Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead

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

Notes[edit]

Winners and nominees[edit]

1980s[edit]

Year Winner and nominees Film Role
1985 Geraldine Page The Trip to Bountiful Carrie Watts
Rosanna Arquette After Hours Marcy Franklin
Laura Dern Smooth Talk Connie Wyatt
Lori Singer Trouble in Mind Georgia
1986 Isabella Rossellini Blue Velvet Dorothy Vallens
Elpidia Carrillo Salvador María
Patricia Charbonneau Desert Hearts Cay Rivvers
Laura Dern Blue Velvet Sandy Williams
Tracy Camilla Johns She's Gotta Have It Nola Darling
1987 Sally Kirkland Anna Anna
Lillian Gish The Whales of August Sarah Webber
Debra Sandlund Tough Guys Don't Dance Patty Lareine
Louise Smith Working Girls Molly
Joanne Woodward The Glass Menagerie Amanda Wingfield
1988 Jodie Foster Five Corners Linda
Ricki Lake Hairspray Tracy Turnblad
Nobu McCarthy The Wash Masi Matsumoto
Julia Roberts Mystic Pizza Daisy Arujo
Meg Ryan Promised Land Bev Sykes
1989 Andie MacDowell Sex, Lies, and Videotape Ann Bishop Mullany
Youki Kudoh Mystery Train Mitsuko
Kelly Lynch Drugstore Cowboy Dianne
Winona Ryder Heathers Veronica Sawyer
Annabella Sciorra True Love Donna

1990s[edit]

Year Winner and nominees Film Role
1990 Anjelica Huston The Grifters Lilly Dillon
Mary Alice To Sleep with Anger Suzie
Eszter Balint Bail Jumper Elaine
Carolyn Farina Metropolitan Audrey Rouget
Joanne Woodward Mr. & Mrs. Bridge India Bridge ‡
1991 Judy Davis Impromptu George Sand / Aurora
Patsy Kensit Twenty-One Katie
Mimi Rogers The Rapture Sharon
Lili Taylor Bright Angel Lucy
Lily Tomlin The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe Various roles
1992 Fairuza Balk Gas Food Lodging Shade
Edie Falco Laws of Gravity Denise
Catherine Keener Johnny Suede Yvonne
Sheryl Lee Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me Laura Palmer
Cynda Williams One False Move Lila 'Fantasia' Walker
1993 Ashley Judd Ruby in Paradise Ruby Lee Gissing
Suzy Amis The Ballad of Little Jo Josephine 'Jo' Monaghan
May Chin The Wedding Banquet Wei-Wei
Ariyan A. Johnson Just Another Girl on the I.R.T. Chantel Mitchell
Emma Thompson Much Ado About Nothing Beatrice
1994 Linda Fiorentino The Last Seduction Bridget Gregory / Wendy Kroy
Jennifer Jason Leigh Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle Dorothy Parker
Karen Sillas What Happened Was... Jackie Marsh
Lauren Vélez I Like It Like That Lisette Linares
Chien-Lien Wu Eat Drink Man Woman Jia-Chien
1995 Elisabeth Shue Leaving Las Vegas Sera
Jennifer Jason Leigh Georgia Sadie Flood
Elina Löwensohn Nadja Nadja
Julianne Moore Safe Carol White
Lili Taylor The Addiction Kathleen Conklin
1996 Frances McDormand Fargo Marge Gunderson
María Conchita Alonso Caught Betty
Scarlett Johansson Manny & Lo Manny
Catherine Keener Walking and Talking Amelia
Renée Zellweger The Whole Wide World Novalyne Price
1997 Julie Christie Afterglow Phyllis Mann
Stacy Edwards In the Company of Men Christine
Alison Folland All Over Me Claude
Lisa Harrow Sunday Madeleine Vesey
Robin Wright Penn Loved Hedda Amerson
1998 Ally Sheedy High Art Lucy Berliner
Katrin Cartlidge Claire Dolan Claire Dolan
Christina Ricci The Opposite of Sex Dede Truitt
Robin Tunney Niagara, Niagara Marcy
Alfre Woodard Down in the Delta Loretta Sinclair
1999 Hilary Swank Boys Don't Cry Brandon Teena
Diane Lane A Walk on the Moon Pearl Kantrowitz
Janet McTeer Tumbleweeds Mary Jo Walker ‡
Susan Traylor Valerie Flake Valerie Flake
Reese Witherspoon Election Tracy Flick

