What is a good performance? Is it the one that makes you clap in delight, whistle in excitement or make you acknowledge that talents of an actor? We believe it is something above all this. A good performance is one where no one really notices that an actor is making a conscious effort to act. A good performance is one where an actor behaves like the character, becomes the character. There are instances when the performance is so good that the line where the actor disappears and the character emerges is a blur. Such performances do not elicit visible, audible or palpable responses because the audience sometimes forgets to distinguish between the performer and the character. That is where an actor truly reaches a pinnacle. We try to single out performances in 2009 that got close to this idealized description of great acting.

It is difficult to separate performances after a certain point. Each one of them has so many inherent merits that it would seem unfair to put anyone ahead or behind any other.
Top 10 performances of 2009
Making a list of 10 means that you have to be unsentimental, especially when it comes to edging out the ones that came really close. It would be unfair to start off with the list without mentioning all those who gave exceptional performances in 2009. Tamannah was the most popular heroine of the year, performing with zest in Kandein Kadhalai and proving her serious portrayal skills in Anandha Thandavam, while Kishore continued his ascent with a polished act as coach in Vennila Kabaddi Kuzhu. Lead actors Jayam Ravi, Jiiva and Sarath Kumar surprised us with roles that were completely difeerent from their regular fare in Peranmai, SMS and Pazhassi Raja respectively. New faces Sanusha (Renigunta), Shammu (Kanchivaram), Abhinaya (Naadodigal) and Dharshana (Kunkuma Poovum Konjum Puravum) emerged as promises of the future and Krishnamurthy (Murugan in Naan Kadavul) jolted us out of our assumptions of him being only a comic caper specialist.
Now for the actual list. The top 10 performances of 2009
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