Many expected Meryl Streep, whose interpretation of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady was impressive, to grab the coveted statuette.
Streep is the actress with the most nominations at the Oscars, having scored 17 until now, and she’s also not new to winning an Oscar as she did so twice before: in 1979, for Kramer vs. Kramer, and again in 1982 for Sophie’s Choice
Viola Davis was also convincing in her role as an African American housemaid in 1962, which has brought her a Critics’ Choice Award.
Michelle Williams managed to catch critics’ eyes with her interpretation of the troubled star in My Week with Marilyn, despite the lack of enthusiasm for the film’s plot.
Glenn Close stole the show as Albert Nobbs, a woman disguised as a man in late-19th-century Ireland. The actress has previously won three Tonys, three Emmys, two Golden Globes, and received six Oscar nominations.
The youngest in the group, Rooney Mara, brilliantly portrayed hacker heroine Lisbeth Salander in the Hollywood remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The 26-year-old previously starred in a remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street and played Erica in The Social Network.