In Contention's Top 10 Performances in Steven Soderbergh Films
With 'Magic Mike' on the way, a look at the actors who excelled in the director's work
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10. Catherine Zeta-Jones in "Traffic" (2000)
Catherine Zeta-Jones might have earned the Academy's approval in 2002 for "Chicago," but her first nomination really should have come two years earlier, for her brisk, on-edge turn as the oblivious wife of a Mexican drug lord in Soderbergh's sprawling drug-trafficking ensemble piece. This was the Welsh beauty's first substantial dramatic role after a long several years spent serving as high-end Hollywood decor, and if the pressure shows, they mesh effectively with the raggedness of the character. In a happy stroke of fate, the role was re-tailored to fit Zeta-Jones's real-life pregnancy -- a physical hindrance that lends further nerviness to an already tense performance.