The 2023 Oscar nominees for Best Actress are Cate Blanchett (“TAR”), Ana de Armas (“Blonde”), Andrea Riseborough (“To Leslie”), Michelle Williams (“The Fabelmans”), and Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”). Our current odds indicate that Yeoh (82/25) will take the prize, followed in order by Blanchett (18/5), Williams (9/2), Riseborough (9/2), and de Armas (9/2).
Blanchett, who triumphed here in 2014 for “Blue Jasmine,” is the only past Oscar winner in this lineup. She now belongs to a group of 20 women with at least five Best Actress nominations apiece, with her previous unsuccessful bids having come for “Elizabeth” (1999), “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” (2008), and “Carol” (2016). She also has a supporting victory to her name for “The Aviator” (2005) as well as two more notices in that category for “Notes on a Scandal” (2007) and “I’m Not There” (2008). Her overall nomination total of eight is the one of the highest for an actress, behind Meryl Streep (21), Katharine Hepburn (12), and Bette Davis (10) and tied with Glenn Close, Judi Dench, and Geraldine Page.
Williams is the only other returning nominee in this group, with two previous lead bids for “Blue Valentine” (2011) and “My Week with Marilyn” (2012) and another two supporting ones for “Brokeback Mountain” (2006) and “Manchester by the Sea” (2017). As of now, she is one of 13 actresses with at least four Oscar losses and no wins. If she is unsuccessful for a fifth time, she will join a smaller group that consists of Close (eight), Amy Adams (six), Deborah Kerr (six), Thelma Ritter (six), and Irene Dunne (five).
De Armas’s mention has brought the all-time total of nominations for Latin American lead actresses to five. Having been born and raised in Cuba, she follows past contenders Fernanda Montenegro (Brazil; “Central Station,” 1999), Salma Hayek (Mexico; “Frida,” 2003), Catalina Sandino Moreno (Colombia; “Maria Full of Grace,” 2005), and Yalitza Aparicio (Mexico; “Roma,” 2019). At 34, she is the youngest of the 2023 nominees and would be the category’s youngest winner since Emma Stone (28, “La La Land,” 2017).
At 60, Yeoh is the 35th oldest woman ever nominated for this award and could become the category’s 11th oldest champion. She is only the second Asian-born actress of Asian descent to ever compete here, having been preceded by 1936 nominee Merle Oberon (“The Dark Angel”), who kept her maternal Eurasian ancestry hidden during her lifetime. Yeoh would be the first Best Actress winner of Asian descent and the second Asian-born person with Asian heritage to prevail in either lead category, after 1957 Best Actor champ Yul Brynner (“The King and I,” 1957).
The average age of this year’s leading ladies is 46, which is the seventh highest ever. This is the third consecutive lineup to be entirely made up of women over 30, as the youngest nominees in 2022 and 2021 were Kristen Stewart (31, “Spencer”) and Vanessa Kirby (32, “Pieces of a Woman), respectively. This distinction has only applied to 29% of all Best Actress rosters.
The most recent victors in this category are Jessica Chastain (“The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” 2022), Frances McDormand (“Nomadland,” 2021), Renée Zellweger (“Judy,” 2020), and Olivia Colman (“The Favourite,” 2019). This year’s winner will be revealed during the 95th Academy Awards ceremony, airing March 12 on ABC.
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