By John H. Foote

Again, no Academy, just me.

What gives me the audacity and background to make these decisions? Thirty years as a critic and historian, hundreds on interviews with actors learning about their craft, I studied and taught Method Acting, and have directed 40 plus plays using the Method in each one. I like to think I know a thing or two about acting.

Truth is paramount in the art of acting, without it a performance can never be considered truly great. The performance of the actors is what connects the audience to the film, touching our humanity, often stroking our soul. A great performance is forever the soul of the film, it is what brings it all to life.

What shocked me going through the Best Actress choices was how often the Academy got things right, and in some years how the pickings were mighty slim.

Again, some years have six nominees, two years has an actress nominated twice, and winners are marked with an *.

Enjoy, argue, debate.

  • Glenda Jackson in Women in Love*
  • Glenda Jackson in The Music Lovers
  • Ali McGraw in Love Story
  • Jane Alexander in The Great White Hope
  • Carrie Snodgrass in Diary of a Mad Housewife
  • Jane Fonda in Klute*
  • Glenda Jackson in Sunday Bloody Sunday
  • Ruth Gordon in Harold and Maude
  • Vanessa Redgrave in Mary Queen of Scots
  • Julie Christie in McCabe and Mrs. Miller

  • Liza Minnelli in Cabaret*
  • Cicely Tyson in Sounder
  • Carol Burnett in Pete ‘n’ Tillie
  • Diana Ross in Lady Sings the Blues
  • Liv Ullman in The Emigrants
  • Barbra Streisand in The Way We Were
  • Tatum O’Neal in Paper Moon
  • Ellen Burstyn in The Exorcist
  • Liv Ullman in Cries and Whispers*
  • Marsha Mason in Cinderella Liberty
  • Gena Rowland in A Woman Under the Influence
  • Ellen Burstyn in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore*
  • Faye Dunaway in Chinatown
  • Liv Ullman in Scenes from a Marriage
  • Valerie Perrine in Lenny
  • Isabelle Adjani in The Story of Adele H.
  • Ann Margret in Tommy
  • Louise Fletcher in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest*
  • Marilyn Hassett in The Other Side of the Mountain
  • Barbra Streisand in Funny Lady
  • Liv Ullman in Face to Face
  • Faye Dunaway in Network*
  • Sissy Spacek in Carrie
  • Jill Clayburgh in Gable and Lombard
  • Talia Shire in Rocky
  • Jane Fonda in Julia
  • Diane Keaton in Annie Hall*
  • Diane Keaton in Looking for Mr. Goodbar
  • Shirley MacLaine in The Turning Point
  • Kathleen Quinlan in I Never Promised You a Rose Garden
  • Anne Bancroft in The Turning Point
  • Jill Clayburgh in An Unmarried Woman
  • Jane Fonda in Coming Home*
  • Ingrid Bergman in Autumn Sonata
  • Liv Ullman in Autumn Sonata
  • Ellen Burstyn in Same Time Next Year
  • Bette Miller in The Rose
  • Diane Keaton in Manhattan
  • Jill Clayburgh in Luna
  • Sally Field in Norma Rae*
  • Jane Fonda in The China Syndrome
  • Mary Tyler Moore in Ordinary People
  • Sissy Spacek in Coal Miners Daughter*
  • Gena Rowland’s in Gloria
  • Ellen Resurrection
  • Debra Winger in Urban Cowboy
  • Katherine Hepburn in On Golden Pond
  • Diane Keaton in Reds
  • Meryl Streep in The French Lieutenant’s Woman
  • Jessica Lange in The Postman Always Rings Twice*
  • Susan Sarandon in Atlantic City
  • Julie Andrews in Victor, Victoria
  • Meryl Streep in Sophie’s Choice*
  • Jessica Lange in Frances
  • Diane Keaton in Shoot the Moon
  • Debra Winger in An Officer and a Gentleman

