2016 was a very strong year for female performances, with many fantastic performances from actresses known for their beauty. With a very crowded Oscar field this year, we are highlighting some of the best performances from beautiful women in 2016.

Natalie Portman – “Jackie”


Already a Best Actress winner for “Black Swan,” Natalie Portman is receiving raves for her performance as First Lady Jackie Kennedy dealing with life after the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy. Regarding Portman’s performance, Kenneth Turan, film critic for the Los Angeles Times said it was “utterly convincing without being an impersonation.” If positive reception like that continues, Portman might be looking at Oscar number two.

Jennifer Lawrence – “Passengers”


Even though it hasn’t been released in theaters yet, Jennifer Lawrence and and Chris Pratt star in “Passengers,” billed as one of the best sci-fi films of 2016. Lawrence’s beauty shines in the movie, which is similar to a “Titanic” storyline when it comes to the love plotline. Her and Chris Pratt reportedly worked well together on screen, showing great on-camera chemistry. J-Law is one of the most gorgeous actresses in Hollywood, as we are blessed to get to watch her on the silver screen in the last days of 2016.

Naomi Harris – “Moonlight”


Naomie Harris has been an asset in a variety of films over the years, from “28 Days Later” to “Skyfall.” Her performance as a drug-addicted mother in Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight” has received raves. As the only actor to appear in all three chapters of the film, which chronicles its subject from adolescence to adulthood, Harris contributes to some of the most emotional moments in a very somber film. It’s a powerful performance, and we’re lucky she didn’t turn it down.

Michelle Williams – “Manchester by the Sea”

Manchester by the Sea (screengrab from EW.com Exclusive clip)

“Manchester by the Sea” is a film all about mistakes and regrets that can burden our lives. It is not an easy watch but any means, but it is powerful due to the strength of its cast. Michelle Williams gives one of the most emotional performances of the year as the ex-wife of Casey Affleck, trying to cope after a tragedy. Though her screen time is relatively limited, Williams nonetheless packs her scenes with immense depth and feelings.

 Amy Adams – “Arrival”

Amy Adams (right) as Louise Banks in ARRIVAL by Paramount Pictures

Amy Adams has been nominated for an acting Oscar on five previous occasions, without any wins. Her acclaimed performance in Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi drama “Arrival” might just change that. Lawrence Toppman, film critic for the Charlotte Observer, wrote “Adams gives her best performance as a lonely woman who has to make a decision that will haunt her – though perhaps in a good way – for the rest of her life.” With Adams having gained a great reputation as an actress with a wide range over the last decade, “Arrival” confirms the strength of her abilities.

Follow James Messer on Twitter @jmesser99