God as my witness, these are the most acclaimed actresses on the planet.
8. Jane Fonda in "Klute" (1971) and "Coming Home" (1978)
Jane Fonda's performance in "Klute" is both effective in its monotone candor and psychological rawness; her work in "Coming Home" culminates with some memorable vulnerability. But something is off with these wins, and I couldn't put my finger on it until now: Jane Fonda is much better in two other films for which she was nominated, "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" and "Julia." "Horses" gives you the acidic fatalism of "Klute" without the goofy mystery element, and as Lillian Hellman in "Julia" she commands so much more authority as she mulls over her strange friendship with Julia (Vanessa Redgrave) than in "Coming Home" when she's connecting with Jon Voight. But Fonda ranks highly here for simply blazing the trail for fantastic female performances of the '70s. The acting revolution that began with Marlon Brando and James Dean did not have many female counterparts in the early '50s; it took the strident, blistering work of people like Fonda, Faye Dunaway, and Ellen Burstyn to even the score.