My Favorite Female Performances from the Decade

by rafaelrp33 | created - 21 Nov 2010 | updated - 22 Nov 2010 | Public

1. Ellen Burstyn

Actress | Requiem for a Dream

Ellen Burstyn was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Correine Marie (Hamel) and John Austin Gillooly. She is of mostly Irish, German, and French-Canadian descent. Ellen worked a number of jobs before she became an actress. At 14, she was a short-order cook at a lunch counter. After graduating from ...

as Sara Goldfarb in "Requiem for a Dream"

2. Marion Cotillard

Actress | La môme

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.

Raised in Orléans, France, she made her ...

as Edith Piaf in "La Vie en Rose"

3. Charlotte Gainsbourg

Actress | Antichrist

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 ...

as She in "Antichrist"

4. Meryl Streep

Actress | Out of Africa

Considered by many critics to be the greatest living actress, Meryl Streep has been nominated for the Academy Award an astonishing 21 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 ...

as Sister Aloysius Beauvier in "Doubt"

5. 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...

as Clementine Kruczynski in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"

6. Björk

Soundtrack | Dancer in the Dark

Born in 1965 in the Icelandic capital city of Reykjavik, the daughter of Gudmundur Gunnarsson (an electrician) and Hildur Hauksdóttir who divorced before her second birthday, Björk grew up in a hippie-type community with her mother and her seven siblings. She started to study classical music at the...

as Selma Jezkova in "Dancer in the Dark"

7. Hilary Swank

Actress | Boys Don't Cry

Hilary was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, to Judith Kay (Clough), a secretary, and Stephen Michael Swank, who served in the National Guard and was also a traveling salesman. Her maternal grandmother, Frances Martha Dominguez, was of Mexican descent, and her other roots include German, English, and ...

as Maggie Fitzgerald in "Million Dollar Baby"

8. Hanna Schygulla

Actress | Die Ehe der Maria Braun

Lead icon of the influential New German Cinema of the 70's & 80's, Schygulla's natural blonde beauty and amazing versatility keep her among the world's top actresses. She won best actress at Cannes in 1983 for Storia di Piera (1983) (aka "The Story of Piera"), an Italian/German co-production. The ...

as Susanne Staub in "The Edge of Heaven"

9. Yeong-ae Lee

Actress | Chinjeolhan geumjassi

Yeong-ae Lee was born on January 31, 1971 in Seoul, South Korea as Lee Young-Ae. She is an actress, known for Lady Vengeance (2005), Bomnaleun ganda (2001) and The Great Jang-Geum (2003). She has been married to Jeong Ho-young since August 24, 2009. They have two children.

as Geum-ja Lee in "Lady Vengeance"

10. 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...

as April Wheeler in "Revolutionary Road"

11. Uma Thurman

Actress | Kill Bill: Vol. 1

Uma Karuna Thurman was born in Boston, Massachusetts, into a highly unorthodox and Eurocentric family. She is the daughter of Nena Thurman (née Birgitte Caroline von Schlebrügge), a fashion model and socialite who now runs a mountain retreat, and of Robert Thurman (Robert Alexander Farrar Thurman),...

as The Bride/Beatrix Kiddo in "Kill Bill: Vol. 1" & "Kill Bill: Vol. 2"

12. Julianne Moore

Actress | The Hours

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 ...

as Doctor's Wife in "Blindness"

13. Penélope Cruz

Actress | Vicky Cristina Barcelona

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 ...

as Raimunda in "Volver"

14. 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 ...

as Satine in "Moulin Rouge!"

15. Li Gong

Actress | Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia

Born in Shenyang, grew up in Jinan, the daughter of an economics professor. Loved music from childhood, and dreamed of a singing career. After failing to gain entrance to China's top music school in 1985, applied for and was admitted to the Central Drama Academy in Beijing, from which she graduated...

as Hatsumomo in "Memoirs of a Geisha"

16. Meryl Streep

Actress | Out of Africa

Considered by many critics to be the greatest living actress, Meryl Streep has been nominated for the Academy Award an astonishing 21 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 ...

as Miranda Priestly in "The Devil Wears Prada"

17. Cate Blanchett

Actress | Carol

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 ...

as Daisy in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

18. Evan Rachel Wood

Actress | Thirteen

Evan Rachel Wood was born September 7, 1987, in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her father, Ira David Wood III, is a theatre actor, writer and director, and her mother, Sara Wood, is an actress and acting coach. She has two older brothers--Dana Wood, a musician, and Ira David Wood IV, who has also acted. ...

as Tracy Freeland in "Thirteen"

19. Naomi Watts

Actress | Mulholland Dr.

