No actress in the last decade or so, can boast of working with such an enviable list of great directors as Naomi Watts. From the illusory craziness of David Lynch’s world and the enormity of Peter Jackson’s out-worldliness to the utter humanity disdain-fullness of Michael Haneke’s, Watts has seen it all. Add to those three names, true film-making greats like Clint Eastwood, David Cronenberg, Woody Allen, David O Russell, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Gore Verbenski, Gus Van Sant, Jean-Marc Vallée, Noah Baumbach and you are talking about a list that every actor in this world would be jealous of. As a result of which we have several really good Naomi Watts movies to choose from for this list.
With a poignantly expressive face, deep blue eyes and a subtle classy demeanor, Naomi Watts exudes an old worldly charm, but it’s her ingrained versatility and penchant for playing complicated woman undergoing transformative changes that will allow Naomi Watts to go down in history books as one of the greatest actresses of her generation. With that in mind, I am presenting to you the list of top Naomi Watts movies.
10. Mother and Child (2010)
One of the most underrated films and performances of Naomi Watts. She plays a tough woman who places success over everything else. Despite several big names in the film, without doubt, it is Naomi who gives the best performance out of all in the cast. Must watch!
9. The Ring (2002)
The first horror film of this century that proved that horror films don’t have to be dumb to be successful at the box office. While Mulholland Drive gave Naomi Watts a firm footing in the industry, ‘The Ring’ and then later ‘King Kong’ made her a true bonafide star.
8. Fair Game (2010)
A film that is remembered more for performances from Naomi Watts and Sean Penn than anything else. To be fair, ‘Fair Game’ is a well-executed film that deserved more attention than it received. But as always Naomi Watts shone through it like a bright light.
7. Eastern Promises (2007)
What a film! What a performance! Even though the film belonged to Viggo Morternson, Naomi Watts brought a fresh enegry to the film. She is the moral center point in the movie and therefore, had a big responsibility to bear that she does magnificently.
6. Birdman (2014)
Even though Emma Stone went on to receive the nomination for Best Supporting Actress (one scene sealed it for her), it was actually Naomi Watts who deserved it more. In a screen time of less than 15 minutes, she is phenomenal and manages to steal scenes in this weirdly experimental film that went on to win Best Picture.
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5. King Kong (2005)
The idea that an actor can pull off something noticeable in a big-budgeted blockbuster flick might seem scornful, but Naomi Watts breaks this myth with King Kong in an enormously challenging performance that required her to be not only physically agile but more than convincing to justify her love for a gigantic ape. She achieves all of that and even goes beyond expectations to truly register her mark playing an iconic character.
4. The Impossible (2012)
Though stunningly beautiful, Watts never lets the outward appearance of the character get in her way of portraying them. Playing a real life character brutally mutilated in tsunami, she fills every moment onscreen with undying spirit of a fighter and establishes a binding emotional connect as a mother trying to imbibe goodness in her son. Easily, one of the best Naomi Watts movies.
3. 21 Grams (2003)
An inconsolable mother, a drug addict, heart-broken & distanced lover, and a revenge seeker. Naomi Watts manages to adroitly handle all of these various facets of her role in 21 Grams, which deservedly so – albeit late – fetched her first Oscar Nomination. Hardly will you ever get to see someone portray the pain of love, loss, grief and revenge with such ruthless precision.
2. The Painted Veil (2006)
Naomi Watts’ metamorphosis onscreen from a selfish infidel to an apologetically repentant wife is not only shatteringly touching but believably humane. Her character with all the imperfections goes through wide range extreme emotions — from angry vent of frustrations to expressions of wishful desires — and to her credit, Watts doesn’t miss a single beat in her performance, ultimately taking this love story of flawed individuals to even greater heights.
1. Mulholland Dr. (2000)
After struggling for about a decade on the fringes of Hollywood, Naomi Watts breathtaking breakthrough came in the form of Mulholland Dr. where her raw talent oozes out of the screen in every frame of it. Her unexpected, radical transformation from a sweet, awe-struck, girl-next-door Betty to possessive, lunatic Diane is sheer acting display of highest order [See the unbelievable transformation in the picture above]. Without a shred of doubt it’s the best female performance of last decade and will go down in history books as one of the best ever.
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