As we continue to move forward through the summer movie schedule, I continue to look for that one special performance. There are just some performances in film that make you love the movies and truly appreciate great acting. I began thinking of the best performances since 2000.
Here are some things to consider for the list:
· Impersonations don’t count. If you have to play someone who already existed, I can’t say your performance was truly original. (sorry Jamie Foxx and Jaoquin Pheonix)
· Academy Awards are not the only factors to consider.
· These performances should be talked about for years to come.
10. Borat (Sacha Baron Cohen)
"When you chase a dream, especially one with plastic chests, you sometimes do not see what is right in front of you."
To kick off our list, we start with one of the most daring performances ever. SBC not only put on a genius comedic performance, SBC literally put himself into life threatening situations just to nail down this role. Extremely controversial, Borat is one of the most recognizable performances of the last 12 years.
9. Sara Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn)
"I got no one to care for. What have I got, Harry? I'm lonely. I'm old."
This has to be one of the most unnerving and disturbing films ever made. Watching the group of drug addicts as their lives spiral out of control is eye opening. The film is highlighted by Ellen Burstyn’s performance. She opens the door into a terrified and deeply disturbed woman. With nothing left in her life, Sara Goldfarb’s life completely gets turned upside and we have front row seats.
8. Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale)
“Harold, it's Bateman, Patrick Bateman. You're my lawyer so I think you should know: I've killed a lot of people”
Who would have thought that the childhood star actor of the Newsies would give a shockingly horrific performance as a serial killer. Christian Bale was chillingly sinister as the American Businessman who twilights as a sexual deviant and serial killer. Bale beat out DiCaprio for the role and boy we are happy he did because Bateman nailed it. It is actually kind of funny because landing this role is probably what earned Bale his role as Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins, a role that was rumored to be going to Joshua Jackson. THANK GOD!!!!!!
7. Randy “the Ram” Robinson (Mickey Rourke)
"And now, I'm an old broken down piece of meat... and I'm alone. And I deserve to be all alone. I just don't want you to hate me."
What Rourke does in The Wrestler is mesmerizing. His performance was physically demanding, vulnerable, and really very lovable. Rourke did everything you could ask for in a tremendous performance. Watching, you share every emotion, ache, and feeling with the Ram. Enjoy this stunning perofmrance.
6. Aileen Wuornos (Charlize Theron)
“All you need is love and to believe in yourself. Nice idea. It doesn't exactly work out that way. But I guess it was better to hear a flat-out lie than to know the truth.”
After dirtying herself up, Charlize Theron won an Oscar (I know it doesn’t matter) for her portrayal of Aileen Wuornos. Theron did an amazing job of bringing the real life case to life. While many won’t be talking about this film in the future, the performance surely will be remembered.
5. Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell)
“I’m in a glass case of emotion.”
Hands down one of the most memorable comedic performances of the decade came from Will Ferrell in Anchorman. His Burgundy was a character that everybody was quoting within days and is still quoted 10 years later. Ferrell hit every note right as Burgundy. Ron Burgundy will be remembered two decades from now the same way we remember Clark Grizwald and Ferris Bueller today. Ferrell has had some very funny performances this decade (Frank the Tank is almost as defining as Burgundy), but his performance, plus the fact that he helped create the character on paper, put Anchorman above anything else the comedian has done.
4. Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks)
"Tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?"
Tom Hanks is arguably the greatest American actor ever. With two best actor Oscars under his belt, many think he should have won a third for this film. Hanks is remarkable as the lovable Chuck Noland, who gets stranded on a deserted island. With nothing to watch but Hanks and a volley ball, I could not take my eyes off of Hanks. To captivate an audiences for almost 3 hours with nothing but waves and your acting skills, Hanks deserves this spot on the list.
3. Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp)
“When you marooned me on that god forsaken spit of land, you forgot one very important thing, mate: I’m Captain Jack Sparrow.”
Depps’s Jack Sparrow, sorry Captain Jack Sparrow, is one of the greatest characters ever. Depp took many liberties with the script, some which scared Disney quote a lot, and ran with the role. His twist on the charcters, funny way of saying things, and strange looks all added to the brilliant character we have seen on film. Without a doubt the best acting job of his career, Depp gave us one for the ages and one of the most fun characters in history.
2. Bill the Butcher / Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day Lewis)
“Tonight is a night for Americans” "I'm finished!"
DDL’s two notable performances from this decade are back-to-back probably the most interesting performances of the decade. The two characters from Gangs of New York and There Will Be Blood, respectively, have a couple things in common. They both are disconnected from other humans, they both are sinister and cool, and both men sport wicked mustaches. Hands down, no one rocks a mustache better than Daniel Day Lewis and that would be enough to get him on this list alone (not really, but it does help). Why are both of these performances on the list? Because you could not possibly watch these films and not talk about the performances. If you have not seen them, trust me, go home and watch them.
1. The Joker (Heath Ledger)
"This city deserves a better class of criminal."
Forget bets performance of the decade, this may just be one of the greatest performances of all-time. Ledger deeply emerged himself in the role and truly became the Joker. Though his death after shooting has added to the mystic around the role, it should not take away from the brilliant performance. Heath Ledger gave the Joker character, depth and a criminally insane mind. Heath is everything you could ever want from a good villain. Ledger’s performance essentially wiped out Javier Bardem’s peformance from the year before in No Country for Old Men from this Top Ten list. Let’s just relish that one man did something that exceeded every expectation we all could’ve had and he’ll be remembered for generations because of it.