Thursday, October 28, 2010

50 Greatest Performances of the Decade (Male and Female)

Here are 50 performances I can remember from the last decade of cinema that have really stood out for me: 

Adrien Brody - The Pianist

Anne Hathaway - Rachel Getting Married

Ben Kingsley - Sexy Beast

Benicio Del Toro - Traffic

Bill Murray - Lost in Translation

Bruno Ganz - Downfall

Casey Affleck - The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Cate Blanchett - The Aviator

Charlize Theron - Monster

Chris Cooper - Adaptation

Christian Bale - American Psycho

Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds

Clive Owen - Closer

Colin Farrel - In Bruges

Daniel Day Lewis - There Will be Blood

Daniel Day Lewis - Gangs of New York

Don Cheadle - Hotel Rwanda

Ellen Burstyn - Requiem for a Dream

Emile Hirsch - Into the Wild

Forrest Whitaker - The Last King of Scotland

Heath Ledger - Brokeback Mountain

Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight

Helen Mirren - The Queen

Jake Gyllenhaal - Brokeback Mountain

Javier Bardem - No Country for Old Men

Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker

Jim Carrey - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Joaquin Phoenix - Gladiator

Julianne Moore - Far From Heaven

Kate Winslet - Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind

Kate Winslet - The Reader

Kevin Bacon - The Woodsman

Leonard DiCaprio - The Aviator

Leonardo DiCaprio - The Departed

Marion Cotillard - La Vie en Rose

Mathieu Amalric - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Meryl Streep - Doubt

Michael Caine - The Quiet American

Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler

Naomi Watts - Mulholland Drive

Nicholas Cage - Adaptation

Paul Giamatti - Sideways

Philip Seymour Hoffman - Capote

Philip Seymour Hoffman - Doubt

Rachel Weiss - The Constant Gardner

Russell Crowe - A Beautiful Mind

Ryan Gosling - Half Nelson

Sean Penn - Mystic River

Thomas Hayden Church - Sideways

Viggo Mortensen - Eastern Promises


  1. I agree that Russell Crowe gave a great performance in A Beautiful Mind, but his Gladiator performance was fantastic and should be included. Also what about Cinderella Man,Crowe's James Braddock role was outstanding.I disagree with your inclusion of DDLewis for Gangs of New York.

  2. Russell Crowe ´s performance in A Beautiful Mind was excellent but you should also have included Cinderella Man, too, in which Russell Crowe was even more brilliant.

  3. Thanks for the comments guys. I love Gladiator, but I've always considered his performance in a Beautiful Mind better, and he certainly should have won over Denzel for Training Day. I haven't seen Cinderella Man, but it sounds like I should check it out based on your praise for his performance here. First comment, you don't believe Daniel Day-Lewis' performance in Gangs of New York was amazing? It was the best part of the film in my opinion. Certainly no Daniel Plainview, but i believe still one of the decades best roles.

    Cheers for the feedback,


  4. Andy,Both DDLewis and Russell Crowe are interesting actors with great range, subtlety and power.I have seen all of Lewis's films and TWBB and Gangs are not favorites.I prefer In The Name of the Father,Last of the Mohicans or My Left Foot. This is just personal preference.Maybe someday the movie gods would put Lewis and Crowe in a film together. Now I would stand in line for that ,beginning ,now. As for Crowe and Gladiator,well Crowe's Maximus is a compelling, hero, a man on an odyssey.This is not just a tough guy but a character of heart and soul. I do believe that is what made this character so appealing to millions of people around the world.I hope you enjoy Cinderella Man,Braddock is also a soulful character and miraculously Crowe manages to make him a regular guy hero. If you haven't seen Proof,the 1991 Australian film with Crowe and Hugo Weaving,well that's a good one as well.

  5. There Will be Blood instantly became one of my favorite films but I don't think DDL has ever given a bad performance. Loved The Last of the Mohicans and In the Name of the Father, and I believe his recent work in Nine was still solid, despite the film being disappointing overall. I'm looking forward to seeing Cinderella Man, and I've been looking for a copy of Proof for some time I'll try and watch it soon too.
    Take care,


  6. How come there's no mention of The Insider, surely a most genial, searing yet understated performance by Russell!

  7. The Insider was a 1999 release, so I didn't consider it for this post. But it's one of Crowe's greatest performances without doubt!

  8. I was hoping to see Tim Roth and Edward Norton here, seeing as they're my favorite actors