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Oscar Nominations 2024: Best Actress & Likely Winner

Oscar Nominations 2024: Best Actress & Likely Winner

oscar nominations 2024 best actress

The past year in film culminates on March 10th with the 96th Academy Awards. With 13 total Oscar nominations, Oppenheimer is heavily favored to win Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor for Cillian Murphy, and Best Supporting Actor for Robert Downey Jr. With Da’Vine Joy Randolph also a huge favorite to win Best Supporting Actress for The Holdovers, none of the acting categories are slated as particularly competitive. None except the race for Best Actress.

This year’s Best Actress category features five distinct performances. It is a cinematically diverse field, ranging from intimate narratives to stories told on a grand scale. However, the one common denominator is the exceptional effort by the leading lady.

Emma Stone captivated audiences with her transformative performance in Poor Things, showcasing her versatility and ability to embody complex characters. Carey Mulligan in Maestro brings emotional depth and a nuanced understanding to her character’s journey. Sandra Hüller’s performance in Anatomy of a Fall has been celebrated for its intensity and the raw authenticity she brings to the screen. While Annette Bening, in Nyad, has once again proven her prowess as an actress, delivering a performance that is both inspiring and deeply moving.


Winner prediction: Lily Gladstone

But the cream of the crop was Lily Gladstone’s powerful and understated portrayal of a character caught in a historical whirlwind in Killers of the Flower Moon.

Source: Apple TV

Adapted from the acclaimed bestseller by David Grann, Killers of the Flower Moon relates the devastation visited upon the Osage Nation during the 1920’s. Known as the “Reign of Terror”, it is a true tale of strategic genocide. The picture is directed by the venerated Martin Scorsese and stars screen legends Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. Alas, it is relative newcomer Lily Gladstone that steals the acting show. Lily, 37, is a poignant powerhouse as Mollie Burkhart, a woman who is caught in the middle of a catastrophic power struggle between her family and her people.

It is Gladstone’s first Academy Award nomination and the first for a Native American in the category. Lily has already won the 2024 Golden Globe for Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Motion Picture (Drama). She currently has the best odds to take home Oscar gold.

Gladstone’s breakthrough came with her role in Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women in 2016, which caught Scorsese’s eye and led to her role in Killers of the Flower Moon.

The actor also won the 2023 Gotham Award for her leading role in The Unknown Country and made acclaimed TV appearances in Billions and Reservation Dogs. Here are all the other nominees in the Best Actress category at the 96th Academy Awards, where Killers of the Flower Moon nabbed a total of 10 nominations.


WATCH: 10 Best Films of 2023


Emma Stone – Poor Things 

Source: Searchlight Pictures/Atsushi Nishijima

Second only to Oppenheimer in total nominations, Poor Things boasts an impressive 11 Oscar nods. The fantastical tale of self-discovery from director Yorgos Lanthimos is silly, smart, and outrageous in all the right ways. With its mature themes and whimsical style, Poor Things almost resembles a sexy steampunk reimagining of Edward Scissorhands. Emma Stone mesmerizes audiences as Bella Baxter, a resurrected young woman on a quest to experience every ounce life has to offer. It is a dynamic performance, reaffirming that Emma is one of the most talented actors of her generation.

At age 35, this year’s Oscar nomination is the fourth in Stone’s career, winning Best Actress in 2017 for La La Land. Most recently she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in 2018 for The Favourite. Her role as Bella Baxter currently has her as the second favorite for Best Actress in 2024.


Sandra Hüller – Anatomy of a Fall 

Source: Les Films Pelléas

Directed and co-written by Justine Triet, Anatomy of a Fall has been on a tear in the European cinema award circuit. At the 2023 Cannes Film Festival the picture won the prestigious Palme d’Or, top honor of the event. The legal drama stars German actress Sandra Hüller, 45, as a writer who is forced to defend herself in the wake of the suspicious death of her husband. Hüller’s immaculate performance is not only a highlight of the film, it carries it.

Anatomy of a Fall is her greatest exposure to American viewers though she has been electrifying international audiences on stage and screen for the better part of two decades. The gritty role netted Sandra her first Oscar nomination and a second European Film Award for Best Actress. Hüller currently has the third best odds in the category.      


Carey Mulligan – Maestro 

Source: Oscars

The musical biopic has proven to be superb Oscar bait, especially in recent years. With seven Academy Award nominations, Maestro convincingly continues the trend. Bradley Cooper co-wrote, produced, directed, and plays the lead role as famed composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein. Carey Mulligan is astonishing in her portrayal of American actress Felicia Montealegre, wife of the renowned musician. As Felicia, Carey eerily embodies a bold blend of strength and vulnerability.

Her Maestro role denotes a third Best Actress nod for Mulligan’s career with film writer John Rocha calling it a “career best work”. The English thespian, 38, gained tons of notoriety in 2020 as a promising young woman. At present, she has the fourth longest odds of securing infamy as a genuine Oscar winner. 


Annette Bening – Nyad

Source: EW

Annette Bening is nothing if not consistent, having secured Academy Award nominations for Best Actress in four consecutive decades. This year’s race features Annette as the title character in an inspirational biopic. Helmed by first time feature directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, Nyad is based on the 2015 memoir by American long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad.

To convincingly capture the famed endurance athlete, Bening trained with former Olympic swimmer Rada Owen for nearly a year before filming. The role is the 65-year-old actress’s fifth career Oscar nomination. She is currently the long shot in the category.


Oscars Best Actress Trivia

Source: Forbes

And while we await the answer to that burning question: who will take home the prestigious award?, let’s leave you with some interesting trivia around the Oscars Best Actress category.


Who has the highest Oscar nominations in the Best Actress category?

Meryl Streep has a staggering 17 nominations (as of 2023), and has won three times.


Who’s nabbed the highest Oscar wins for Best Actress?

Katharine Hepburn holds the record for the most wins in this category, with 4 Oscars for her roles in Morning Glory (1933), Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968), and On Golden Pond (1981).

See Also


Who was the first actress to win an Oscar?

The first Best Actress Oscar was awarded to Janet Gaynor in 1929 for her roles in three films: 7th Heaven (1927), Street Angel (1928), and Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927). You read that right!


Who was the youngest actress to ever win an Oscar?

Marlee Matlin won The Best Actress Oscar at age 21 for her role in Children of a Lesser God (1986).


Who was the oldest actress to ever win an Oscar?

The oldest winner is Jessica Tandy, who won at age 80 for her role in Driving Miss Daisy (1989).


Back-to-Back Wins: Only two actresses have won Best Actress Oscars in consecutive years: Luise Rainer for The Great Ziegfeld (1936) and The Good Earth (1937), and Katharine Hepburn for Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967) and The Lion in Winter (1968).

Posthumous Nomination: Jeanne Eagels was the first actress to receive a posthumous nomination in this category for her role in The Letter (1929).


Wrapping Up

As the Oscars approach, anticipation is building, and the question on everyone’s mind is: Who will take home the coveted trophy? The answer awaits on the night of the ceremony, but one thing is for certain – the competition is fierce, and the talent exceptional.

The 96th Academy Awards are set to air live on March 10, 2024. Here’s how you can watch Oscars 2024 and all the nominated movies.


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