Sandra Hüller’s Oscar Nomination Marks a Breakthrough for German Actresses

Sandra Hüller's Oscar Nomination Marks a Breakthrough for German Actresses

The long-time festival darling from Germany is now among the elite few, being only the third ever German actress to receive a nomination.

It’s safe to say that the Oscars are in alignment with The Hollywood Reporter’s opinion: Sandra Hüller is a shining star. The German actress graced the cover of THR’s Toronto Film Festival edition, bearing the title “Actress of the Year?” This recognition was well-deserved, as Hüller delivered two remarkable performances in cinema in 2023: portraying a suspected writer turned murderer in the mystifying thriller Anatomy of a Fall, and a reprehensible Nazi in Jonathan Glazer’s Holocaust masterpiece, The Zone of Interest.

Hüller’s name was announced among the nominees for the coveted title of best actress at the 2024 Oscars on Tuesday. Her exceptional performance in Anatomy of a Fall captured the attention of the Academy, earning the film not only a nomination for best picture, but also recognition for its outstanding director in the same category. This marks a remarkable achievement for both Anatomy of a Fall and its director, The Zone of Interest, as they have been recognized as top contenders in the highly competitive Oscar race.

Hüller’s riveting portrayal of Sandra Voyter in Anatomy has critics and audiences alike mesmerized. As a renowned German novelist settled in the picturesque French Alps, Sandra’s idyllic life is suddenly upended when her husband, the lesser-known French writer Samuel Maleski (played by Samuel Theis), is found dead. With her performance labeled as “sensational” by THR, Hüller deftly weaves an enigmatic air around Sandra, leaving viewers guessing her culpability until the very last moment and beyond.

Last year’s European Film Awards recognized Hüller with the coveted best actress award for her powerful performance in Anatomy of a Fall. She also received nominations for best actress at both the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs, further solidifying her stunning talent.

The recent Oscar nomination has marked a historic moment for this German actress. She joins the ranks of only two other German actresses who have previously been nominated for the prestigious Academy Award for Best Actress. This feat has not been achieved since the iconic Luise Rainer, who famously won not one, but two consecutive best actress Oscars in 1936 and 1937. This actress’s nomination solidifies her place as a trailblazer in German cinema.