Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead

The Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead is one of the annual Independent Spirit Awards.

With two wins, Frances McDormand and Julianne Moore are the most awarded females in this category, while with 4 nominations Michelle Williams is the most nominated female in this category.

Notes

Winners and nominees

1980s

Year Actress Film Role
1985Geraldine PageThe Trip to BountifulCarrie Watts
Rosanna ArquetteAfter HoursMarcy Franklin
Laura DernSmooth TalkConnie Wyatt
Lori SingerTrouble in MindGeorgia
1986Isabella RosselliniBlue VelvetDorothy Vallens
Elpidia CarrilloSalvadorMaría
Patricia CharbonneauDesert HeartsCay Rivvers
Laura DernBlue VelvetSandy Williams
Tracy Camilla JohnsShe's Gotta Have ItNola Darling
1987Sally KirklandAnnaAnna
Lillian GishThe Whales of AugustSarah Webber
Debra SandlundTough Guys Don't DancePatty Lareine
Louise SmithWorking GirlsMolly
Joanne WoodwardThe Glass MenagerieAmanda Wingfield
1988Jodie FosterFive CornersLinda
Ricki LakeHairsprayTracy Turnblad
Nobu McCarthyThe WashMasi Matsumoto
Julia RobertsMystic PizzaDaisy Arujo
Meg RyanPromised LandBev Sykes
1989Andie MacDowellSex, Lies, and VideotapeAnn Bishop Mullany
Youki KudohMystery TrainMitsuko
Kelly LynchDrugstore CowboyDianne
Winona RyderHeathersVeronica Sawyer
Annabella SciorraTrue LoveDonna

1990s

Year Actress Film Role
1990Anjelica HustonThe GriftersLilly Dillon
Mary AliceTo Sleep with AngerSuzie
Eszter BalintBail JumperElaine
Carolyn FarinaMetropolitanAudrey Rouget
Joanne WoodwardMr. and Mrs. BridgeIndia Bridge ‡
1991Judy DavisImpromptuGeorge Sand / Aurora
Patsy KensitTwenty-OneKatie
Mimi RogersThe RaptureSharon
Lili TaylorBright AngelLucy
Lily TomlinThe Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the UniverseVarious Characters
1992Fairuza BalkGas Food LodgingShade
Edie FalcoLaws of GravityDenise
Catherine KeenerJohnny SuedeYvonne
Sheryl LeeTwin Peaks: Fire Walk with MeLaura Palmer
Cynda WilliamsOne False MoveLila "Fantasia" Walker
1993Ashley JuddRuby in ParadiseRuby Lee Gissing
Suzy Amis CameronThe Ballad of Little JoJosephine "Jo" Monaghan
May ChinThe Wedding BanquetWei-Wei
Ariyan A. JohnsonJust Another Girl on the I.R.T.Chantel Mitchell
Emma ThompsonMuch Ado About NothingBeatrice
1994Linda FiorentinoThe Last SeductionBridget Gregory / Wendy Kroy
Jennifer Jason LeighMrs. Parker and the Vicious CircleDorothy Parker
Karen SillasWhat Happened Was...Jackie Marsh
Lauren VélezI Like It Like ThatLisette Linares
Jacklyn WuEat Drink Man WomanJia-Chien
1995Elisabeth ShueLeaving Las VegasSera
Jennifer Jason LeighGeorgiaSadie Flood
Elina LöwensohnNadjaNadja
Julianne MooreSafeCarol White
Lili TaylorThe AddictionKathleen Conklin
1996Frances McDormandFargoMarge Gunderson
María Conchita AlonsoCaughtBetty
Scarlett JohanssonManny & LoManny
Catherine KeenerWalking and TalkingAmelia
Renée ZellwegerThe Whole Wide WorldNovalyne Price
1997Julie ChristieAfterglowPhyllis Mann
Stacy EdwardsIn the Company of MenChristine
Alison FollandAll Over MeClaude
Lisa HarrowSundayMadeleine Vesey
Robin WrightLovedHedda Amerson
1998Ally SheedyHigh ArtLucy Berliner
Katrin CartlidgeClaire DolanClaire Dolan
Christina RicciThe Opposite of SexDede Truitt
Robin TunneyNiagara, NiagaraMarcy
Alfre WoodardDown in the DeltaLoretta Sinclair
1999Hilary SwankBoys Don't CryBrandon Teena
Diane LaneA Walk on the MoonPearl Kantrowitz
Janet McTeerTumbleweedsMary Jo Walker ‡
Susan TraylorValerie FlakeValerie Flake
Reese WitherspoonElectionTracy Flick

