Since the turn of the century a whopping 28 performers have taken home Oscars in the four acting races: Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor. This decade’s recipients have ranged from repeat winners like Meryl Streep and Daniel Day-Lewis earning their third trophies, to recently anointed first-timers Emma Stone (“La La Land”), Casey Affleck (“Manchester By the Sea”), Viola Davis (“Fences”) and Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”).
Of all of the acting champs of the 2010s, who are your favorites? Check out our writer Kevin Jacobsen‘s analysis of each acting race below, and then be sure to click each link to cast YOUR vote in that specific Oscar poll.
The decade began with Natalie Portman winning for her very physical performance in “Black Swan,” then Meryl Streep took home her third Oscar for “The Iron Lady.” Jennifer Lawrence became the second youngest Best Actress winner for her performance in “Silver Linings Playbook,” and Cate Blanchett nabbed her first lead acting Oscar for “Blue Jasmine.” Julianne Moore was finally rewarded for “Still Alice” after years of nominations and losses, while Brie Larson prevailed on her very first nomination for “Room.” Finally, Emma Stone became the latest Best Actress winner this year for her role in the beloved musical “La La Land.”
The 2010s have seen overdue actors finally earning their Oscars, like Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Revenant”) and Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”), while others took home Oscar glory on their first nominations, like Jean Dujardin (“The Artist”), Matthew McConaughey (“Dallas Buyers Club”) and Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”). This decade also saw Daniel Day-Lewis (“Lincoln”) become just the sixth performer to win three Oscars for acting. Then there’s reigning champ Casey Affleck (“Manchester by the Sea”), who joined brother Ben Affleck in becoming one of the only pairs of siblings to win Oscars.
Best Supporting Actress has gone to both veterans who have been in the business for a long time and newcomers who are just getting started. Veterans who finally found the perfect role include Patricia Arquette (“Boyhood”), Viola Davis (“Fences”), Anne Hathaway (“Les Miserables”), Melissa Leo (“The Fighter”) and Octavia Spencer (“The Help”). Meanwhile, newcomers such as Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave”) and Alicia Vikander (“The Danish Girl”) proved they were capable of greatness from the jump and were lucky enough to be rewarded in kind.
One theme present throughout the Supporting Actor winners is overdue factor. Actors like Christian Bale (“The Fighter”), J.K. Simmons (“Whiplash”) and Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”) all prevailed after years of impressive work but no Oscar recognition. The ultimate definition of overdue was Christopher Plummer (“Beginners”), who finally took home an Oscar after being in Hollywood since the 1950s. Other winners included Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club”) and Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”), who, like Plummer, each won for sympathetic performances in LGBT-themed films. Finally, on the other side of the fence there’s Christoph Waltz (“Django Unchained”), who earned his second Oscar in four years, in another Quentin Tarantino film.
Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23.