Favorite Actresses of the 2000s

Here's a list of actresses who gave some memorable performances in the 2000s.
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Juliette Binoche
Juliette Binoche was born in Paris, France, to Monique Yvette Stalens, a director, teacher, and actress, and Jean-Marie Binoche, a sculptor, director, and actor. Her mother was born in Czestochowa, Poland, of French, Walloon Belgian, and Polish descent, while her father is French. Juliette was only 23 when she first attracted the attention of international film critics with The Unbearable Lightness of Being...
“ She won the Oscar in the 90s but it's in this decade she consistently took risks to work with respected directors.

The best ones: Flight of the Red Balloon, Code Unknown, Cache, Summer Hours, Certified Copy, Mary

Noted: In My Country, Jet Lag, Pars

We'll overlook it: Dan in Real Life, Chocolat ” - foxandhisfriends
Tilda Swinton
The iconoclastic gifts of the visually striking and fiercely talented actress Tilda Swinton have been appreciated by a more international audience of late. She was born Katherine Mathilda Swinton on November 5, 1960, in London, England. Her mother, Judith Balfour, Lady Swinton (née Killen), was Australian...
“ The best ones: I Am Love, The Deep End, Young Adam, Michael Clayton, Julia, Teknolust

Noted: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Adaptation., Broken Flowers, The Man from London ” - foxandhisfriends
Isabelle Huppert
Actress, Elle
Isabelle Huppert was born in 1953, in Paris, France, but spent her childhood in Ville d'Avray. Encouraged by her mother (who was a teacher of English), she followed the Conservatory of Versailles and won an acting prize for her work in Alfred de Musset's "Un caprice". She then studied at the Conservatoire d'Art Dramatique and followed an illustrious theatrical career...
“ The best: The Piano Teacher, I Heart Huckabees, 8 Women, White Material, Les Destinees, Merci Pour Le Chocolat

Noted: Time of the Wolf, Ma Mere, Gabrielle ” - foxandhisfriends
Julianne Moore
Julianne Moore was born Julie Anne Smith in Fort Bragg, North Carolina on December 3, 1960, the daughter of Anne (Love), a social worker, and Peter Moore Smith, a paratrooper, colonel, and later military judge. Her mother moved to the U.S. in 1951, from Greenock, Scotland. Her father, from Burlington, New Jersey, has German, Irish, German-Jewish, and English ancestry...
“ The best (American): Far From Heaven, The Hours, Children of Men, Savage Grace, Chloe, A Single Man

Noted: Blindness, The Kids Are All Right,

Why?!?!: The Shipping News, Hannibal, her husband's movies, The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio ” - foxandhisfriends
Nicole Kidman
Actress, Moulin Rouge!
Elegant blonde Nicole Kidman, known as one of Hollywood's top Australian imports, was actually born in Honolulu, Hawaii, while her Australian parents were there on educational visas. Kidman is the daughter of Janelle Ann (Glenny), a nursing instructor, and Antony David Kidman, a biochemist and clinical psychologist...
“ The best: Dogville, Birth, The Others, Margot at the Wedding, Rabbit Hole

Noted: The Interpreter, The Invasion, Cold Mountain, Moulin Rouge, The Human Stain

Why? Bewitched, Stepford Wives, NineBl ” - foxandhisfriends
Michelle Williams
A small-town girl born and raised in rural Kalispell, Montana, Michelle Ingrid Williams is the daughter of Carla Ingrid (Swenson), a homemaker, and Larry Richard Williams, a commodity trader and author. Her ancestry is Norwegian, as well as German, British Isles, and other Scandinavian. She was first known as bad girl Jen Lindley in the television series Dawson's Creek...
“ The best: Wendy and Lucy, Me without You, Blue Valentine, The Baxter, Land of Plenty

Noted: Brokeback Mountain, Synecdoche New York, Mammoth, Shutter Island, United States of Leland, The Station Agent

Why? Imaginary Heroes, The United States of Leland ” - foxandhisfriends
Patricia Clarkson
This remarkable, one-of-a-kind actress has, since the early 1990s, intrigued film and TV audiences with her glowing, yet careworn eccentricity and old world-styled glamour. Very much in demand these days as a character player, Patricia Clarkson nevertheless continues to avoid the temptation of money-making mainstream filming while reaping kudos and acting awards in out-of-the-way projects...
“ The best: Dogville, Far From Heaven, Cairo Time, The Station Agent, All the Real Girls

