend seeking out some of Linney's dramas (e.g. Kinsey, The Squid and the Whale, etc).

  20. Linney in all the movies.
    Frances in some movies.

  21. @Robert - Linney is consistently good, though McDormand is no push over either.

    @Dhiraj - McDormand has a few forgettable films under her belt. Linney has some too but not as many as McDormand.


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