Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett (I'm Not There) 

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 the Bob Dylan biopic I'm Not There, Cate is one of six people—and the only woman!—to play the music legend, each in a different phase of his life. Her uncanny portrayal depicts the singer during the tumultuous mid-1960s and won her a Golden Globe®.
Ruby Dee

Ruby Dee (American Gangster) 

Legendary actress Ruby Dee has been starring in films—including Raisin in the Sun and Do the Right Thing— for more than 60 years. Her long list of accolades includes an Emmy® win and a Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award®. Now at age 83, she has earned her first Oscar® nomination.

In American Gangster, Ruby plays Mama Lucas, the mother of Harlem drug lord Frank Lucas. Though her screen time is short—only about 10 minutes—her performance was memorable enough for the Academy to take notice.
Saoirse Ronan

Saoirse Ronan (Atonement) 

With her Oscar-nominated performance as Atonement's Briony Tallis—a young girl who falsely accuses her sister's lover of a crime—13-year-old Saoirse Ronan became the fresh-face-to-watch on the film scene. Expect to see a lot of the Irish actress in the coming year—in 2008, she will star in three films, including the film version of Alice Sebold's best-selling novel The Lovely Bones.
Amy Ryan

Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone) 

Amy Ryan had a breakout year in 2007—she hit the big screen in Dan in Real Life, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead and Gone Baby Gone. Amy began her career as a stage actress, earning Tony Award® nominations for her performances in Uncle Vanya and A Streetcar Named Desire. She also appeared in the second season of the critically-acclaimed HBO series The Wire before her film career took off.

In Gone Baby Gone, Amy plays a drug-addicted single mother in Boston who hires two private investigators after her 4-year-old daughter is abducted. This is her first Oscar® nomination.
Tilda Swinton

Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton) 

After two decades spent focusing on mostly arthouse films, celebrated British actress Tilda Swinton has mesmerized audiences in recent mainstream movies, including The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Thumbsucker and The Deep End, for which she received a Golden Globe® nomination.

In Michael Clayton, Tilda plays a morally corrupt chief counsel for a agrichemical giant whose entire career rests on the successful settlement of a class-action lawsuit. The role earned Tilda her first Oscar® nod.