Video Pick: The Best Performances of the Decade

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Last Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony was also the last Oscars of the first decade of the 21st century.

The New York Times

asked actors--Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, Vera Farmiga, Christolph Waltz, George Clooney, Jake Gyllenhaal, Carey Mulligan, Colin Firth and others--to share their favorite/most inspiring performances of the last decade (see the video above). With Natalie, Colin and company now official winners, we got to thinking about


favorite performances of the last decade.

We looked through the winners in each major category and even the nominees to determine the candidates. We chose to leave out the supporting categories because we feel those Oscars, with rare exceptions, are won by popularity rather than merit (think Catherine Zeta Jones and Renee Zellweger). And we included a list of what we thought were some of the best pictures.

For those of you in awards withdrawal, click ahead for our list of the best from the last decade.

Best Performance by an Actor

Nominees Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood Forrest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote Leonardo DiCaprio, The Aviator Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain

Best Performance by an Actress

Nominees Charlize Theron, Monster Natalie Portman, Black Swan Helen Mirren, The Queen Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose Ellen Burstyn, Requiem for a Dream

Best Picture of the Decade

Nominees TIE: Moulin Rouge! / There Will Be Blood Lost in Translation The Queen Inglourious Basterds Black Swan Pan's Labyrinth Sweeney Todd Brokeback Mountain The Aviator Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Y Tu Mama Tambien The Talented Mr. Ripley

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