2000s[edit]

Year Winner and nominees Film Role
2000 Ellen Burstyn Requiem for a Dream Sara Goldfarb
Joan Allen The Contender Laine Hanson ‡
Sanaa Lathan Love & Basketball Monica Wright
Laura Linney You Can Count on Me Samantha 'Sammy' Prescott ‡
Kelly Macdonald Two Family House Mary O'Neary
2001 Sissy Spacek In the Bedroom Ruth Fowler
Kim Dickens Things Behind the Sun Sherry
Molly Parker The Center of the World Florence
Tilda Swinton The Deep End Margaret Hall
Kerry Washington Lift Niecy
2002 Julianne Moore Far from Heaven Cathy Whitaker
Jennifer Aniston The Good Girl Justine Last
Maggie Gyllenhaal Secretary Lee Holloway
Catherine Keener Lovely & Amazing Michelle Marks
Parker Posey Personal Velocity Greta Herskowitz
2003 Charlize Theron Monster Aileen Wuornos
Agnes Bruckner Blue Car Megan Denning
Zooey Deschanel All the Real Girls Noel
Samantha Morton In America Sarah ‡
Elisabeth Moss Virgin Jessie Reynolds
2004 Catalina Sandino Moreno Maria Full of Grace María Álvarez
Kimberly Elise Woman Thou Art Loosed Michelle Jordan
Vera Farmiga Down to the Bone Irene
Judy Marte On the Outs Oz
Kyra Sedgwick Cavedweller Delia Byrd
2005 Felicity Huffman Transamerica Bree
Dina Korzun Forty Shades of Blue Laura
Laura Linney The Squid and the Whale Joan Berkman
S. Epatha Merkerson Lackawanna Blues Rachel 'Nanny' Crosby
Cyndi Williams Room Julia Barker
2006 Shareeka Epps Half Nelson Drey
Catherine O'Hara For Your Consideration Marilyn Hack
Elizabeth Reaser Sweet Land Young Inge
Michelle Williams Land of Plenty Lana
Robin Wright Penn Sorry, Haters Phoebe Torrence
2007 Ellen Page Juno Juno MacGuff
Angelina Jolie A Mighty Heart Mariane Pearl
Sienna Miller Interview Katya
Parker Posey Broken English Nora Wilder
Tang Wei Lust, Caution Wong Chia Chi / Mak Tai Tai
2008 Melissa Leo Frozen River Ray Eddy
Summer Bishil Towelhead Jasira Maroun
Anne Hathaway Rachel Getting Married Kym ‡
Tarra Riggs Ballast Marlee
Michelle Williams Wendy and Lucy Wendy Carroll
2009 Gabourey Sidibe Precious Claireece 'Precious' Jones
Maria Bello Downloading Nancy Nancy Stockwell
Nisreen Faour Amreeka Muna Farah
Helen Mirren The Last Station Sophia Tolstaya
Gwyneth Paltrow Two Lovers Michelle Rausch

2010s[edit]

Year Winner and nominees Film Role
2010 Natalie Portman Black Swan Nina Sayers / The Swan Queen
Annette Bening The Kids Are All Right Dr. Nicole "Nic" Allgood ‡
Greta Gerwig Greenberg Florence Marr
Nicole Kidman Rabbit Hole Becca Corbett ‡
Jennifer Lawrence Winter's Bone Ree Dolly ‡
Michelle Williams Blue Valentine Cindy Heller ‡
2011 Michelle Williams My Week with Marilyn Marilyn Monroe
Lauren Ambrose Think of Me Angela
Rachael Harris Natural Selection Linda
Adepero Oduye Pariah Alike
Elizabeth Olsen Martha Marcy May Marlene Martha
2012 Jennifer Lawrence Silver Linings Playbook Tiffany Maxwell
Linda Cardellini Return Kelli
Emayatzy Corinealdi Middle of Nowhere Ruby
Quvenzhané Wallis Beasts of the Southern Wild Hushpuppy ‡
Mary Elizabeth Winstead Smashed Kate Hannah
2013 Cate Blanchett Blue Jasmine Jeanette "Jasmine" Francis
Julie Delpy Before Midnight Céline
Gaby Hoffmann Crystal Fairy Crystal Fairy
Brie Larson Short Term 12 Grace
Shailene Woodley The Spectacular Now Aimee Finecky