The New York Times has selected their top 25 favorite film performers of the past 20 years, and two Irish actors have made the list.
Number 10 on the list is Saoirse Ronan, whose latest performance in "Ammonite," co-starring Kate Winslet, is already garnering rave reviews and Oscar buzz.
The 26-year-old actress has grown up on film. She had her breakout performance at the age of 13 in 2007’s “Anonement,” and since then has received recognition for her roles in “The Lovely Bones” “Brooklyn,” “Lady Bird” and “Little Women.”
The New York Times writes: “Ronan herself, inhabiting these women and girls in all their particularity, has been almost unnervingly consistent, in full, disciplined command of her gifts right from the start.”
For Ronan, a four-time Academy Award nominee, “as much as she captures the emotional weather and specific body language of, say, a 16th-century Scottish queen or a 21st-century California teenager, what she conveys even more vividly is the way those people think, the way it feels to be inside their heads.
“That may sound like a cerebral, intellectualized approach to acting, but it’s really the opposite. The most radical and revelatory ambition an actor can conceive is to inhabit another consciousness and to bring the audience along on that parapsychological journey. This is more than just disappearing into a role, or methodically activating parallel memories. It’s a kind of self-authorized rebirth as if Athena could spring not from her father’s forehead, but her own. It can be terrifying to witness, but genius often is.”
Actor Daniel Day-Lewis, who was born in the UK, but holds dual British and Irish citizenship, is also on the New York Times list at number 3.
Day-Lewis, who has lived in Co Wexford since 1997, has won Oscars for his roles in “Lincoln,” “There Will Be Blood,” and “My Left Foot,” and was nominated for “Phantom Thread,” “Gangs of New York,” and “In the Name of the Father.”
The New York Times writes that the 63-year-old actor “is one of the most revered actors of the past half-century, a reputation based on his dazzling filmography and burnished by an aura of greatness that has grown to near-mystical proportions. His well-publicized preparations for his roles and his insistence on staying in character during production have become legendary, the stuff of exciting headlines and fan fetishism.
“His repeated retirement announcements have only expanded his aura and so has his selectivity: He has made just six movies this century, some masterworks. Like the exotic century plant, an agave that blooms spectacularly only once, Day-Lewis knows both how to tease us and put on a show."
Visit the New York Times for the full list of top 25 actors.