  • Meryl Streep in Silkwood
  • Shirley MacLaine in Terms of Endearment*
  • Debra Winger in Terms of Endearment
  • Julie Walters in Educating Rita
  • Bonnie Bedelia in Heart Like a Wheel
  • Jessica Lange in Country
  • Mia Farrow in Broadway Danny Rose
  • Sally Field in Places in the Heart*
  • Sissy Spacek in The River
  • Goldie Hawn in Swing Shift
  • Cher in Mask
  • Meryl Streep in Out of Africa*
  • Whoopi Goldberg in The Color Purple
  • Jessica Lange in Sweet Dreams
  • Miranda Richardson in Dance with a Stranger
  • Diane Keaton in Crimes of the Heart
  • Sissy Spacek in Crimes of the Heart
  • Jessica Lange in Crimes of the Heart
  • Sigourney Weaver in Aliens
  • Kathleen Turner in Peggy Sue Got Married*
  • Jane Fonda in The Morning After
  • Meryl Streep in Ironweed
  • Cher in Moonstruck
  • Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction
  • Holly Hunter in Broadcast News*
  • Joanne Woodward in The Glass Menagerie
  • Sigourney Weaver in Gorillas in the Mist
  • Jodie Foster in The Accused
  • Meryl Streep in A Cry in the Dark*
  • Glenn Close in Dangerous Liaisons
  • Michelle Pfeiffer in Married to the Mob
  • Jessica Lange in Music Box
  • Jessica Tandy in Driving Miss Daisy*
  • Michelle Pfeiffer in The Fabulous Baker Boys
  • Annette Bening in Valmont
  • Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally…
  • Anjelica Huston in The Grifters*
  • Meryl Streep in Postcards from the Edge
  • Debra Winger in The Sheltering Sky
  • Laura Dern in Wild at Heart
  • Jessica Lange in Men Don’t Leave
  • Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman
  • Susan Sarandon in Thelma and Louise
  • Geena Davis in Thelma and Louise
  • Jodie Foster in The Silence of the Lambs*
  • Laura Dern in Rambling Rose
  • Jennifer Jason Leigh in Rush
  • Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns
  • Geena Davis in A League of Their Own
  • Emma Thompson in Howard’s End*
  • Judy Davis in Husbands and Wives
  • Susan Sarandon in Lorenzo’s Oil
  • Michelle Pfeiffer in The Age of Innocence
  • Holly Hunter in The Piano*
  • Emma Thompson in The Remains of the Day
  • Angela Bassett in What’s Love Got to Do with It?
  • Tilda Swindon in Orlando
  • Sigourney Weaver in Death and the Maiden
  • Jessica Lange in Blue Sky
  • Jodie Foster in Nell*
  • Isabelle Adjani in Queen Margot
  • Natalie Portman in Leon: The Professional