Noted: Pieces of April, Good Night and Good Luck, Whatever Works, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Married Life ” - foxandhisfriends
“ The best: Kings & Queen, The Beat that My Heart Skipped, Le Moustache, A Christmas Tale ” - foxandhisfriends
Laura Linney
Laura Leggett Linney was born in New York City on February 5, 1964, into a theatre family. Her father was prominent playwright Romulus Linney, whose own great-grandfather was a congressman from North Carolina. Her mother, Miriam Anderson (Leggett), is a nurse. Although she did not live in her father's house (her parents having divorced when she was an infant)...
“ The Best: You Can Count On Me, The House of Mirth, The Squid & the Whale, The Savages

Noted: Kinsey, Mystic River

Why? The Mothman Prophecies, The Life of David Gale ” - foxandhisfriends
Catherine Keener
Catherine Keener is an American actress, Oscar-nominated for her roles in the independent films Being John Malkovich and Capote. Acclaimed in her community for her quirky roles in independent film and mainstream such as The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Keener got her start as a casting director in New York City...
“ The best: Friends with Money, Please Give, Lovely & Amazing, Into the Wild, Where the Wild Things Are, Synecdoche New York

Noted: The 40-Year Old Virgin, The Ballad of Jack and Rose, Capote

Why? Death to Smoochy, S1M0NE, The Soloist ” - foxandhisfriends
Charlotte Rampling
Actress, Swimming Pool
Tessa Charlotte Rampling was born 5 February 1946 in Sturmer, England, to Isabel Anne (Gurteen), a painter, and Godfrey Lionel Rampling, an Olympic gold medalist, army officer, and colonel, who became a NATO commander. She was educated at Jeanne d'Arc Académie pour Jeunes Filles in Versailles, France and at the exclusive St...
“ The best: Under the Sand, Swimming Pool, Heading South, The Cherry Orchard, Life During Wartime

Noted: Lemming, The Duchess, I'll Sleep when I'm Dead

Why? Basic Instinct 2 ” - foxandhisfriends
Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett was born on May 14, 1969 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, to June (Gamble), an Australian teacher and property developer, and Robert DeWitt Blanchett, Jr., an American advertising executive, originally from Texas. She has an older brother and a younger sister. When she was ten years old...
“ The best: I'm Not There, Charlotte Gray, Coffee and Cigarettes, The Life Aquatic, The Aviator, Notes on a Scandal

Noted: The Good German, Babel, Little Fish, The Missing

Why?!?: The Shipping News, Indiana Jones 4, Robin Hood ” - foxandhisfriends
Maggie Cheung
Maggie Cheung was born on September 20, 1964, in Hong Kong, and moved at the age of eight with her family to England. After finishing secondary school, she returned to Hong Kong, where she began modeling and appearing in commercials. In 1983 she participated in the Ms. Hong Kong pageant, winning first runner-up...
“ The Best: In the Mood for Love, Clean

Noted: Hero ” - foxandhisfriends
Emily Watson
Actress, Corpse Bride
Emily Watson was born and raised in London, the daughter of Katharine (Venables), an English teacher, and Richard Watson, an architect. After a self-described sheltered upbringing, Watson attended university for three years in Bristol, studying English literature. She applied to drama school and was rejected on her first attempt...
“ The best: Punch-Drunk Love, Gosford Park, The Proposition, Separate Lies

Noted: Synecdoche New York, Trixie

Why: Red Dragon ” - foxandhisfriends
Kate Winslet
Actress, Titanic
Ask Kate Winslet what she likes about any of her characters, and the word "ballsy" is bound to pop up at least once. The British actress has made a point of eschewing straightforward pretty-girl parts in favor of more devilish damsels; as a result, she's built an eclectic resume that runs the gamut from Shakespearean tragedy to modern-day mysticism and erotica...
“ The Best: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Little Children,

