Best Actress
Julie Christie
Julie Christie (Away From Her) 

Screen icon Julie Christie rose to fame in the 1960s with starring roles in Doctor Zhivago, Far From the Madding Crowd and Darling, for which she won her first Academy Award®. While her last major film role was her Oscar-nominated turn in 1997's Afterglow, Julie has taken on smaller roles in the recent box office hits Finding Neverland and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

In January, Julie won her first Golden Globe® for her moving performance in Away From Her, a film based on Alice Munro's short story "The Bear Came Over the Mountain." She plays a woman with Alzheimer's disease who moves to a nursing home despite her husband's misgivings.
Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth: The Golden Age) 

Aussie actress Cate Blanchett has become a staple at awards shows. She was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar® in 1999 for her portrayal of Elizabeth I in Elizabeth and in 2005 she won her first golden statuette for her spot-on performance as screen legend Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator. Last year, Cate got her third nod for her role as a teacher who has an affair with a student in Notes on a Scandal.

This year, Cate becomes the 11th actor to be nominated for two acting awards in the same year—Best Actress for her work in Elizabeth: The Golden Age and Best Supporting Actress for her depiction of Bob Dylan in I'm Not There.

In Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Cate reprises her role as Elizabeth I, this time as the queen faces threats to her throne and her country. The performance also earned Cate a Golden Globe® nomination.
Marion Cotillard
Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose) 

After a decade thrilling French audiences with her powerful performances, Marion Cotillard made a name for herself in Hollywood with a role in 2003's Big Fish. In this year's French language biopic La Vie En Rose, Marion plays one of France's most popular entertainers, singer Edith Piaf.

Marion's transformation into the legendary performer—from her teen years spent begging on the street to her final days as a morphine addict—has earned her critical raves and a Golden Globe® win. This is her first Academy Award® nomination.
Laura Linney
Laura Linney (The Savages) 

In the 15 years since Emmy® award winner Laura Linney made a name for herself in film, she has built a résumé that includes Love Actually, The Squid and the Whale and The Nanny Diaries. Laura has twice been nominated for Academy Awards®, first for her performance as a single mother in You Can Count on Me and then for her portrayal of Clara McMillen, the wife of famed sex researcher Alfred Kinsey in Kinsey.

Her role in The Savages marks Laura's third Oscar nomination. In the film, she plays Wendy Savage, a woman who drifts increasingly far from her family until she and her brother are forced to move home to care for their aging father.
Ellen Page
Ellen Page (Juno) 

Canadian actress Ellen Page has been described as a "phenom waiting to happen." Though critics have had their eye on Ellen since her role in the 2005 film Hard Candy, it's her portrayal of Juno McGuff, an outspoken and quirky pregnant teenager who decides to give her baby up for adoption, that will forever be remembered as her breakout role.

Aside from receiving her first Academy Award® nomination for Juno, Ellen was also nominated for a Golden Globe®, an Independent Spirit Award® and a Screen Actors Guild Award®.