Favorite Best Actress nominee for each year

Previously in this series: Best Picture and Best Actor

My favorite performance nominated for Best Actress at the Oscars each year. "Read notes" for further rankings of the years' slates of nominees and info on what I haven't seen.

(Holy shit, I'm underwatched here. Almost considered not even bothering with this one considering how little I've seen, but some public shaming might spur me on in catching up with the leading ladies.)

* = the actual Oscar winner

Years where I've only seen one nominee will be skipped.

  • Elle

    Elle

    ★★★

    2016
    Isabelle Huppert
    2. Emma Stone - La La Land*
    UNSEEN
    Ruth Negga - Loving
    Natalie Portman - Jackie
    Meryl Streep - Florence Foster Jenkins

    Read Review
  • Room

    Room

    ★★★★★

    2015
    Brie Larson*
    2. Cate Blanchett - Carol
    UNSEEN
    Jennifer Lawrence - Joy
    Charlotte Rampling - 45 Years
    Saoirse Ronan - Brooklyn

  • Still Alice

    Still Alice

    ★★★★½

    2014
    Julianne Moore*
    2. Rosamund Pike - Gone Girl
    UNSEEN
    Marion Cotillard - Two Days, One Night
    Felicity Jones - The Theory of Everything
    Reese Witherspoon - Wild

    Read Review
  • Blue Jasmine

    Blue Jasmine

    ★★★

    2013
    Cate Blanchett*
    2. Sandra Bullock - Gravity
    UNSEEN
    Amy Adams - American Hustle
    Judi Dench - Philomena
    Meryl Streep - August: Osage County

  • Amour

    Amour

    ★★★★

    2012
    Emmanuelle Riva
    2. Naomi Watts - The Impossible
    3. Quvenzhané Wallis - Beasts of the Southern Wild
    4. Jennifer Lawrence - Silver Linings Playbook*
    UNSEEN
    Jessica Chastain - Zero Dark Thirty

  • The Help

    The Help

    ★★★

    2011
    Viola Davis
    2. Rooney Mara - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
    UNSEEN
    Meryl Streep - The Iron Lady*
    Glenn Close - Albert Nobbs
    Michelle Williams - My Week with Marilyn

  • Blue Valentine

    Blue Valentine

    ★★★★★

    2010
    Michelle Williams
    2. Natalie Portman - Black Swan*
    3. Nicole Kidman - Rabbit Hole
    4. Jennifer Lawrence - Winter's Bone
    5. Annette Bening - The Kids Are All Right

    Read Review
  • An Education

    An Education

    ★★★★

    2009
    Carey Mulligan
    2. Gabourey Sidibe - Precious
    3. Meryl Streep - Julie & Julia
    4. Sandra Bullock - The Blind Side*
    UNSEEN
    Helen Mirren - The Last Station

  • Doubt

    Doubt

    ★★★★★

    2008
    Meryl Streep
    2. Anne Hathaway - Rachel Getting Married
    3. Kate Winslet - The Reader *
    (Ranking these three strong performances is nigh-impossible to me. They're about equal in my book.)
    UNSEEN
    Angelina Jolie - The Changeling
    Melissa Leo - Frozen River

  • The Savages

    The Savages

    ★★★★

    2007
    Laura Linney
    2. Ellen Page - Juno
    UNSEEN
    Marion Cotillard - La Vie en Rose*
    Cate Blanchett - Elizabeth: The Golden Age
    Julie Christie - Away from Her

  • Notes on a Scandal

    Notes on a Scandal

    ★★★★

    2006
    Judi Dench
    2. Meryl Streep - The Devil Wears Prada
    3. Helen Mirren - The Queen*
    4. Kate Winslet - Little Children
    UNSEEN
    Penélope Cruz - Volver

  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

    ★★★★★

    2004
    Kate Winslet
    2. Hilary Swank - Million Dollar Baby*
    3. Catalina Sandino Moreno - Maria Full of Grace
    UNSEEN
    Annette Bening - Being Julia
    Imelda Staunton - Vera Drake

  • Far from Heaven

    Far from Heaven

    ★★★

    2002
    Julianne Moore
    2. Renée Zellweger - Chicago
    UNSEEN
    Nicole Kidman - The Hours*
    Salma Hayek - Frida
    Diane Lane - Unfaithful

    Read Review
  • Moulin Rouge!

    Moulin Rouge!

    ★★★★

    2001
    Nicole Kidman
    2. Sissy Spacek - In the Bedroom
    UNSEEN
    Halle Berry - Monster's Ball*
    Judi Dench - Iris
    Renée Zellwegger - Bridget Jones's Diary

  • As Good as It Gets

    As Good as It Gets

    ★★★½

    1997
    Helen Hunt*
    2. Kate Winslet - Titanic
    UNSEEN
    Helena Bonham Carter - Wings of a Dove
    Julie Christie - Afterglow
    Judi Dench - Mrs. Brown

  • Breaking the Waves

    Breaking the Waves

    ★★★★★

    1996
    Emily Watson
    2. Frances McDormand - Fargo*
    UNSEEN
    Brenda Blethyn - Secrets & Lies
    Diane Keaton - Marvin's Room
    Kristin Scott Thomas - The English Patient

  • The Remains of the Day

    The Remains of the Day

    ★★★★★

    1993
    Emma Thompson
    2. Holly Hunter - The Piano*
    3. Stockard Channing - Six Degrees of Separation
    UNSEEN
    Angela Bassett - What's Love Got to Do with It
    Debra Winger - Shadowlands

    Read Review
  • Misery

    Misery

    ★★★★

    1990
    Kathy Bates*
    2. Julia Roberts - Pretty Woman
    UNSEEN
    Anjelica Huston - The Grifters
    Meryl Streep - Postcards from the Edge
    Joanne Woodward - Mr. and Mrs. Bridge

  • Carrie

    Carrie

    ★★½

    1976
    Sissy Spacek
    2. Faye Dunaway - Network*
    3. Talia Shire - Rocky
    UNSEEN
    Marie-Christine Barrault - Cousin, cousine
    Liv Ullman - Face to Face

  • Bonnie and Clyde

    Bonnie and Clyde

    ★★★½

    1967
    Faye Dunaway
    2. Audrey Hepburn - Wait Until Dark
    3. Anne Bancroft - The Graduate
    UNSEEN
    Katharine Hepburn - Guess Who's Coming to Dinner*
    Edith Evans - The Whisperers

    Read Review