Naomi Ellen Watts was born on September 28, 1968 in Shoreham, England, to Myfanwy Edwards "Miv" (Roberts), an antiques dealer and costume/set designer, and Peter Watts (Peter Anthony Watts), the road manager to Pink Floyd. Her maternal grandfather was Welsh. Her father died when Naomi was seven and...

as Betty Elms / Diane Selwyn in "Mulholland Drive"

20. Audrey Tautou

Actress | Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain

Audrey Justine Tautou was born on August 9, 1976 in Beaumont, France, to Evelyne Marie Laure (Nuret), a teacher, and Bernard Tautou, a dental surgeon. Audrey showed an interest for comedy at an early age and started her acting lessons at 'Cours Florent'. In 1998 she won the best young actress award...

as Amélie Poulain in "Amélie"

21. Helen Mirren

Actress | RED

Dame Helen Mirren was born in Queen Charlotte's Hospital in West London. Her mother, Kathleen Alexandrina Eva Matilda (Rogers), was from a working-class English family, and her father, Vasiliy Petrovich Mironov, was a Russian-born civil servant, from Kuryanovo, whose own father was a diplomat. ...

as Queen Elizabeth II in "The Queen"

22. Melissa Leo

Actress | The Fighter

Melissa Leo was born on September 14, 1960 in New York City, New York, USA as Melissa Chessington Leo. She is an actress and producer, known for The Fighter (2010), 21 Grams (2003) and Oblivion (2013).

as Ray Eddy in "Frozen River"

23. Cate Blanchett

Actress | Carol

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 ...

as Jude in "I'm Not There"

24. Rinko Kikuchi

Actress | Babel

Rinko Kikuchi was born on January 6, 1981 in Hadano, Japan as Yuriko Kikuchi. She is an actress and director, known for Babel (2006), Pacific Rim (2013) and The Brothers Bloom (2008). She has been married to Shôta Sometani since December 31, 2014. They have one child.

as Chieko Wataya in "Babel"

25. Golshifteh Farahani

Actress | Darbareye Elly

Golshifteh started her acting career in theater at the age of 6 and has always kept a strong link with theater, but it was at the age of 14 that she acted in her first film Derakhte Golabi (1998), for which she won the prize for the Best Actress from the international section of the Fajr film ...

as Sepideh in "About Elly"

26. Anamaria Marinca

Actress | 4 luni, 3 saptamâni si 2 zile

Anamaria Marinca was born on April 1, 1978 in Iasi, Romania. She is an actress, known for 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007), Europa Report (2013) and Fury (2014).

as Otilia in "4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days"

27. Ok-bin Kim

Actress | Bakjwi

Ok-bin Kim was born on December 29, 1986 in Chollanam-do, South Korea. She is an actress, known for Thirst (2009), Ak-Nyeo (2017) and Yoonaui Geori (2014).

as Tae-ju in "Thirst"

28. Tilda Swinton

Actress | We Need to Talk About Kevin

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 ...

as Karen Crowder in "Michael Clayton"

29. Judi Dench

Actress | Skyfall

Dame Judi Dench was born Judith Olivia Dench in York, England, to Eleanora Olive (Jones), who was from Dublin, Ireland, and Reginald Arthur Dench, a doctor from Dorset, England. She attended Mount School in York, and studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama. She has performed with the ...

as Barbara Covett in "Notes on a Scandal"

30. Angelina Jolie

Actress | Maleficent

Angelina Jolie is an Academy Award-winning actress who became popular after playing the title role in the "Lara Croft" blockbuster movies, as well as Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), Wanted (2008), Salt (2010) and Maleficent (2014). Off-screen, Jolie has become prominently involved in international ...

as Mariane Pearl in "A Mighty Heart"