Oscars Poll: Who’s really the Best Actress since 2001? (Cast your vote)

We need your help, Derbyites. Who’s really the best Best Actress winner at the Oscars since 2001? Vote in our poll below.

There are a slew of record-holders to choose from over the past 13 years, with the first African-American victor (Halle Berry), the first French-language performer (Marion Cotillard) and the second-youngest starlet (Jennifer Lawrence) all in consideration. One legendary leading lady even makes our poll after a 30-year absence from the winner’s circle: Meryl Streep.

Oscars Poll: Who’s really the Best Actor since 2001?

Oscars Poll: What’s really the Best Picture since 2001?

But which one of these actresses is the best of the best? You can only vote for one performance, so choose wisely.

Need help remembering the past 13 winners? Then scroll through our Oscars photo gallery below the poll that highlights every Best Actress champ since 2001.

38 thoughts on “Oscars Poll: Who’s really the Best Actress since 2001? (Cast your vote)

  1. It’s hard but i like a challenge in the Morning:

    1 Marion Cotillard
    2. Charlize Theron
    3. Nicole Kidman
    4. Meryl Streep
    5. Cate Blanchett
    6. Jennifer Lawrence
    7. Helen Mirren
    8. Kate Winslet
    9. Hilary Swank
    10. Halle Berry & Reese Witherspoon
    11. Sandra Bullock
    12. Natalie Portman

  2. This is a no brainer: Marion’s Edith Piaf stands as the best performance on screen from the last two decades at least. It was a transcendent performance.

  3. 1. Marion Cotillard 2. Cate Blanchett 3. Natalie Portman 4. Helen Mirren 5. Kate Winslet 6. Charlize Theron 7. Nicole Kidman 8. Jennifer Lawrence 9. Meryl Streep 10. Hilary Swank 11. Reese Witherspoon 12. Halle Berry 13. Sandra Bullock

  4. Got to go with Meryl. The Iron Lady may have not been a great movie, but she was still absolutely fantastic. Cate Blanchett not far behind though.

  5. I thought Meryl was dull in The Iron Lady, a movie so lifeless and boring I confess to having turned it off at the 1 hour mark. The Oscar should have gone to Viola Davis in The Help for sure. I also think Carey Mulligan deserved to win for An Education over Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side. As much as I loved Hilary Swank and Cate Blanchett in their movies, Jennifer Lawrence was the one that captured my heart w/ her many-layered portrayal of a bipolar widow in David O. Russell’s instant classic, Silver Linings Playbook. 🙂

  6. Theres no way Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook was better than Charlize Theron in Monster Marion Cotillard in La Vie en Rose and Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine. She’s right after Sandra Bullock and Reese Witherspoon as on of the worst winning performance. Meryl Streep in the Iron LAdy is not the best performance, she had to fight really hard with Viola Davis to get that Oscar. People need to start voting with a little bit more sense and not out of fanaticism.

  7. Marion Cotillard. Absolutely. This was a performance beyond any words. Just true art, true actress, true talent. Also I wanna note Natalie Portman with “Black Swan”, Meryl Streep with “The Iron Lady” and Cate Blanchett with “Blue Jasmine”. All of this was totally great performances, one of the greatest.

  8. Marion Cotillard’s performance was beyond amazing – she totally disappears into Edith Piaf. Cate Blanchette is Aussie’s version of Meryl Streep – they are unable to give a poor performance. Of course much belongs to the screenwriter & director. Charlize was amazing – a once in a lifetime opportunity for her. As for Sandra Bullock & Reese Witherspoon, that’s about on par with Ms. Paltrow winning … eh! Nicole Kidman totally disappeared into her role but the movie was a bit of a bore, despite all the heavy-weights. Hillary is over-rated. Helen Mirren is Britain’s Meryl – always fun to watch, but can be annoying at times. Natalie Portman seems to know all the right people – ho-hummm. Kate W. – it depends on the role. And Jennifer is way too young to stand the test of time but she is a contender for the next generation. Remember, don’t expect the Oscars to be fair. There’s politics in Tinseltown too.

  9. Let’s stop pretending any performance is better than Charlize Theron’s performance in Monster. Yes, Streep fans, I did just say that.

  10. I have to agree with Anon, Charlize Theron in Monster is clearly the best performance not only by an actress but of the decade, Roger Ebert said it. “The best performance in the history of cinema”

  11. Jennifer Lawrence is a terrific actress…natural with incredible instincts and should definitely have won for Winter’s Bone. So very glad she won for Silver Linings Playbook for her performance as Tiffany Max
    Well.

  12. Meryl Streep and Viola Davis both deserved it, so I didn’t care if either one won. But Charlize Theron was the best out of any of them, sorry. Cate Blanchett’s was sort of deserved but overrated, Jennifer Lawrence’s was probably the most undeserving along with Sandra Bullock and Reese Witherspoon.

  13. Charlize Theron in Monster the best actress Oscar winner. Those who really know about great performance agree that Jennifer Lawrence performance was worst than Sandra Bullock in the Blind Side.

