BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 25 February 2008, 02:59 GMT
Oscar nominations 2008

Profiles of the stars nominated for the Best supporting actress award at the 80th Academy Awards, held at the Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles on 24 February.


Tilda Swinton
Swinton studied English literature at Cambridge University
Age: 47

Nominated for: Michael Clayton

The character: US corporate lawyer Karen Crowder, who is so gripped by ambition and desperation that she is tempted to murder to save her career.

Previous Oscar wins: None

Previous Oscar nominations: None

Acceptance speech: "I have an American agent who is the spitting image of this [her Oscar statuette]. Really, truly, the same shaped head and, it has to be said, the buttocks. I'm going to give this to him."

She said: : "I live a soldier's life when I'm working. That's how it feels to me except I've got a slightly greater chance of survival."

The critics said: "Karen... is a pitiful creature, as unloved by her writer-director creator as by the genius actress who plays her." (New York Times)

Best frock: Blue lounge suit with open-necked shirt, worn to the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.


Ruby Dee
Dee has been acting on the big screen since the 1930s
Age: 83

Nominated for: American Gangster

The character: Mama Lucas, the mother of Harlem drug kingpin Frank Lucas, who smuggles heroin into the US on American service planes returning from the Vietnam War.

Previous Oscar wins: None

Previous Oscar nominations: None

She said: : "Something about the morality of what her son was doing began to gnaw at her consciousness, and aroused a certain kind of fear for his siblings. She felt she had to help save him so he could help save them."

The critics said: "Superb" (Rolling Stone). "Inestimable" (Hollywood Reporter)

Best frock: Flamboyant silk two-piece with gold drop earrings, worn at the world premiere of American Gangster in New York last October.


Saoirse Ronan
Ronan will star in the film adaptation of The Lovely Bones
Age: 13

Nominated for: Atonement

The character: Briony Tallis accuses her elder sister's boyfriend of a heinous crime he didn't commit.

Previous Oscar wins: None

Previous Oscar nominations: None

She said: "As soon as I started playing Briony, I got really, really close to her. I mean, I'm not a method actor at all, but I felt like I kind of became Briony in a way."

The critics said: "Ronan is the film's glory. Note to Oscar: This is acting of the highest order. Ronan simply takes your breath away." (Rolling Stone)

Best frock: Elegant black and white dress with geometric detail, worn to the Bafta tea party in Los Angeles earlier this month.


Cate Blanchett
Blanchett was born and raised in Australia
Age: 38

Nominated for: I'm Not There

The character: Jude Quinn is one of six representations of Bob Dylan at various stages of his life.

Previous Oscar wins: One (best supporting actress for The Aviator in 2005)

Previous Oscar nominations: Two

She said: : "I was terrified doing it because he and I had no interest in imitating Dylan... I play him when he went electric. Into an actor, into an 18th century poet, a 17th century poet."

The critics said: "The star of the show is undoubtedly Blanchett, who has great fun playing Dylan as a showboat who quite knowingly goes about creating his reputation for rebellious independence." (Hollywood Reporter)

Best frock: The ever-stylish Blanchett was the height of sophistication in a pale yellow Valentino gown in 2005.


Amy Ryan
Ryan has already been named best actress by Los Angeles Film Critics
Age: 39

Nominated for: : Gone Baby Gone

The character: Helene, whose young daughter goes missing.

Previous Oscar wins: None

Previous Oscar nominations: None

She said: "She is a tough character, a funny character but I think one of the really compelling things about the movie is that it shows people for who they are without really judging them."

The critics said: "Ryan leads with her jaw, and she gives her foul-mouthed lines rhythm and bite... She's viciously alive, and her wayward mother is a fresh, unprecedented creation on the screen." (The New Yorker)

Best frock: Figure-hugging silver satin gown worn to the German premiere of Gone Baby Gone.

Who should win best supporting actress?
Ruby Dee
Saoirse Ronan
Cate Blanchett
Amy Ryan
Tilda Swinton
2219 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific