Reese Witherspoon (Wild)
Reese Witherspoon has always been a great actress, with one Academy Award already on her mantle. The reason I had to give her Best Actress this year is because this was the first time I truly felt she disappeared into a role, even more so than June Carter. What’s even more impressive is she didn’t have the benefit of a ton of make up like a Jared Leto, or the significant weight loss of a Matthew McConaughey. She plays an average looking hiker who’s pretty damn angry with her life. It’s a simple story, and Witherspoon just runs with it. As gripping as her character is on screen, I was even more impressed with the delivery of her voiceovers. No matter how you slice it, this is a Tom Hanks/Cast Away level of performance, and one deserving of an Oscar.
- Jessica Chastain (The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby)
- Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything)
- Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-Part I)
- Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)