With today's announcement of the 71st Golden Globe Awards nominations, cinephiles and casual movie fans alike find themselves officially in the thick of awards season. New best-of lists from critics appear daily. Oscar bloggers argue on Twitter. And before long, former critical darlings but mainstream question marks like Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), June Squibb (Nebraska), and Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis) will be as widely recognized as Tom Hanks, Jennifer Lawrence, and Sandra Bullock.
This year is full of great performances, and that's nothing new. In both the indie and major studio scenes, the movie world's best talents have been killing it all throughout the new millennium. To truly evaluate this year's crop of Best Actor and Best Actress selections, think about how they'd fare if pitted against any one of The 25 Best Movie Performances of the 2000s. As you're about to see, that phenomenal nine-year span (2000-2009) saw towering work from titans like Daniel Day-Lewis, Cate Blanchett, and the late Heath Ledger. June Squibb, bless her soul, would have her work cut out for her.
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