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Top Ten Olivias

Here's a top ten stream of thought quickie for you. Let's just say it's in honor of Olivia Wilde who has been bouncing around in my head since that Boogie Nights live read last week and who won the StarMeter award from the IMDb last night. Congratulations on being so eminently, um, searchable, Livvy.

Olivia Wilde in Rush

I have to admit I don't quite get her appeal but Congratulations! Her career is white-hot right now (Rush is playing at TIFF and winningly surprisingly strong reviews) and she's engaged to Jason Sudeikis. Without further ado, off the top of my head and just for fun... 

The Ten Greatest "Olivia"s

10 Olivia Pope on Scandal
I don't watch Scandal (forgive) and the one episode I did see was atrocious and made me wonder what everyone is smoking when they praise it (blasphemy?) but I've been rooting for Kerry Washington since the very beginning of her film career (Our Song, holla!) and don't really wish to jump ship despite a few stumbles. Plus, she's up for an Emmy in this year's small screen Best Actress competition for this role, which is really quite historic if you check, television wise. If you love Scandal PLEASE explain why in the comments. [TFE's Interview]

09 Olivia Hussey
Romeo & Juliet need, desperately need, to be played by very young actors to maximize the authenticity and resonance of their tragedy. But it wasn't until Franco Zeffirelli's gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous 1968 adaptation that people finally understood this en masse. I am on record as complaining about the constant revivals of Shakespeare on stage and in the movies. But Romeo & Juliet I especially don't understand any more at least in movie form. [more...]

Leonard Whiting & Olivia Hussey Young Lover Adorableness

Consider: we already have a perfect classicist version (the one Hussey stars in so beautifully) and a perfect stylized auteur version (Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet) so what is there left to add cinematically? I'm talking to you, people. What'cha got that Hussey & Danes didn't have, Hailee?

08 Olivia Munn
I still can't get over what sly things she suggested / accomplished in Magic Mike, in a role that many actresses would have been ablank in. I wish she'd be done with The Newsroom (annoying!) so we could see what else she could do on the big screen.

07 Olivia Colman
I can't vouch for her comedic skills though we hear that they're quite. But damn was she stellar in that devastating performance in Tyrannosaur. She nearly made the sometimes unwatchable brutality unmissable as a film experience. The Iron Lady didn't exist but for to give Meryl Streep another Oscar but even so... she was good in that thankless role, too. [TFE Interview]

06 "Olivia" from Twelfth Night
More Shakespeare! What is happening?  

05 Emily Olivia Leah Blunt
I didn't know that was her full name. Love her if not quite as much as we keep hoping to love her post Prada. Bring on the great roles. Time is a-wastin'. 

04 Olivia Williams
Some actresses sneaks up on you. Some actresses get sexier and more talented with age. Both things are true of Olivia Williams. I didn't think much of her for years and then suddenly in her 40s she was delivering one stellar gripping performance after another on TV (the MVP of Dollhouse) and the big screen (The Ghost Writer for which she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress here at TFE). Even when her part is largely sidelined (Anna Karenina) she makes the most of it. 


03 "Olive Snook" in Pushing Daisies
According to Wikipedia which never gets anything wrong, Olive is actually basically sorta the exact same name as Olivia and since no screen character, big or small, in the past five years has more musically, comically, quirkily or persistently endeared themselves to awesome people (i.e. fans of Pushing Daisies)  than this sweet and salty pie-shop worker I couldn't leave her off. Kristen Chenoweth is perfect as Olive and one of the happiest awards show moments of my life -- no exaggeration -- is when she won her surprise Emmy for Best Supporting Actress for the departed and much-missed series. Well deserved.

02 Olivia Newton-John

Sandy, can't you see
I'm in misery?
You made a start, now we're apart
There's nothing left for me

Love has flown all alone
I sit and wonder why, oh?
Why you left me, oh Sandy

Listen, according to my childhood she is number one for always hopelessly devoted ever but since this is a film blog first and foremost, I have to give a "a little more love" to... well, you must have guessed by now...

01 Olivia de Havilland
Who else? 

YOUR TURN. If I forgot your favorite Olivia I trust you'll let me know. Who is she?


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Reader Comments (33)

ONJ. 4-evah and evah!

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

P.S. Olive Oyl, particularly the 'He's Large' and 'He Needs Me' numbers as sung by the one and only (and dearly missed) Shelley Duvall. God, I love her.

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

runner up?!?!? and we're coming up on september 26. oh, nathaniel....

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpar3182

Dame Judith Olivia Dench

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPatryk

Love Miss Newtown-John but you're right to put Olivia de Havilland first. Talent, class and amazing longevity, both in life and until she chose to end it her career.

One Olivia not on the list, the wonderful Olivia Cole. She's done more on stage than film but whenever she's in a film she makes it better.

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

No kidding, my trivia team name tonight was Trivia de Havilland.

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

Olivia de Havilland is a goddess. Actually pretty underrated despite two Oscar wins because no one ranks her up with Davis, Crawford, Stanwyck, Hepburn, etc. The Dark Mirror anyone? Light in the Piazza? The Heiress? Ugh I think I'm going to go watch The Snake Pit..