2000s

Year Actress Film Role
2000Ellen BurstynRequiem for a DreamSara Goldfarb
Joan AllenThe ContenderLaine Hanson ‡
Sanaa LathanLove & BasketballMonica Wright
Laura LinneyYou Can Count On MeSamantha "Sammy" Prescott ‡
Kelly MacdonaldTwo Family HouseMary O'Neary
2001Sissy SpacekIn the BedroomRuth Fowler
Kim DickensThings Behind the SunSherry
Molly ParkerThe Center of the WorldFlorence
Tilda SwintonThe Deep EndMargaret Hall
Kerry WashingtonLiftNiecy
2002Julianne MooreFar from HeavenCathy Whitaker
Jennifer AnistonThe Good GirlJustine Last
Maggie GyllenhaalSecretaryLee Holloway
Catherine KeenerLovely & AmazingMichelle Marks
Parker PoseyPersonal VelocityGreta Herskowitz
2003Charlize TheronMonsterAileen Wuornos
Agnes BrucknerBlue CarMegan Denning
Zooey DeschanelAll the Real GirlsNoel
Samantha MortonIn AmericaSarah ‡
Elisabeth MossVirginJessie Reynolds
2004Catalina Sandino MorenoMaria Full of GraceMaría Álvarez
Kimberly EliseWoman Thou Art LoosedMichelle Jordan
Vera FarmigaDown to the BoneIrene Morrison
Judy MarteOn the OutsOz
Kyra SedgwickCavedwellerDelia Byrd
2005Felicity HuffmanTransamericaBree
Dina KorzunForty Shades of BlueLaura
Laura LinneyThe Squid and the WhaleJoan Berkman
S. Epatha MerkersonLackawanna BluesRachel "Nanny" Crosby
Cyndi WilliamsRoomJulia Barker
2006Shareeka EppsHalf NelsonDrey
Catherine O'HaraFor Your ConsiderationMarilyn Hack
Elizabeth ReaserSweet LandYoung Inge
Michelle WilliamsLand of PlentyLana
Robin WrightSorry, HatersPhoebe Torrence
2007Ellen PageJunoJuno MacGuff
Angelina JolieA Mighty HeartMariane Pearl
Sienna MillerInterviewKatya
Parker PoseyBroken EnglishNora Wilder
Tang WeiLust, CautionWong Chia Chi / Mak Tai Tai
2008Melissa LeoFrozen RiverRay Eddy
Summer BishilTowelheadJasira Maroun
Anne HathawayRachel Getting MarriedKym Buchman ‡
Tarra RiggsBallastMarlee
Michelle WilliamsWendy and LucyWendy Carroll
2009Gabourey SidibePreciousClaireece "Precious" Jones
Maria BelloDownloading NancyNancy Stockwell
Nisreen FaourAmreekaMuna Farah
Helen MirrenThe Last StationSophia Tolstaya
Gwyneth PaltrowTwo LoversMichelle Rausch

2010s

Year Actress Film Role
2010Natalie PortmanBlack SwanNina Sayers
Annette BeningThe Kids Are All RightNicole "Nic" Allgood ‡
Greta GerwigGreenbergFlorence Marr
Nicole KidmanRabbit HoleBecca Corbett ‡
Jennifer LawrenceWinter's BoneRee Dolly ‡
Michelle WilliamsBlue ValentineCindy Heller ‡
2011Michelle WilliamsMy Week with MarilynMarilyn Monroe
Lauren AmbroseAbout SunnyAngela
Rachael HarrisNatural SelectionLinda White
Adepero OduyePariahAlike
Elizabeth OlsenMartha Marcy May MarleneMartha
2012Jennifer LawrenceSilver Linings PlaybookTiffany Maxwell
Linda CardelliniReturnKelli
Emayatzy CorinealdiMiddle of NowhereRuby
Quvenzhané WallisBeasts of the Southern WildHushpuppy ‡
Mary Elizabeth WinsteadSmashedKate Hannah
2013Cate BlanchettBlue JasmineJeanette "Jasmine" Francis
Julie DelpyBefore MidnightCéline Wallace
Gaby HoffmannCrystal FairyCrystal Fairy
Brie LarsonShort Term 12Grace Howard
Shailene WoodleyThe Spectacular NowAimee Finecky
2014Julianne MooreStill AliceDr. Alice Howland
Marion CotillardThe ImmigrantEwa Cybulska
Rinko KikuchiKumiko: The Treasure HunterKumiko
Jenny SlateObvious ChildDonna Stern
Tilda SwintonOnly Lovers Left AliveEve
2015Brie LarsonRoomJoy "Ma" Newsome
Cate BlanchettCarolCarol Aird ‡
Rooney MaraTherese Belivet ‡
Bel PowleyThe Diary of a Teenage GirlMinnie Goetze
Kitana Kiki RodriguezTangerineSin-Dee Rella
2016Isabelle HuppertElleMichèle Leblanc
Annette Bening20th Century WomenDorothea Fields
Sasha LaneAmerican HoneyStar
Ruth NeggaLovingMildred Loving
Natalie PortmanJackieJacqueline Kennedy Onassis
2017Frances McDormandThree Billboards Outside Ebbing, MissouriMildred Hayes
Salma HayekBeatriz at DinnerBeatriz
Margot RobbieI, TonyaTonya Harding
Saoirse RonanLady BirdChristine "Lady Bird" McPherson ‡
Shinobu TerajimaOh Lucy!Setsuko Kawashima / Lucy
Regina WilliamsLife and Nothing MoreRegina
2018Glenn CloseThe WifeJoan Castleman ‡
Toni ColletteHereditaryAnnie Graham
Elsie FisherEighth GradeKayla Day
Regina HallSupport the GirlsLisa Conroy
Helena HowardMadeline's MadelineMadeline
Carey MulliganWildlifeJeanette Brinson
2019Karen AllenColewellNora Pancowski
Hong ChauDrivewaysKathy
Elisabeth MossHer SmellBecky Something
Mary Kay PlaceDianeDiane
Alfre WoodardClemencyWarden Bernadine Williams
Renée ZellwegerJudyJudy Garland

Multiple nominees

Multiple winners

2 wins

See also

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