  14. This poll is not necessary. Who doesn’t know Charlize Theron in Monster is the best performance. She took acting to a different level that’s why you see all actors now trying to loose or gain weight for a specific role. They all got inspired from her portrayal. even though she’s really underrated and doesn’t get as much opportunities to play great roles like Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain. She will always be remembered as the best performance in the history of cinema.

  15. Marion Cotillard is not the first French to win a best actress oscar. Simone Signoret won in 1959 for Room at the Top. One could also note that Claudette Colbert (It Happened One Night 1934?) was born a French citizen. What is true is that Ms Cotillard was the first actress to win an academy award for a French speaking film.

  16. Oh come on, now, let’s be honest, shall we? Anyone who has seen “La vie en rose” and really knows about acting knows for sure that not only the best female performance at The Oscars since 2001 but also the best female performance of all time is undoubtedly the one of the great Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf. I sincerely believe that with her unmatched work in this fim she truly pushed acting to another level. Watching her transform into the legendary Edith Piaf is like an otherwordly experience. She inhabits her character so completely it ends up extremely scary. And I’d suggest pretty dangerous on her behalf as well. It doesn’t feel like a performance at all. You find yourself thinking you’re watching the most crucial parts of Edith Piaf’s tormented existence unfolding in front of your eyes. No-holds-barred, Cotillard dares to abandon herself into her role in a way no actress in the history of cinema can claim she did. Body and soul, she gives her all. It’s a marvel to watch, an unforgettable tour de force, a performance for the ages. There has never been an actor or actress who have immersed themselves to a character so fully. Cate Blanchett’s performance in Blue Jasmine though isn’t far behind. They can take her turn in Woody Allen’s brilliant film and show it to every aspiring actor every day! A true acting masterclass. And of course Charlize Theron is incredible in Monster. Acting at its best.

  17. Cate Blanchett is the best of the whole bunch of them. None of these can touch her. A couple of actresses on this list are always waaay over-rated, won’t name them though…

  18. Always like comparing apples and oranges. Every one of those years winners have their merit or their place in Oscar canon. Many of their co-nominees were perhaps even better performances but only one can win that year. So if these were the chosen winners by their peers for these past 13 winners, I will list my favorite 5 (as that what Oscar nominates in every acting category every year for performances): 5. Helen Mirren – The Queen 4. Kate Winslet – The Reader 3. Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady 2. Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine 1. Charlize Theron – Monster (still remains the most transformative and scary performance among all her peers and for the sheer dedication and audacity of her commitment to portray this character in all its complexities and honesty. A performances for the Ages.

  19. Charlize Theron in Monster is the best performance, those who don’t agree, go to youtube and watch the film again. Her performance wasn’t just a performance but an embodiment. How come Jennifer Lawrence has 11.7% of the votes, what a joke, she should have 1 or 2% of the votes. Many people agree she’s one of the most underserving ones.

  20. Jennifer Lawrence is the best of them all, considering the age difference (less experience) and the fact that she never took an acting lesson. Her performance as Tiffany is one of the rawest and greatest performances I’ve ever seen.

  21. People who say that Jennifer Lawrence was undeserving of the Oscar are out of their minds. I would like to remember everyone that she was only 22 when she won. Personally I think she is the best. Just give her time for God’s sake…Stop hating for no reason.

  22. It goes like this: 1- Charlize Theron in Monster, 2- Marion Cotillard in La Vie en Rose, 3- Cate Blanchett In Blue Jasmine, 4- Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby, 5- Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady, 6-Helen Mirren in The Queen, 7- Kate Winslet in The Reader, 8- Halle Berry in Monster’s Ball, 9- Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook, 10- Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side, 11- Reese Witherspoon in Walk the Line.

  23. 6- Natalie Portman in Black Swan, 7- Helen Mirren in The Queen, 8- Kate Winslet in the Reader, 9- Halle Berry in Monster’s Ball, 10- Nicole Kidman in The Hours, 11- Jennifer Lawrence In Silver Lings Playbook, 12- Sandra Bullock in the Blind Side, 13- Reese Witherspoon in Walk the line.

  24. Meryl Streep is obviously the best actress, no the best WOMAN to ever walk the face of the Earth and if you say something different, you’re really just lying to yourself. And if you say Jennifer Lawrence is the next Meryl Streep, you’re out of your mind. Yes, Jen is a great actress. But nobody, and I mean NOBODY is ever going to replace Meryl Streep as the Queen of Everything.

  25. Streep is the best overall, but Mirren’s “The Queen” is the best of the last 13 years (along with Streep’s “Devil”).

  26. Jennifer Lawrence is the best. She has a long career ahead of her and I can’t wait to see her breaking all records (I beat Meryl…).

  27. These lists are really silly because so many elements go into an Oscar win. Some Academy members just vote for those whose careers have made the most money; others “just like” the person and so vote for her. But as to those whose work will last forever, there are two — Streep and Cotillard. They are both pure artists, not movie stars, who are moved by passion to occupy someone else’s life for a time. Then they show us that life and we are moved, entertained and educated by the film. Congratulations to AMPAS for having the good sense to nominate Cotillard this year.

  28. Marion and Charlize’s performance should be in all-time top-5/ top-10 list. They are in a class of their own. Cate and Natalie’s performance are not far behind.

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