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commentero.s.

Scandal is like political opera on speed. The storylines are so soapy and fun, and it's at such a breakneck pace, the ends of episodes leave you breathless. The whole cast is crazy talented, and even the more thankless roles (the President, the journalist, Olivia's team) get decent screentime and at least mildly surprising character revelations. The West Wing (minus sermonizing) meets Law & Order (plus great season-long arcs).

I can imagine that one episode out of context would make it look like nonsense, but if you start from the beginning, you'll get hooked.

Also, so glad you included Olivia Williams. That Ghost Writer performance is a gem, one of the best that year. Jonesing for a rewatch...

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJake D

My favorite: Olivia/Fauxlivia from Fringe, both played by the excellent Aussie Anna Torv. Any other Fringe fans?

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Marie

Olivia Colman is hilarious in Hot Fuzz.

"Could've been our old friend the cactus thief..."
"Oh he was a prickly customer!"

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCasey Fiore

Nat , Netflix Scandal from the start, you'll get hooked in no time, season 1 is up and down, but season 2 is just brilliant, I am binge watching it a second time.

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrami (ramification)

How is Olivia Dunham from "Fringe" not on this list?

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKeith Gow

Olivia de Havilland? Really?

"I'm sorry you think I'm dead." <--- DEVASTATION! And made me a fan of Olivia Williams after that in An Education.

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSanty.C

Olivia Wilde works constantly, although rarely in a hit.

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBia

I've tried to give Scandal a chance since everyone kept saying how addictive it is. But just as you, I watched one episode and the first few minutes were so atrocious, all that camera movement, shot behind distorted glass, the conventional dialogue of so many procedural shows and the soapy tone of it all drove me away. Guilty pleasure? Sorry I'd call it eyesore2.

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSeisgrados

Patryk -- well done.

Mareko -- OOH. that was a blunder to miss Olive Oyl.

September 11, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I share the feeling that Kristin Chenoweth's Emmy win was one of the most wonderful awards moments ever. So deserved and so unexpected.
It was one of those magical moments of "There's hope for this world!".
And her speech was awesome.

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVictor S

You should check Drinking Buddies, Olivia Wilde is amazing in it, very natural and charming, and she has great chemistry with Jake Johnson.

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterremy

#2 was my high school crush. I think I saw GREASE seven times because she was in it.

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErik

Olivia Colman is absolutely great in the BBC miniseries Broadchurch ... highly, highly recommend it....

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrick

I'm dating myself but I immediately thought of Michael Learned as Olivia Walton. That was a very important show to me when I was 12 years old and watching it with my grandparents. It was about the only thing my uber-Mormon family would let me watch.

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDave in Alamitos Beach

Kristen Chenoweth a voice that could slit a throat,aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh,the sort of person the uk never warms too.

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermark

Nathan, have you never been mellow?

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I never really got Olivia WIlde until I saw her on the Daily Show. She's smart and funny. I can't say how great an actress she is, but she's got a real presence.

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBiggs

Gotta echo Anne with the Olivia from Fringe love. Definitely got to give props to Olivia/Fauxlivia from Fringe. Anna Torv's performance especially in later seasons is a wonder. I want to see her in more films and tv shows that give her room to flex her considerable acting chops.

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAngelica Jade Bastien

Oh thank goodness! I was so nervous Olivia de Havilland wouldn't show up on this list. The Adventures Of Robin Hood was the first movie I ever saw and I think I imprinted on it, so I've loved her since I was about 2 years old. She wasn't the most malleable of actresses but it always seemed like her occasional stiffness came from a place of total dignity, and I love that about her.

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTB

Re: Olivia Wilde in Rush. I am frankly confused on why she has third billing. She comes and goes and re-appears in the climax scene for really no reason given no context reestablishes her to return. Aside from the industry really pushing her to make it big, there is no real reason she gets billing over Alexandria Maria Lara whose role and involvement in the plot is much bigger. I know, I know. Lara being German and unknown in North America has something to do with it. She's not bad in the movie, in fact she does a good accent, but I really don't get it. It's a very good movie though, but I am hoping it means bigger, better things for Bruhl and Lara.

And Colman and Williams- love them both so. Olivia Colman stole some scenes in Hot Fuzz and I do wish she went on to do some more comedies. Both were the only good things in Hyde Park on the Hudson.

Olivia Munn is one of the rare good parts in The Newsroom. I seriously only stuck out this season, that is somewhat more watchable, because of Sloan Sabbith.

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Olivia Benson - Mariska Hargitay

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTravis

So glad you put Olivia Colman. She's always fantastic. So real. If you haven't seen her in Broadchurch then check it out. Her performance is beyond amazing. I'm still reeling...

September 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoanne

Surely Olive Hoover deserves a place on the list!

September 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDieter

Dieter -- but she's a superfreak!

September 12, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

superfreak superfreakyyow!

September 12, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I was getting scared for Olivia de Havilland a second there until i saw her at #1. Now if only she'll come out of retirement for 1 last Oscar run or at the very least make up with his dear old sis Joan Fontaine.

September 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkailor

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