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You have four movies. All you know is they star one of these actresses. Whose movie do you choose?

Posted 2 weeks.

19 Comments

  • You have two movies. One of them was made by an actor featured in the films from Group A, below. The other, from the films in Group B. (Both groups comprise all theatrical releases by each since 2014). Which actor's new movie do you choose? You're welcome, everyone. Glad to have sorted this one out for you.

    GROUP A
    Camp X-Ray
    Clouds of Sils Maria
    Still Alice
    Anesthesia
    American Ultra
    Equals
    Certain Women
    Cafe Society
    Personal Shopper
    Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

    GROUP B
    X-Men Days of Future Past
    Serena
    Mockingjay Pt. 1
    Dior and I
    Mockingjay Pt. 2
    Joy
    A Beautiful Planet
    X-Men Apocalypse
    Passengers

  • I like all of these actors. I like Emma Watson's maturity and poise, and Margot Robbie's smarter, stronger twist on the bombshell. I especially like Jennifer Lawrence, who knocked us all back with Winter's Bone and has maintained an aura of make-it-look-easy command of her craft ever since. She's utterly reliable, cool, and often the strongest thing in her films.

    But if, as the question suggests, we're guessing which mystery film by one of these four is the best bet for a night at the cineplex, it's the increasingly impressive, enigmatic Ms. Stewart, full stop. I didn't give two craps about the Twilight films, but after catching one or two of them in a late-night channel surfing episode, it's hard to deny she brought a certain sophistication to that vapid material. But it's her post-scandal reinvention that really seals the deal. Guys, I like Emma, Margot, and the inestimable J-Law, but take the last 3 years of pictures from each.

    None of them is as complete and weirdly turkey-free a collection of films as Kristen Stewart has produced during that run. It's not even close.

    Bang on, Bella. You have my attention.

  • Kevin - yesterday

    I need to see a Kristen Stewart movie made by Olivier Assayas. Until then...Jennifer Lawrence.

  • Ben from Chicago - 2 weeks ago

    I will never forget the inscrutable haunting brilliance of Winter's Bone. Too bad Jennifer Lawrence has. Kristen Stewart ftw.

  • Brendan - 2 weeks ago

    My initial response was to vote for Jennifer Lawrence, with a fondness for past roles in Winter's Bone, Silver Linings Playbook and 50% of the Hunger Games movies, but the triple threat of Joy, X-Men Apocalypse and Passenger's makes me pump the breaks. Conversely, my initial reaction to Kristen Stewart is as Bella in Twilight, with a more recent track record of decent role choice (Clouds of Sils Maria, Personal Shopper and the upcoming Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk). My trust would lie in Stewart's judgement.

  • Jonathan Watkins - 2 weeks ago

    I might be a victim of recency bias but Stewart as been making very interesting choices since she left the Twilight series behind and hitting a home run in just about everyone of them.

    Margot might actually be my second choice. She has a screen prescience we haven't seen since Julia Roberts possibly.

    New listener and loving the podcast.

  • Jeff - 2 weeks ago

    This is a really tough call.
    First, I will say I've been impressed with Kristen Stewart since Clouds of Sils Maria. But she would not be my first choice.
    Margot Robbie lights up the screen in every role I've seen her in so far (which is most of her work). But I'd go see Stewart blindly before Robbie.
    That leaves Lawrence and Watson. Lawrence is one of the best actresses today. But... I absolutely love Watson and would see her in anything she's in, so she eliminates some tough competition. I just wish she was in more good movies

  • Steve - 2 weeks ago

    "Jennifer Lawrence seems to only be making those dumb comic book movies lately, so Kristen Stewart is the easy pick for me."

    Exactly this

  • Chris - 2 weeks ago

    Jennifer Lawrence seems to only be making those dumb comic book movies lately, so Kristen Stewart is the easy pick for me.

  • James Spence - 2 weeks ago

    What seems to be the most unpopular option, I'll take Watson. While she may not have the proven depth of the other actresses here, every role I've seen her in has brought such warmth to me, it's hard to say no to a film with her star power in it. Whether it be the genius child in the Harry Potter franchise or the beautifully tragic teen in Perks of Being A Wallflower, her presence is always a powerful one and elevates the films she's in. Lawerence seems to be on a downward spiral recently with the laughably bad Joy and her underwhelming performance in X-Men: Apocalypse. Stewart, while probably a better actress than Watson, simply doesn't have the charisma to have me watch 4 of her future films in a row. Robbie is under developed as an actress, especially to American audiences. Give her a few years to get away from DC and maybe win some further praise for her upcoming Tonya Harding and Christopher Robin biopics, then this poll may turn differently. As long as she keeps the auto tuned singing out and her radiant smile and personality front and center, Emma Watson can take my money any day.