Noted: The Reader, Iris, Revolutionary Road

What?!!? The Life of David Gale, The Holiday ” - foxandhisfriends
Samantha Morton
Actress, John Carter
Samantha Morton has established herself as one of the finest actors of her generation, winning Oscar nominations for her turns in Woody Allen's Sweet and Low Down" (1999) and Jim Sheridan's "In America" (2002). She has the talent to become one of the major performers in the cinema of this young century...
“ The best: Morvern Callar, Minority Report, Synecdoche New York, Control, Mister Lonely

Noted: The Messenger, Code 46, The Libertine ” - foxandhisfriends
Emmanuelle Béart
Emmanuelle Béart was born August 14, 1963, in Gassin, France. She lived with her mother, brothers, and sister on a farm not far from Saint-Tropez in Provence (southern France), because her father, singer and poet Guy Béart, did not want his children to be affected by the glamour world of Paris...
“ The best: Les Destinees, Strayed, The Witnesses, Time Regained

Noted: 8 Women ” - foxandhisfriends
Penélope Cruz
Known outside her native country as the "Spanish enchantress", Penélope Cruz Sánchez was born in Madrid to Eduardo Cruz, a retailer, and Encarna Sánchez, a hairdresser. As a toddler, she was already a compulsive performer, re-enacting TV commercials for her family's amusement, but she decided to focus her energies on dance...
“ The best: Volver, Elegy, Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Noted: Broken Embraces, Woman on Top, Sahara

Why? Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Nine, Gothika ” - foxandhisfriends
Charlotte Gainsbourg
Actress, Melancholia
Charlotte Gainsbourg was born in London, England in 1971. She is an Anglo-French actress and singer. The daughter of English actress Jane Birkin and French singer and songwriter Serge Gainsbourg, she was raised in Paris. Gainsbourg made her motion picture debut in 1984. In 1986, Gainsbourg won a César Award for "Most Promising Actress"...
“ The best: Anti-Christ, I'm Not There., My Wife is an Actress

Noted: 21 Grams, The Science of Sleep, 21 Grams ” - foxandhisfriends
Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Ingrid Johansson was born in New York City. Her mother, Melanie Sloan, is from a Jewish family from the Bronx, and her father, Karsten Johansson, is a Danish-born architect, from Copenhagen. She has a sister, Vanessa Johansson, who is also an actress, a brother, Adrian, a twin brother, Hunter Johansson...
“ The best: Lost in Translation, Ghost World, Match Point, Girl with a Pearl Earring

Noted: Eight Legged Freaks, Scoop, The Black Dahlia, Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Why: The Island, He's Just Not That Into You ” - foxandhisfriends
Meryl Streep
Considered by many critics to be the greatest living actress, Meryl Streep has been nominated for the Academy Award an astonishing 20 times, and has won it three times. Meryl was born Mary Louise Streep in 1949 in Summit, New Jersey, to Mary Wolf (Wilkinson), a commercial artist, and Harry William Streep...
“ The best: Adaptation., A Prairie Home Companion, The Hours

Noted: The Devil Wears Prada, Julie & Julia, Doubt

Why: Mama Mia!, It's Complicated ” - foxandhisfriends
Marion Cotillard
Actress, Inception
Academy Award-winning Actress Marion Cotillard was born on September 30, 1975 in Paris. Cotillard is the daughter of Jean-Claude Cotillard, an actor, playwright and director, and Niseema Theillaud, an actress and drama teacher. Her father's family is Breton and her mother has Kabyle ancestry. Raised in Orléans...
“ The best: La Vie en Rose, A Very Long Engagement

Noted: Big Fish ” - foxandhisfriends
“ The best: The Captive, Murderous Maids, Tomorrow We Move

Noted: La Vie en Rose ” - foxandhisfriends
“ The best: 5x2, Time to Leave, It's Easier for a Camel...

Noted: Munich, Cote D'Azur ” - foxandhisfriends
Greta Gerwig
Actress, Frances Ha
Greta Celeste Gerwig is an American actress and filmmaker. She was born in Sacramento, California, to Christine Gerwig (nee Sauer), a nurse, and Gordon Gerwig, a financial consultant and computer programmer. She has German, Irish, and English ancestry. Gerwig was raised as a Unitarian Universalist...
“ The best: Hannah Takes the Stairs, Greenberg

Noted: Baghead, Nights and Weekends ” - foxandhisfriends