This years line up of actresses is not quite as diverse as I would like, but that’s not their fault. Every performer on this list delivered exceptional work and deserves great praise for delivering audiences the characters that they deserve. These are the best of the actresses that we saw at the movies in 2019!
Who would have thought that the role of Jasmine would have been such a talent showcase. Well, Naomi Scott did, and it’s clear that she’s got the pipes and the command of the screen to become a star.
11. Kristen Stewart – Seberg, Charlie’s Angels
The most underrated actress in Hollywood knocked it out of the park this year. She absolutely stole the show in ‘Charlie’s Angels’ and she was so go in ‘Seberg’ that we would be talking Oscars has it been a better film.
10. Florence Pugh – Little Women, Midsommar, Fighting With My Family
I had never heard this woman’s name before this year and now she looks to get nominated for an Oscar. I’m not sure where she came from, but I can’t wait to see her kicking ass with Black Widow next year.
9. Rebecca Ferguson – Doctor Sleep
The role of Rose “The Hat” was amazing on the pages of Stephen Kong’s novel, but Ferguson brought it vividly to life this year. My favorite villain of the year.
8. Awkwafina – The Farewell
If you would have told me a year ago that this comedian would give one of the best dramatic performances of the year, I might have laughed. Boy, was I ever wrong.
7. Laura Dern – Marriage Story
Dern has been one of the finest actresses around for years, but her role as the strong prosecutor in ‘Marriage Story’ is easily one of her finest and might even earn her an Oscar this year.
6. Saoirse Ronan – Little Women
It seems like if it’s a new year the Saoirse Ronan must be giving another Award worthy performance. Her knack for picking roles is uncanny and she delivers every single time.
Playing multiple roles is always complicated, but Nyong’o takes that to a new level in ‘Us’. The depths she digs to bring light into a dark characters here are truly unforgettable.
4. Charlize Theron – Bombshell, Long Shot
The role of Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly is a tough nut to crack, but Theron got it just right. In a movie that’s filled with pretty clear impressions, Theron gets at the essence of Kelly and the difficult position she found herself in at Fox. It’s a rather thankless role, and one that requires just the right amount of finesse to make you feel for. Theron nails it.
3. Renée Zellweger – Judy
Judy Garland was one of Hollywood’s most iconic starlets and also a tragic story. Renée Zellweger completely embodies her body, sound, and soul. Just when you thought the best Zellweger was a thing of the past, she comes out and delivers her best work yet.
2. Margot Robbie – Bombshell, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Robbie just keeps getting better every single year. Her Sharon Tate is the heart of Quentin Tarantino’s trip into the past and her performance in Bombshell is absolutely heartbreaking. If she keeps this up then she can do anything.
1. Scarlett Johansson – Marriage Story, Jojo Rabbit, Avengers: Endgame
Johansson has long been a hell of an actress, but this year she has outdone herself. Her performance in Avengers is absolutely heartbreaking. In Jojo Rabbit she brings an earnest performance to a character that is truly complicated. And her performance in “Marriage Story’ is so good that she makes Nicole a woman who we can all relate to, while never taking sides in her divorce. It’s a testament to her skill that you can both support her decisions and wish she would make another. Only a great actress can convey all sides of a characters, Scarlett Johansson proves in “Marriage Story” just how great she is.
Best of the Rest
Annette Benning – The Report
Jennifer Lopez – Hustlers
Da’Vine Joy Randolph – Dolemite is my Name
Nicole Kidman – Bombshell
Zhao Shuzhen – The Farewell
Meryl Streep – The Laundromat, Little Women
Ana De Armas – Knives Out
Cynthia Erivo – Harriet
Felicity Jones – Aeronauts
Helen Mirren – The Good Liar