Entertainment & Arts

Oscars 2016: Best actress nominees

A look at the best actress nominees for the 88th Academy Awards, announced on 14 January 2016.


Image copyright StudioCanal

CATE BLANCHETT

Age: 46

Nominated for: Carol

The character: Carol Aird, a glamorous older woman going through a difficult divorce who begins an affair with a young aspiring photographer.

Oscar record: Won best supporting actress for The Aviator in 2005 and best actress for Blue Jasmine in 2014. Two best actress nominations for Elizabeth in 1999 and Elizabeth: The Golden Age in 2008. Two best supporting actress nominations for Notes on a Scandal in 2007 and I'm Not There in 2008.

The critics said: "Carol ultimately belongs to Blanchett, and rightly so... As searing as [she] was in her Oscar-winning turn in Blue Jasmine, she arguably achieves something even deeper here by acting in a much quieter, more underplayed register." [Variety]


Image copyright StudioCanal

BRIE LARSON

Age: 26

Nominated for: Room

The character: Joy, aka "Ma", a woman abducted and held captive in a room with only her young son for company.

Oscar record: No previous nominations.

The critics said: "Larson has been threatening for years to truly break out, and Room should be the film to make it happen. She's so raw as to verge on unwatchable, the pain she conveys just too upsetting to sit with." [Empire]


Image copyright Fox

JENNIFER LAWRENCE

Age: 25

Nominated for: Joy

The character: Joy, a divorced single mother who seeks to change her circumstances by inventing and marketing a revolutionary new mop.

Oscar record: Won best actress for Silver Linings Playbook in 2013. Best actress nomination for Winter's Bone in 2011. Best supporting actress nomination for American Hustle in 2014.

The critics said: "Lawrence has played larger-than-life characters in Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, but in Joy she's dialled down appreciably, playing a woman who once considered herself special but has been systematically beaten down by adulthood enough to believe that her creative spark has died." [Screen Daily]


Image copyright Curzon Artificial Eye

CHARLOTTE RAMPLING

Age: 69

Nominated for: 45 Years

The character: Kate Mercer, a married woman who learns shattering news about her husband just as they are about to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary.

Oscar record: No previous nominations.

The critics said: "Rampling... is a symphony of physical cries and whispers, her worried eyes and strained smiles choreographed with breath-taking precision." [The Guardian]


Image copyright Lionsgate

SAOIRSE RONAN

Age: 21

Nominated for: Brooklyn

The character: Eilis Lacey, a young woman from rural Ireland who leaves her home to find job opportunities in the US in the 1950s.

Oscar record: Best supporting actress nomination for Atonement in 2008.

The critics said: "Ronan captures brilliantly her character's strange mix of vulnerability and steeliness. Her Eilis manages to maintain her dignity [even] when throwing up into a fire bucket during a stormy Atlantic crossing." [The Independent]

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