  • Mery Streep in The Bridges of Madison County
  • Elisabeth Shue in Leaving Las Vegas
  • Susan Sarandon in Dead Man Walking*
  • Nicole Kidman in To Die For
  • Emma Thompson in Sense and Sensibility
  • Jennifer Jason Leigh in Georgia
  • Winona Ryder in The Crucible
  • Frances McDormand in Fargo*
  • Debbie Reynolds in Mother
  • Emily Watson in Breaking the Waves
  • Laura Dern in Citizen Ruth
  • Jodie Foster in Contact
  • Pam Grier in Jackie Brown
  • Kate Winslet in Titanic
  • Jennifer Jason Leigh in Washington Square*
  • Judi Dench in Mrs. Brown
  • Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth*
  • Gwyneth Paltrow in Shakespeare in Love
  • Fernando Montenegro in Central Station
  • Meryl Streep in One True Thing
  • Renee Zellweger in One True Thing
  • Annette Bening in American Beauty
  • Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry*
  • Reese Witherspoon in Election
  • Julia Roberts in Notting Hill
  • Julianne Moore in The End of the Affair
  • Ellen Burstyn in Requiem for a Dream*
  • Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich
  • Gillian Anderson in The House of Mirth
  • Renee Zellweger in Nurse Betty
  • Joan Allen in The Contender
  • Sissy Spacek in In the Bedroom
  • Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge
  • Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones Diary
  • Thora Birch in Ghost World
  • Halle Berry in Monster’s Ball*
  • Julianne Moore in Far from Heaven*
  • Nicole Kidman in The Hours
  • Meryl Streep in The Hours
  • Renee Zellweger in Chicago
  • Salma Hayek in Frida
  • Nicole Kidman in Cold Mountain
  • Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation
  • Charlize Theron in Monster*
  • Jennifer Connelly in A House of Sand and Fog
  • Diane Keaton in Something’s Gotta Give
  • Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby*
  • Imelda Staunton in Vera Drake
  • Nicole Kidman in Birth
  • Annette Bening in Being Julia
  • Joan Allen in The Upside of Anger
  • Sarah Polley in The Secret Life of Words*
  • Naomi Watts in King Kong
  • Charlize Theron in North Country
  • Laura Linney in The Squid and the Whale

  • Helen Mirren in The Queen*
  • Beyoncé Knowles in Dreamgirls
  • Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada
  • Kate Winslet in Little Children
  • Maggie Gyllenhall in Sherrybaby
  • Julie Christie in Away from Her*
  • Marion Cotillard in La Vie en Rose
  • Amy Adams in Enchanted
  • Nicole Kidman in Margot at the Wedding
  • Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth – The Golden Age
  • Kate Winslet in Revolutionary Road*
  • Meryl Streep in Doubt
  • Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married
  • Angelina Jolie in Changeling
  • Frances McDormand in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
  • Meryl Streep in Julie and Julia*
  • Gabourey Sidibe in Precious…
  • Carey Mulligan in An Education
  • Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side
  • Emily Blunt in The Young Victoria
  • Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone
  • Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine
  • Annette Bening in The Kids Are Alright*
  • Julianne Moore in The Kids Are Alright
  • Natalie Portman in Black Swan
  • Glenn Close in Albert Nobbs
  • Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady
  • Michelle Williams in My Week with Marilyn
  • Viola Davis in The Help
  • Tilda Swindon in We Need to Talk About Kevin*
  • Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty*
  • Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook
  • Emmaunelle Riva in Amour
  • Naomi Watts in The Impossible
  • Keira Knightley in Anna Karenina
  • Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine*
  • Amy Adams in American Hustle
  • Sandra Bullock in Gravity
  • Lea Seydoux in Blue is the Warmest Color
  • Meryl Streep in August: Osage County
  • Felicity Jones in The Theory of Everything
  • Rosamund Pikein Gone Girl*
  • Amy Adams in Big Eyes
  • Julianne Moore in Still Alice
  • Scarlett Johansson in Lucy

  • Cate Blanchett in Carol
  • Rooney Mara in Carol
  • Brie Larson in Room
  • Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn*
  • Sally Field in Hello! My Name is Doris
  • Emma Stone in La La Land
  • Natalie Portman in Jackie*
  • Amy Adams in Arrival
  • Jessica Chastain in Miss Sloane
  • Hailee Stanfield in The Edge of Seventeen
  • Meryl Streep in Florence Foster Jenkins
  • Jessica Chastain in Molly’s Game
  • Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water
  • Margot Robbie in I, Tonya
  • Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Brooklyn Prince in The Florida Project*
  • Lady Gaga in A Star is Born
  • Emma Stone in The Favourite
  • Olivia Colman in The Favourite
  • Glenn Close in The Wife*
  • Nicole Kidman in Destroyer
  • Scarlett Johansson in Marriage Story
  • Renee Zellweger in Judy*
  • Charlize Theron in Bombshell
  • Cynthia Erivo in Harriet
  • Saoirse Ronan in Little Women




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