2009 – Mo’Nique (Precious)
Precious, is a drama film, directed and co-produced by Lee Daniels. The script was written by Geoffrey S. Fletcher, adapted from the 1996 novel Push by Sapphire. The film stars Gabourey Sidibe, Mo’Nique, Paula Patton, and Mariah Carey. This film marked the acting debut of Sidibe who portrays a young woman struggling against poverty and abuse.
2010 – Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
The Fighter is about the lives of professional boxer Micky Ward (Wahlberg) and his older half-brother Dicky Eklund (Bale). Adams plays Micky’s girlfriend Charlene Fleming, and Melissa Leo portrays Micky and Dicky’s mother, Alice Eklund-Ward. The film was inspired by the 1996 documentary that features the Eklund-Ward family, titled High on Crack Street: Lost Lives in Lowell.
2011 – Octavia Spencer (The Help)
The Help recounts the story of young white woman and aspiring journalist Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan. The story focuses on her relationship with two black maids, Aibileen Clark and Minny Jackson, during the Civil Rights Movement in 1963 Jackson, Mississippi. In an attempt to become a legitimate journalist and writer, Skeeter decides to write a book from the point of view of the maids, exposing the racism they are faced with as they work for white families.
2012 – Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables)
Les Misérables takes place in France during the early 19th century and tells the story of Jean Valjean who, while being hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert after breaking parole, agrees to care for a factory worker’s daughter. The story reaches resolution against the background of the June Rebellion. Anne Hathaway plays Fantine, the mother of Cosette and a struggling factory worker, who resorts to prostitution.
2013 – Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
12 Years a Slave is a 2013 biographical period drama film and an adaptation of the 1853 slave memoir Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup, a New York State-born free African-American man who was kidnapped in Washington, D.C. by two conmen in 1841 and sold into slavery. Northup was put to work on plantations in the state of Louisiana for 12 years before being released.
2014 – Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
Boyhood depicts the childhood and adolescence of Mason Evans Jr. (Ellar Coltrane) from ages six to eighteen as he grows up in Texas with divorced parents (Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke). Richard Linklater’s daughter Lorelei plays Mason’s sister, Samantha.
2015 – Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)
The Danish Girl is film based on the 2000 novel of the same name by David Ebershoff, and loosely inspired by the lives of Danish painters Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. The film stars Eddie Redmayne as Elbe, one of the first known recipients of sex reassignment surgery, Alicia Vikander as Wegener, and Sebastian Koch as Kurt Warnekros, with Ben Whishaw, Amber Heard, and Matthias Schoenaerts in supporting roles.