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9. Ralph Fiennes in "Spider" (2002)
Still my favorite Fiennes performance of the new century: he takes the seemingly grabby role of newly-released asylum patient Dennis, leaves the showboating to co-star Miranda Richardson, and quietly gets to unpicking the character's displaced psyche in the same furrowed, methodical manner as you would the cat's-cradles of the film's image system.
Top honors: Best Actor nominee, European Film Awards; Best British Actor nominee, London Film Critics' Circle