5. Diahann Carroll in "Claudine"
- She rationalizes her character constantly, playing on sympathy, as well as tough cliches, but for some reason her performance still comes off as being good and well-played.
4. Valerie Perrine in "Lenny"
- She has a rather short part, but she tears it up perhaps more then she didn't even need too. It's a terrific performance that delivers more then expected.
3. Faye Dunaway in "Chinatown"
- A classic performance that lives up to it's reputation, she is just as good as Jack Nicholson, and delivers the film-noirish lines of the script with mellow ease and poise. A magnificent performance.
2. Gena Rowlands in "A Woman Under The Influence"
- Another nearly legendary performance that lives up to it's title - Rowlands is a force on-screen that cannot be stopped. Her performance can seem prickly at times, but it all makes sense in the big picture.
1. Ellen Burstyn in "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore"
- It's just a masterpiece of acting; the way Burstyn herself thinks, inhabits, and becomes the character fully makes this an incredibly wonderful performance to watch over and over again.
Honorable Omissions: Divine in "Female Trouble".