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23 Best Female Performances Of The '00s

These are the women who deserve all the awards.

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4. Shailene Woodley - The Descendants (2011)

Who would have thought the girl from The Secret Life of the American Teenager was a powerhouse? She encapsulated grief, fear, guilt, and confusion in a beautifully fresh performance.

7. Natalie Portman - Black Swan (2010)

Everybody knew Natalie was great, but she threw us all for a loop when she gave a fearless, warts-and-all performance that exposed the frightening depths of mental illness.

9. Taraji P. Henson - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

Taraji was a beacon of light and love in this often painful portrait of an extraordinary man's life. As the adoptive mother of Benjamin Button, Taraji stood out as an example of support and faith.

15. Reese Witherspoon - Walk the Line (2005)

Reese hasn't managed her career well in the past few years but she killed it as June Carter in this great biopic. Complex, strong, and funny as hell, Reese did the country superstar incredible justice.

19. Diane Lane - Unfaithful (2002)

We've all seen a thousand movies about the "affair" but Diane proved there is a lot more to it than just the sex. She gave one of the most nuanced and realistic portrayals of a married woman cinema has seen.

20. Nicole Kidman - Moulin Rouge! (2001)

Before she won the Oscar for The Hours, Nicole blew the world away with her phenomenal portrayal of Satine, a beautiful but doomed courtesan trapped in the Paris night life. She should have won the Oscar.

23. Julia Roberts - Erin Brockovich (2000)

Julia Roberts proved she was more than the queen of romantic comedies. She turned out to be a great actress capable of playing women with more to them than the desire for Prince Charming.

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