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So, I Watched All Of The Best Actress Nominees With My Mom, And We Agree On Who Should Win

"She owns this part." –My mom

My family loves movies. So this year, my mother and I decided to watch all of the women nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress and score them.

Here's a couple facts about us to give you a sense of who you're dealing with:

My mom, Nancy, is an acrylic painter, a redhead ("because 'ginger' is a rhizome"), and she cannot ski ("snow ski, I can water ski").

I, Hope, have cried watching every animated movie I've ever seen, I'm scared of spiders big enough to feel like they have thoughts, and I once shouted at Kate Middleton that she looked "SOOOOOO CUTE!!!!" in her fancy gown.

Here are our Best Actress thoughts and scores.

Viola Davis as Ma Rainey in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Viola Davis smiling in "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom"
Netflix

Viola Davis plays "Mother of the Blues" Ma Rainey during a tumultuous recording session in 1927.

Our scores for Viola Davis as Best Actress:

Viola Davis looking upset in the back of a car in "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom"
Netflix

Nancy: She owns this part. The whole movie is in her eyes. Score: 10/10

Hope: Fucking outstanding. Score: 10/10

Andra Day as Billie Holiday in The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Andra Day standing in front of a microphone in "The United States Versus Billie Holiday"
Lee Daniels Entertainment

Andra Day plays singer Billie Holiday as she grapples with addiction and the FBI's attempts to destroy her because of her song "Strange Fruit."

Our scores for Andra Day as Best Actress:

Andra Day in court in "The United States Versus Billie Holiday"
Lee Daniels Entertainment

Nancy: It’s been nearly 50 years since Diana Ross was also nominated for Best Actress for this same role. Andra Day does an even better job. She carries the movie. Score: 9/10

Hope: She was very, very good, but I won’t remember her performance forever. The singing was wild, though. So good. Score: 8.5/10

Vanessa Kirby as Martha in Pieces of a Woman

Vanessa Kirby crying in "Pieces of a Woman"
Netflix

Vanessa Kirby plays a bereaved mother lost in grief after a tragic home birth. Shia LaBeouf plays her husband.

Our scores for Vanessa Kirby as Best Actress:

Vanessa Kirby crying in "Pieces of a Woman"
Netflix

Nancy: I loved her in The Crown, and she does a fine job here, but I’m not transported. Score: 7.5/10

Hope: I can’t imagine anyone doing a better job, but something’s keeping me from ranking her performance super, super high. The labor scene was out-of-this-world good, though. Score: 7/10

Frances McDormand as Fern in Nomadland

Frances McDormand smiling in "Nomadland"
Cor Cordium Productions

Frances McDormand plays a woman living in her van and traveling throughout the United States as a "nomad."

Our scores for Frances McDormand as Best Actress:

Frances McDormand waving goodbye to an RV in "Nomadland"
Cor Cordium Productions

Nancy: McDormand is, as always, incredible. Score: 8/10

Hope: Faultless, but not more than that. Score: 8/10

Carey Mulligan as Cassandra in Promising Young Woman

Carey Mulligan standing in front a wall that makes her look like a Madonna painting in "Promising Young Woman"
Focus Features

Carey Mulligan plays an ex–med student seeking revenge on her best friend's rapist and everyone who failed to hold him accountable.

Our scores for Carey Mulligan as Best Actress:

Carey Mulligan smiling in "Promising Young Woman"
Focus Features

Nancy: Carey Mulligan is a tremendous actress, but this part did not give her much more than surly grievance. The character is the same in every scene. Score: 7/10

Hope: She nailed being reserved and broken while also being in control the entire time. Score: 8.5/10

So here are our rankings and winners for Best Actress:

Nancy:


1. Viola Davis in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom: 10/10 **WINNER**
2. Andra Day in The United States vs. Billie Holiday: 9/10
3. Frances McDormand in Nomadland: 8/10
4. Vanessa Kirby in Pieces of a Woman: 7.5/10
5. Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman: 7/10

Hope:


1. Viola Davis in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom: 10/10 **WINNER**
2. Andra Day in The United States vs. Billie Holiday: 8.5/10
3. Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman: 8.5/10
4. Frances McDormand in Nomadland: 8/10
5. Vanessa Kirby in Pieces of a Woman: 7/10

The Oscars are this Sunday, April 25, at 8 p.m. on ABC!

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