9. Uma Thurman "Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2" - She showed us why she was a star in Pulp Fiction, but Uma Thurman's ass-kicking return to the Tarantino fold left us all panting for air. Kill Bill was original, bloody, and incredibly well-acted, thanks to this leading turn.
8. Jamie Foxx "Ray" - One of the few on this list that played a real person, Jamie Foxx completely embodied the late-great Ray Charles in this Oscar-winning turn. Foxx didn't simply act like Ray Charles, he became him, and protrayed a man with talent, style, and pain, a simply incredible work of art.
7. Jennifer Hudson "Dreamgirls"- This one might shock some people, but for me Jennifer Hudson's star-turning performance was not only Oscar-worthy, but the launched the career of a bona-fide superstar. It wasn't just her version of "And I Am Telling You" that gave me cold chills, but for me it was the more quiet moments, the sass and fire she spewed from every line and song, and if that's not effective, then what is.
6. Philip Seymour Hoffman "Capote" - Who would have thought that the chubby, scruffy, laidback PSH could completely transform himself into the bold, gay, and overly squeaky Truman Capote? I certaintly didnt. But after a couple hours in the movie theater, I forgot it was Hoffman on the screen.
5. Mo'Nique "Precious: Based On the Novel PUSH by Sapphire" - While the Oscar is not hers yet (and I don't want to jinx it), Mo'Niques complete transformation from the maternal, funny comedian into the monster that is Mary is certainly Oscar worthy.
4. Meryl Streep "Julie & Julia" - In a decade that has been chocked full of great performances, none of them have compared to Meryl's turn as the vivacious Julia Child. Like Jamie and Philip above her, Meryl completely embodied Julia Child and gave us a heartwarming performance.
3. Ellen Degeneres "Finding Nemo" - Voice acting is incredibly underrated, and I need no further proof than the comdien's turn as the short-termed memory loss fish Dory. With just her voice, Degeneres created an unforgettable character full of humor, talent, and heart.
2. Kate Hudson "Almost Famous" - Before she almost ruined her career with romantic flops, Kate Hudson emulated her mother in this bright and ethereal performance as an infamous groupie or "band-aid" if you will. She completely lit up the screen, and made the entire audience sing Tiny Dancer the whole way home. Now if only she could do it again.
1. Heath Ledger "The Dark Knight" - Is there really any other choice for this top spot? Heath Ledger died tragically with such a promising career ahead, but at least he left us with one final gem that will forever be remembered as one of the greatest performances of all time. He was vicious, funny, crazy, and everything that the Joker embodies, and created a historical villian.