We’ve run our annual “girl power” list for seven years now, and tweaked the rules from time to time – originally we had a top ten under 25, and last year we expanded that to a top 20 under 30.
This year we’re compromising on a top 15, in part because heavy-hitters like Natalie Portman and Michelle Williams (and this year’s discovery, Jessica Chastain) no longer qualify, but also because as yet, there is very little room to choose between the likes of Juno Temple, Blake Lively, Emily Browning, Felicity Jones and Zoe Kravitz. All are excellent prospects, but as yet none has really shown us more than flashes of potential. We’ve also sidelined some more established stars, like Keira Knightley and Scarlett Johansson for example, Abbie Cornish and Ellen Page… excellent actresses who command high salaries, but who haven’t shown us their best work this past year.
Better to consider this list a spot-check; a snapshot of whose careers are in the ascendant right now, based on the reception of their releases over the past 12 months, and on our best guesses about the projects they have lined up for the next year or so. To arrive at our rankings, we do look at the box office, and also at awards and critical reception – but also, less scientifically, we try to take the measure of career momentum by looking at the caliber of these actresses’ projects and collaborators, the kind of roles they they are playing and the buzz they are generating. It’s an inexact science to say the least, but if we have omitted True Grit discovery Hailee Steinfeld, for example, that’s not because she was less than terrific in the movie, it’s just that so far, there is no evidence this is anything more than a one-off, and we will have to wait and see if the planned Romeo And Juliet film she has lined up for 2012 proves otherwise.
06. Emily Blunt
2010 Ranking: 6
Credits: The Young Victoria, Sunshine Cleaning, The Devil Wears Prada, The Jane Austen Book Club, My Summer Of Love, Charlie Wilson’s War, Dan In Real Life.
Debits: The Wolfman, Wild Target
Blunt’s meteoric career faltered over the last couple of years with a series of not-so-great choices (The Wolfman, Gulliver’s Travels, Wild Target). But she was terrific in the adaptation of Philip K Dick’s The Adjustment Bureau, warm, funny and unpredictable – she even had chemistry with Matt Damon, which isn’t always easy. It wasn’t a huge hit, but it was enough to remind Hollywood why they were so excited by Blunt in the first place. Her crowded dance card includes Your Sister’s Sister from Humpday director Lynn Shelton, Lasse Hallstrom’s memorably monickered Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (opposite Ewan McGregor and scripted by Simon Beaufoy), a thriller – Looper – from Brick director Rian Johnson; and a rom-com from Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller.
Source: Love Film