It's time to celebrate Helen Mirren's win for best actress over at the Venice Film festival for her latest role as the title character in Steven Frears' The Queen. She has long been one my top five favorite actresses for her ingenious work in roles like The Queen and The Madness of King George, for which she was nominated, and overlooked, for the best supporting actress Academy Award. I also loved her playing opposite Fionnula Flannagan in the IRA political drama Some Mother's Son. She flashed her comedy chops (and so much more than that) as Chris Harper in Calendar Girls. Oh, and you best believe I own and revere the entire Prime Suspect library.

But I think my favorite role of hers has to be as Mrs. Wilson in the brilliant, yet underappreciated Robert Altman masterpiece (and utter Britfest) Gosford Park. She plays a very on-task head-servant in this old-fashioned murder mystery, wearing little to no makeup, and facial expressions varying only slightly from determined concentration throughout the entire movie. Also one cannot ignore the mysterious inner depths she manages to channel (and so subtly reveal) while doing so little. Folks, this is what makes an actress great.