Critically acclaimed actress Renée Zellweger is one of the best actors working in the business. She has reviewed various accolades for her work over the years including a total of four Oscar nominations, winning twice in 2004 and 2020 for her brilliant performances in Cold mountain and Judy, respectively. The other two films she was nominated for include the fan favorite 2002 romance / comedy Bridget Jones’s Diary and in 2003 she was nominated for the musical movie adaptation Chicago.
Zellweger first rose to fame and gained major notability after her role in the 1996 romance / sport Jerry Maguire where she played single mother Dorothy Boyd, the love interest to Tom Cruise’s character, Jerry Maguire. Zellweger has starred in so many incredible films throughout her career and never fails to give truthful and exciting performances. Her ability to completely become a character is one of the qualities that draw audiences back to her movies over and over again. Next, Zellweger is set to appear in NBCs The Thing About Pam, a limited series based on the podcast of the same name. While we wait for more details about the series, here are Renée Zellweger’s best movies, ranked.
This 2008 western / drama is packed with incredibly talented and acclaimed actors from Ed Harris, Viggo Mortensen, Jeremy Irons, and of course Renée Zellweger. The film was directed by Harris himself and is based on the 2005 novel Appaloosa written by Robert B. Parker. While Appaloosa did not receive any Oscar nominations despite its great reviews from critics all around, almost every member of the cast has either won an Academy Award for acting or has been nominated for several over the course of their careers.
Chicago is one of the most acclaimed and well received musicals of the 21st Century. Zellweger plays the infamous murderer Roxie Hart, who does all she can to work her way through the system when she finds herself being tried for murder and possibly facing the death penalty. She befriends fellow murderer and nightclub sensation Velma Kelly, played by Catherine Zeta-Jones, and the extremely successful lawyer Billy Flynn, played by Richard Gere, who helps her become a free woman again. The film was nominated for 12 Oscars and won six in the categories of Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (for Zeta-Jones), Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Production Design.
6 Cinderella Man
Renée Zellweger and Russell Crowe star in the fan favorite Ron Howard movie, Cinderella Man. The sports drama released in 2005 and follows a retired boxer who is given a second chance to get back in the ring. When he ends up winning his comeback match, Braddock returns to boxing full-time despite his wife’s (played by Zellweger) wishes. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actor (for Paul Giamatti), Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and Best Film Editing.
5 One True Thing
Any movie that stars Meryl Streep is going to be great, but when you add Renée Zellweger to the mix, the chemistry on screen is magic. William Hurt and Tom Everett Scott star in the melodrama as well. Adapted from the novel of the same name, One True Thing follows Kate Gulden (Streep) whose daughter Ellen (Zellweger) comes home from New York to take care of her when she is diagnosed with cancer. During the time Kate spends with her parents, she comes to unveil family secrets she was never exposed to before.
4 Bridget Jones’s Diary
Bridget Jones’s Diary is one of Renée Zellweger’s most iconic roles of all time. The 2001 rom-com became an instant success, earning over $ 282 million at the box office and getting Zellweger her first ever Oscar nomination in the category of Best Actress. After the release of Bridget Jones’s Diary in 2001, two more films were added to Bridget’s story: Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason in 2004 and then Bridget Jones’s Baby in 2016, which also starred Colin Firth and Patrick Dempsey.
3 Cold mountain
The 2003 war / drama film Cold mountain was a monumental moment in Renée Zellweger’s career, winning the actress her first Academy Award in the category of Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Ruby Thewes. Zellweger gives a brilliant performance alongside Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Natalie Portman, Charlie Hunnam, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. With 70% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes, this film is beautiful and has received major critical acclaim. In addition to its Best Supporting Actress win, Cold mountain was nominated for four other Oscars in 2004.
2 Jerry Maguire
Jerry Maguire is a hilarious and feel good romance that made Renée Zellweger’s career. Tom Cruise stars as Jerry Maguire, the sports agent who ultimately gets fired from his company and does all he can to keep the clients he is currently representing by starting his own management firm. Jerry is able to keep his company afloat with the help of single mother Dorothy Boyd, played by Zellweger. The two end up growing closer and struggle to keep their business striving, while also falling in love with one another.
In 2019, Renée Zellweger gave the performance of her career as the iconic Judy Garland in the drama / musical Judy directed by Rupert Goold. The film follows the end of Judy Garland’s life as she struggled to support her kids and began a series of sold-out shows in London at The Talk of the Town Nightclub. We see Judy reflect on her troubled childhood, her young days as an actress on set of The Wizard of Oz, and ultimately how she got to this sunken place in her life. The film is extremely entertaining while also revealing aspects of what the star’s life was really like. Zellweger received her second Oscar for her portrayal of Judy in 2020 and her performance, like Judy Garland herself, is legendary.
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