All Oscar-winning female lead performances, ranked

Fancy version of a portion of this blog post which also has some commentary about the nature of a lot of these roles and what that says about the way women are perceived in Hollywood (and maybe by Hollywood's audience). This list is an attempt to judge not the films from which these award-winning performances came but solely the performances themselves. All 92 Academy Award-winning leading female parts: the who, when and why. Needless to say, everything here is based on personal taste, which goes double when judging actors and their specific mannerisms and methodology. I hope you can detect some internal logic here and get some sense of what I look for, what bugs me, etc.; I'm going to try my best not to be unfair.

Read notes
  • Coal Miner's Daughter

    1

  • Room at the Top

    2

  • Annie Hall

    3

  • To Each His Own

    4

  • Darling

    5

  • Misery

    6

  • The Piano

    7

  • Min and Bill

    8

  • Fargo

    9

  • Gaslight

    10

  • The Silence of the Lambs

    11

  • Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

    12

  • The Heiress

    13

  • The Miracle Worker

    14

  • Boys Don't Cry

    15

  • The Favourite

    16

  • Mrs. Miniver

    17

  • Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore

    18

  • Monster

    19

  • Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

    20

  • 7th Heaven

    21

  • Network

    22

  • Two Women

    23

  • Sophie's Choice

    24

  • Mary Poppins

    25

  • Terms of Endearment

    26

  • Gone with the Wind

    27

  • Come Back, Little Sheba

    28

  • Walk the Line

    29

  • I Want to Live!

    30

  • Roman Holiday

    31

  • Hud

    32

  • Street Angel

    33

  • Mildred Pierce

    34

  • The Trip to Bountiful

    35

  • The Accused

    36

  • It Happened One Night

    37

  • Children of a Lesser God

    38

  • Dead Man Walking

    39

  • BUtterfield 8

    40

  • Born Yesterday

    41

  • Suspicion

    42

  • The Queen

    43

  • Blue Jasmine

    44

  • The Lion in Winter

    45

  • The Good Earth

    46

  • A Streetcar Named Desire

    47

  • Jezebel

    48

  • Norma Rae

    49

  • Kitty Foyle

    50

  • Black Swan

    51

  • The Divorcee

    52

  • The Farmer's Daughter

    53

  • Silver Linings Playbook

    54

  • La Vie en Rose

    55

  • Dangerous

    56

  • Erin Brockovich

    57

  • Morning Glory

    58

  • Cabaret

    59

  • The Country Girl

    60

  • Monster's Ball

    61

  • Nomadland

    62

  • The Sin of Madelon Claudet

    63

  • Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

    64

  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    65

  • Howards End

    66

  • As Good as It Gets

    67

  • The Rose Tattoo

    68

  • Shakespeare in Love

    69

  • The Hours

    70

  • Anastasia

    71

  • Room

    72

  • The Reader

    73

  • Blue Sky

    74

  • The Song of Bernadette

    75

  • La La Land

    76

  • The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

    77

  • Coming Home

    78

  • Million Dollar Baby

    79

  • Funny Girl

    80

  • Driving Miss Daisy

    81

  • Still Alice

    82

  • On Golden Pond

    83

  • Women in Love

    84

  • Moonstruck

    85

  • The Blind Side

    86

  • Places in the Heart

    87

  • The Iron Lady

    88

  • Judy

    89

  • The Great Ziegfeld

    90

  • A Touch of Class

    91

  • The Three Faces of Eve

    92

  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    93

  • Klute

    94

  • Johnny Belinda

    95

  • Coquette

    96