Another year, another list of the best female actresses of 2010. The year 2010 has been chalk full of amazing movies and compelling performances. Some of the usual favorites have made a return to the screen after a long hiatus, which makes for a highly competitive field for Best Leading Actress at the Oscars. Here are some of our favorites from 2010:    

  1. Julia Roberts for "Eat Pray Love" Julia Roberts is no stranger to hit movies and after a bit of a hiatus, she made a return with the movie reincarnation of the best-selling book of the same title. Roberts is probably one of the best actresses of the past twenty years.

  2. Natalie Portman for "Black Swan" In this dark movie about the world of ballet, Portman's character, Nina, is a ballerina struggling to hit her big break. This is quite easily the best performance of Natalie Portman's career. It is dark, gritty and complex and Portman nails it.   

  3. Anne Hathaway for "Love and Other Drugs" Hathaway stars in this romantic comedy based on the non-fiction book "Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman." Hathaway plays the role of a woman battling Parkinson's disease who meets and falls in love with a pharmaceutical salesman. The role is something new for Hathaway and a delightful change.   

  4. Michelle Williams for "Blue Valentine" Williams stars opposite Ryan Gosling in this intimate view of a failing marriage. Williams and Gosling come across as refreshingly genuine characters that everyone can identify with.   

  5. Hillary Swank for "Conviction" Swank plays a single mother and high school drop out who watches her brother be convicted of a crime she's convinced he did not commit. Swank can be depended on to deliver stellar performances and this is no different. Swank may very well be creating a niche for herself.  

  6. Nicole Kidman for "Rabbit Hole" In this film based on the Broadway play by David Lindsay-Abaire, Kidman plays a woman who has suffered the sudden loss of her child. The story follows Kidman and her husband as they each work through the grief and back to each other. Kidman's performance is absolutely moving and, at times, heartbreaking. Nicole Kidman has securely fastened herself as one of today's best actresses.   

  7. Kristen Stewart for "The Runaways" Kristen Stewart steals the show in this movie documenting the rise of Joan Jett and Cherie Currie. This is the kind of role she is meant to play and is absolutely brilliant. Stewart is jaded and the very essence of Rock 'n' Roll in the 1970s. She is quickly making a name for herself as one of today's best actresses.

  8. Cary Mulligan for "Never Let Me Go"  In this film based on the novel of the same name, you follow the lives of three children raised in a British boarding school. Upon reaching adulthood they are sent out into the world and it is revealed that they were created in a DNA lab and raised for their organs. With a story this riveting, you have to have a cast to support it and Mulligan is the glue that holds it together. She is truly one of the best female actresses.   

  9. Mia Wasikowska for "Alice In Wonderland" Alice has gone back through the rabbit hole and learned that she was destined to defeat the Red Queen. Mia Wasikowska is perfect in this role. She is sweetly innocent without being bland.  

  10. Naomi Watts for "Fair Game" In this thriller based on recent events, Watts plays CIA agent whose status was revealed after her husband exposed the Bush administration. Watts is a strong and believable character in this movie.