  • Jonah Kaufman - 3 weeks ago

    I assume the only reason Brie Larson isn't an option in this poll is because you knew she would easily run away with the poll and it wouldn't be fair for the other actresses. So in that case I will choose Kristen Stewart, mostly because she works with the most interesting filmmakers of the bunch and gives much more nuanced performances than the others in the poll.

  • Nathan - Buena Vista, CO - 3 weeks ago

    I can't help but notice that you guys have left off your customary "Other" option. That would have been my choice here. Although I voted for Watson (partially because I loved the book "The Circle" and partially because she's in last place), no one here has earned my vote. None of the four actresses listed have ever blown me away or even significantly impressed me in a role. I know Lawrence is going to (unjustly) run away with this like she did with her Oscar - over Riva and Chastain?! - but put her or any of these women against others born around 1990 and I think she is dwarfed. Saoirse Ronan. Hailee Steinfeld (if only for True Grit). Elizabeth Olsen (b. 1989). Alicia Vikander (b. 1988). And the automatic winner in my book, Brie Larson, est. 1989. I understand the parameters of the poll question, but I can't help but think that 1990 was an uninteresting year in births.

  • Michelle - Ottawa, ON - 3 weeks ago

    I prefer to watch Jennifer Lawrence on screen, but I like Kristen Stewart's choices more lately. So I voted Stewart. Because I really, really do not want to get stuck seeing something like Passenger.

  • Matthew Harper - 3 weeks ago

    As I write this KStew is sitting at 35%, which tells me that 65% of y'all haven't seen Clouds of Sils Maria yet.

  • Andy Mitchell - 3 weeks ago

    I haven't seen any of Robbie's work outside of her cameo in "The Big Short," (which is some of her finest bathtub work to date), nor have I seen Watson work in a film outside of Hogwarts. Therefore, like a lot of us, this comes down to a choice between Lawrence and Stewart. I like the former's past movies more than latter's, but since Lawrence is such a big movie star now, there's no telling whether this mystery film will be something in the "Silver Linings Playbook" realm or another shrug-inducing big-budget franchise. Call it recency bias, but after your Kristen Stewart episode, I've come to appreciate her enigmatic qualities and all the interesting choices she's made since "Twilight." I feel like even if I don't love her next film, she'll give me something I can think about a little more than the other three.

  • Dustin - 3 weeks ago

    Margot Robbie is the most talented of the four and despite a mixed resume of films she consistently gives interesting performances.

    Jennifer Lawrence can be great in the right role but she has yet to work with an directors of interest. Perhaps this will change with Spielberg and Aronofsky.

    I don't get Kristen Stewart but she seems to work with great directors all time. Certain Women and Café Society are my two favorite films that any of these four have appeared in over the past three years. Her two Assayas collaborations may not have worked for me but they certainly weren't uninteresting.

    Emma Watson is irrelevant to this poll. I originally read this as Emma Stone who I like even less but would have still been a more interesting option just because she manages to get regularly cast by descent directors.

    Margot is the most talented but Kristen has the best resume. My affinity for auteurs would generally lead me to Kristen but looking at their IMDb pages neither have anything upcoming that interests me so now I'm thinking J. Law based on Mother! and It's What I Do.

    Considering I'm not supposed to know the director before hand I'll just go with Kristen since she has the highest probability of appearing in something descent and lowest probability of appearing in something terrible.

  • Joe Osborn - 3 weeks ago

    I'm going with Stewart, not because she's the best actress necessarily, but because of these four women, she most consistently works with great filmmakers. So any film starring her has a higher chance of being good, or at least interesting.

  • Chris Massa - 3 weeks ago

    There are two ways of looking at this question. You can either answer it on the basis of who is the best actress — in which case it should be a showdown between Lawrence and Stewart — or you can ask yourself, which actress is least likely to show up in a truly awful movie? This rules out Kristen Stewart, since she could always make a surprise follow-up to Twilight, and it also eliminates Lawrence — remember Joy? Margot Robbie's not faring too well in light of the unwatchable Suicide Squad, so we're left with Emma Watson. She's not the most versatile actress, but at least so far, she has avoided truly dreadful material, so her track record is fairly consistent. So, against all odds, Emma Watson gets my vote.

  • Panagiotis - 3 weeks ago

    Sorry guys, but where is the 'I'd rather throw myself of a cliff' option ?

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