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2013 movies The Best Actress Performances of 2013  

Ranker Film
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List of the best actress performances of 2013, as ranked by film critics and movie lovers. Female actors are often overlooked when it comes to the many amazing film performances throughout the years. When it comes to actresses, the most successful ones are usually more known for what they wear on the red carpet than what they did to get there. However, during award season that all changes. Actresses who have poured their heart and soul into a gorgeous, breathtaking performance finally get the recognition they deserve for their hard work.

The actresses on this list gave some of the most emotionally honest and stunning performances of 2013. These performances will be remembered long after most movies have been forgotten. Sandra Bullock recently single handedly carried Gravity in an intense performance. Well known critically acclaimed actresses like Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, and Judi Dench also gave beloved performances. Meanwhile, newer actresses like Brie Larson and Lupita Nyong’o gave mind-blowing performances with less renown.

What are the best actress performances of 2013? Whether they’ve been working in the business for decades or are just starting out, the women on this list more than proved their worth in the entertainment business with their performances this year. 

list ordered by

116 53
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Jennifer Lawrence - American Hustle The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1, X-Men: First Class

60 31
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Meryl Streep - August: Osage County The Deer Hunter, Out of Africa, Kramer vs. Kramer

78 48
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SlashLover added Jennifer Lawrence - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

66 42
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Cate Blanchett - Blue Jasmine The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

65 44
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Amy Adams - American Hustle Man of Steel, Catch Me If You Can, Enchanted

67 48
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Sandra Bullock - Gravity The Blind Side, Gravity, Crash

42 27
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Judi Dench - Philomena Casino Royale, Skyfall, Shakespeare in Love

44 32
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Emma Thompson - Saving Mr. Banks Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Brave

38 28
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Lupita Nyong'o - 12 Years a Slave

32 29
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Kate Winslet - Labor Day Titanic, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Finding Neverland

20 16
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Adèle Exarchopoulos - Blue is the Warmest Color Blue Is the Warmest Colour, Carré blanc, Les enfants de Timpelbach

26 24
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MichaelOberg added Jennifer Garner - Dallas Buyers Club Juno, Pearl Harbor, Daredevil

26 25
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Julia Roberts - August: Osage County Pretty Woman, Ocean's Eleven, Hook

21 21
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Shailene Woodley - The Spectacular Now The Descendants, Divergent, The Fault in Our Stars

The Greatest Actress Performances of All Time

15 16
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Marion Cotillard - Blood Ties The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, Big Fish

16 18
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Jessica Chastain - The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, Interstellar, The Help

14 17
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Brie Larson - Short Term 12 21 Jump Street, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, 13 Going on 30

13 16
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MichaelOberg added June Squibb - Nebraska Scent of a Woman, Meet Joe Black, The Age of Innocence

14 18
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MichaelOberg added Sarah Paulson - 12 Years a Slave 12 Years a Slave, Serenity, What Women Want

20 26
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Naomi Watts - Diana King Kong, The Ring, Mulholland Drive

11 16
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MichaelOberg added Margo Martindale - August: Osage County Million Dollar Baby, The Rocketeer, The Firm

The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

18 26
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Nicole Kidman - Stoker Batman Forever, Eyes Wide Shut, Moulin Rouge!

8 13
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Felicity Jones - The Invisible Woman The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Theory of Everything, Like Crazy

13 20
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MichaelOberg added Sally Hawkins - Blue Jasmine Godzilla, An Education, Layer Cake

16 25
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wiabux added Rooney Mara - Side Effects

13 21
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Angela Bassett - Black Nativity Boyz n the Hood, Green Lantern, Malcolm X

10 20
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Sophie Nelisse - The Book Thief The Book Thief, Monsieur Lazhar, Pawn Sacrifice

9 20
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Julie Delpy - Before Midnight The Three Musketeers, Before Sunrise, But I'm a Cheerleader

8 20
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Rooney Mara - Ain't Them Bodies Saints The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, A Nightmare on Elm Street

8 21
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MichaelOberg added Oprah Winfrey - The Butler The Princess and the Frog, The Color Purple, Ocean's Thirteen

5 19
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Greta Gerwig - Frances Ha No Strings Attached, Arthur, Greenberg

4 18
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Paulina Garcia - Gloria Cachimba, Gloria, El 10

4 18
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Bérénice Bejo - The Past The Artist, A Knight's Tale, OSS 117: Cairo