Thursday, January 7, 2010

My Favorite Performances of the Decade (Actresses)

It's time for Round 2. Having already revealed my choices for my 30 Favorite Male Performances of the Decade in a photo tribute, the actresses are up next. As unpopular a stance as this is, I think it was a far better decade for acting than actual films. And that's never been clearer than with the selections below, as many of these performances are actually far superior to the movies containing them. I found myself able to rattle off at least over 50 female performances deserving of the highest praise quickly enough that those claiming there are "no good roles for actresses anymore" may want to seriously reconsider that position. Narrowing it down to 30 was a challenge, as was limiting myself to one performance per actress.

The choices were so strong that even performers I'm normally not a fan (in some films I'm not even a fan of) still managed to strike gold once and show up on here. In fact, as a whole, you could argue this crushes the actor list by a considerable margin. What's so funny about it is that with the exception of a few choices this is exactly the kind of list I'd probably be mocking as "elitist" and "snobby" if someone else posted it. But let's be honest---all these performances are often mentioned as the best simply because it's true. And here they are:

Naomi Watts (Mulholland Drive)

Reese Witherspoon (Walk The Line)

Kate Winslet (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)

Charlize Theron (Monster)

Kate Hudson (Almost Famous)

Ellen Burstyn (Requiem for a Dream)

Jennifer Connelly (House of Sand and Fog)

Nicole Kidman (Dogville)

Michelle Williams (Wendy and Lucy)

Scarlett Johansson (Match Point)

Ellen Page (Hard Candy)

Kirsten Dunst (Marie Antoinette)

Q'Orianka Kilcher (The New World)

Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton)

Uma Thurman (Kill Bill Vol. 1/Vol. 2)

Evan Rachel Wood (The Life Before Her Eyes)

Melanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds)

Kim Basinger (The Door in the Floor)

AnnaSophia Robb (Bridge to Terebithia)

Cameron Diaz (Vanilla Sky)

Maggie Gyllenhaal (Secretary)

Natalie Portman (Closer)

Sarah Michelle Gellar (Southland Tales)

Zooey Deschanel (All the Real Girls)

Katie Holmes (Pieces of April)

Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married)

Diane Lane (Unfaithful)

Frances O' Connor (A.I.)

Gwyneth Paltrow (The Royal Tenenbaums)

Shannyn Sossamon (The Rules of Attraction)

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