Find out more about the nominees for the 89th Academy Awards, which will take place on 26 February 2017.
Nominated for: Elle
The character: Michele Leblanc, the head of a video game company, who is raped in her home.
Oscar record: None.
The critics said: "Huppert gives a performance of imperious fury, holding the audience at bay, almost goading us to disown her. Audaciously, Elle presents her not so much as a victim but as the casualty of a world she is very much a part of; maybe (still more troublingly) an accessory to." [The Guardian]
Nominated for: Loving
The character: Mildred Loving, whose interracial marriage to Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton), led to the couple's arrest and banishment from the US state of Virginia in the 1950s.
Oscar record: None
The critics said: "When her expressive eyes, usually downcast, rise up to confront a world that needs changing, it's impossible not to be moved. The stabbing simplicity of Negga's acting is breathtaking." [Rolling Stone]
Nominated for: Jackie
The character: Jackie Kennedy, whose husband President John F Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.
Oscar record: Portman won best actress for Black Swan in 2011 and was nominated for best supporting actress for Closer in 2005.
The critics said: "Portman's intricate performance... may just trump her Oscar-winning turn in Black Swan as the most high-wire feat she's ever pulled off." [Variety]
Nominated for: La La Land
The character: Mia Dolan, an aspiring actress working in a Los Angeles coffee shop.
Oscar record: Nominated for best supporting actress for Birdman in 2015.
The critics said: "This is a career-best moment for Stone, who is grounded and spunky as the scrappy aspiring actress, then graceful and poised as Mia continues her journey." [Cinema Blend]
Nominated for: Florence Foster Jenkins
The character: Streep plays Florence Foster Jenkins, a New York heiress who dreamed of becoming an opera singer, despite having an awful singing voice.
Oscar record: Streep has 19 previous Oscar nominations and has won three times - twice as best actress, for The Iron Lady (2012) and Sophie's Choice (1983), and once as best supporting actress, in Kramer vs Kramer (1980).
The critics said: "Ms Streep is a delight, hilarious when she's singing and convincingly on edge at all times." New York Times