Somehow or another, each decade there is that one standout performance that trumped everything else for the decade. (I'm talking actressing here, sorry guys!) For the most part they are widely agreed on, with only a few dissenters.
For the 1930s, the big performane is (or seems to be)...
Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind
(with the possibilities of Luise Rainer in The Good Earth or Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night)
For the 1940s, the big performance is (or seems to be)...
Katharine Hepburn in The Philadelphia Story
(with the possibilities of Olivia de Havilland in The Heiress or Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity)
For the 1950s, the big performance is (or seems to be)...
Vivien Leigh in A Streetcar Named Desire
(with the possibilities of Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard or Judy Garland in A Star is Born)
For the 1960s, the big performance is (or seems to be)...
Elizabeth Taylor in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
(with the possibilities of Katharine Hepburn in The Lion in Winter or in Long Day's Journey Into Night)
For the 1970s, the big performance is (or seems to be)...
Diane Keaton in Annie Hall
(with the possibilities of Jane Fonda in Klute or Liza Minnelli in Cabaret)
For the 1980s, the big performance is pretty undisputed...
Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice
(with us non-Streepies the possibilities of Katharine Hepburn in On Golden Pond or Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction or Michelle Pfeiffer in The Fabulous Baker Boys)
For the 1990s, the big performance is (or seems to be)...
Holly Hunter in The Piano
(with the possibilities of Frances McDormand in Fargo or Hilary Swank in Boys Don't Cry)
But what are the "big" or "landmark" performances of the 2000s? Most would agree that Charlize Theron takes the cake with her work in Monster, but in 20 years will it still hold up? That's what the other performances seem to have in common. They've managed to stay the test of time and have become loved. They're almost always on those "Best of..." lists when it comes to naming superb actresses. So here are some other suggestions for those big performances of the 2000s, the ones that will age splendidly.
Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge!
Renee Zellweger in Nurse Betty
Penelope Cruz in Volver
Carey Mulligan in An Education
Joan Allen in The Upside of Anger
Amy Adams in Enchanted
Julianne Moore in Far From Heaven
Tilda Swinton in Julia
Which performance(s) do you think should be remembered as the landmark performance of the last decade?