The 95th Academy Awards Race: Best Supporting Actor

| March 2, 2023

The Nominees are . . . 
• Brendan Gleeson in The Banshees of Inisherin
• Brian Tyree Henry in Causeway
• Judd Hirsch in The Fabelman
• Barry Keoghan in The Banshees of Inisherin
• Ke Huy Quan in Everything Everywhere All At Once

The veteran among this year’s Best Supporting Actor nominees is Judd Hirsch who got his only nomination in this same category back in 1981 for Ordinary People (which he lost to co-star Timothy Hutton).  His nomination as Boris Podgorny, granduncle and a former film worker and circus lion tamer to the film’s protagonist in Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans was a surprise.  He occupied the space that was thought that everyone though would be taken up by Paul Dano who played the family patriarch in the same film.

At any rate, Hirsch’s chances to win are slim to none, as is the case with three other of his fellow nominees: Brenden Gleeson who played the frustrated musician Colm Doherty who cuts his best mate out of his life in order to create a legacy of music that will succeed him in death in The Banshees of Inisherin; Brian Tyree Henry whose who could speak volumes with just an eyeroll in the tiny indie Causeway, playing James Aucoin, a man haunted by a traffic accident that took more than just his leg; and Barry Keoghan plays Dominic Kearney, the beaten-down policeman’s son in The Banshees of Inisherin

But . . . .

In this whole award season there hasn’t been a single nominee that seems so so assured to win an Oscar as former child actor Ke Huy Quan.  His is the comeback story of the year, having made his mark on cinema history with roles in Goonies, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom he retired from acting in 2002 but came back this year and rode a wave of praise for his performance as Waymond Wang, the meek goofball husband to Michelle Yeoh’s Evenlyn in Everything Everywhere All At Once.  Quan has a unique challenge.  He has to center his character but also play all of the variations of Waymond from different multiverses.  This requires him to often change mood and character in the same scene. 

Best Supporting Actor is not a place where surprises usually happen, and it’s probably a dumb move to bet against Quan.  So, no dark horse here.  It’s his contest to lose.

The Winner: Ke Huy Quan in Everything Everywhere All At Once
The Dark Horse: None

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.