Jessica Lange, final answer.
The MARILYN MONROE GODDESS:
Jessica Lange, Tootsie Doing an eerie and utterly hypnotic interp. of Monroe circa Some Like It Hot or The Misfits! I don’t know anyone else who could’ve evoked Monroe’s melancholic effervescence so perfectly.
Jessica Lange, Blue Sky Another eerie and perfect take on Monroe, but this time circa Bus Stop and with a bit of Kim Stanley, Geraldine Page and Sandy Dennis thrown in for good measure. Oh who am I kidding, this is quintessential Lange. This role and performance are what Best Actress Oscars were made for.
Jessica Chastain did it way better on The Help
Alcoholics and Drug Addicts
The older mentor character who sometimes dies, placing the protagonist on his/her journey and allowing them to finish it.
Do the tens of other performances of Meryl Streep as a suffering foreigner not make the cut? Perhaps the genre should be Meryl Streep as foreigner. I’ve always wondered about Out of Africa, actually. Is that film not seen as a great Streep performance? In many conversations about the 1985 Oscars, Best Actress always seems to be between Geraldine Page and Whoopi Goldberg. But Out of Africa won 7(!!) Oscars. I know at that point she had two awards already, but outside of Oscars and who was in contention, didn’t she carry that film?
The French Lieutenant’s Woman
Out of Africa
The House of the Spirits
Dancing at Lughnasa
The Iron Lady