Entertainment & Arts

Oscars 2018: All about the best actress nominees

Find out more about the nominees for the 90th Academy Awards, which will take place on 4 March 2018.

Image copyright 20th Century Fox
Image caption Sally Hawkins plays mute janitor Elisa Esposito


Also starred in: Paddington, Blue Jasmine, Never Let Me Go

Nominated for: The Shape of Water

The character: Elisa Esposito, a mute janitor in a secret government lab who only communicates in sign language.

Oscar record: Hawkins has received one nomination for best supporting actress for her role in Blue Jasmine in 2013.

The critics said: Variety's Guy Lodge called Hawkins' performance in the film "extraordinary" and said the film was "lit from within by a heart-clutching silent star turn" from the actress.

Image copyright Twentieth Century Fox
Image caption Frances McDormand stars as distressed mother Mildred Hayes


Also starred in: Fargo, Almost Famous, Burn After Reading

Nominated for: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The character: Mildred Hayes, a mother desperately seeking answers after her daughter is raped and murdered.

Oscar record: McDormand has been nominated for three Oscars for best supporting actress for her roles in Mississippi Burning (1999), Almost Famous (2001) and North Country (2006). She won the best actress Academy Award for Fargo in 1997.

The critics said: Manohla Dargis of the New York Times says McDormand's performance "tears the movie open by showing you what a broken heart looks like", crediting director Martin McDonagh for creating a narrative in which McDormand's acting can shine.

Image copyright Entertainment One
Image caption Margot Robbie stars as Tonya Harding in I, Tonya


Also starred in: The Wolf of Wall Street, Suicide Squad, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Nominated for: I, Tonya

The character: Robbie portrays the real-life controversial figure skater Tonya Harding as she battles to prove herself in her chosen sport. Harding is still best known for her connection to an attack on her rival Nancy Kerrigan in the run up to 1994 Winter Olympic Games.

Oscar record: Robbie has been nominated for a Bafta and Golden Globe but this marks her first Oscar nomination.

The critics said: Owen Gleiberman in Variety describes Margot Robbie's performance as "canny, live-wire and deeply sympathetic". He says Robbie is recognised as a "major actress" for the first time.

Image copyright Universal
Image caption Saoirse Ronan plays heartbroken high-schooler Christine 'Lady Bird' McPherson


Also starred in: Atonement, Brooklyn, The Lovely Bones

Nominated for: Lady Bird

The character: Christine 'Lady Bird' McPherson is a high school student, who deals with heartbreak and strained family relationships.

Oscar record: Ronan has two previous nominations - one for best supporting actress in Atonement (2008) and one for best actress in Brooklyn (2016).

The critics said: Tomris Laffly, writing in Time Out, says Ronan's performance is "entrancing", calling her "easily among the best and most intimate actors of her generation."


Image copyright Entertainment One
Image caption Meryl Streep plays top investigative journalist Kay Graham

Also starred in: The Iron Lady, Kramer vs. Kramer, Mamma Mia!

Nominated for: The Post

The character: Newspaper heiress Kay Graham joins forces with the paper's editor-in-chief Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) to uncover government secrets during the Vietnam War.

Oscar record: Streep has won three Oscars - best supporting actress for Kramer vs. Kramer (1980); and best actress for Sophie's Choice (1983) and The Iron Lady (2012). She has also received 17 nominations previously across both categories.

The critics said: Vanity Fair's Richard Lawson is full of praise, calling the film "the best Meryl Streep vehicle in years". He says: "Her performance in the film, while mannered and technical, is careful, dialled in, specific".

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