The 95th Academy Awards Race: Best Supporting Actress

| February 28, 2023

The Nominees are . . .
• Angela Bassett in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
• Hong Chau in The Whale
• Kerry Condon in The Banshees of Inisherin
• Jamie Lee Curtin in Everything Everywhere All At Once
• Stephanie Hsu in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Angela Bassett got her last (and only) Oscar nomination 19 years ago for her dynamic performance as Tina Turner in What’s Love Got To Do With It and her skill as an actress has never come down.  This year she is the only returning nominee, and is the very first actor to ever be nominated for a Marvel movie.  She plays the part of Ramonda, the Queen Mother of Wakanda with the kind of regal strength usually reserved for actresses playing British royalty.  Bassett has been at the top of a category that has, to this point, been very hard to predict.  Though, now things are complicated.  Yes, she won the Golden Globe, but she lost the Screen Actor’s Guild Award, an award that is voted on by the same body of actors who vote for the Oscar.

That award went to Jamie Lee Curtis as surly IRS inspector Deirdre Beaubeirdre in Everything Everywhere All At Once.  She’s in a crowd of new kids, though it’s hard to call Curtis a new kid since she’s been acting since Halloween back in ’78.  Her fellows in this category include Kerry Condon as Siobhán Súilleabháin, the long-suffering sister of Colin Farrell in The Banshees of Inisherin; Hong Chau as the best friend and caretaker to a 600-pound online English professor; and Stephanie Hsu as Joy Wang, a nice college kid who becomes an omnicidal maniac bent on destroying the world.

All are magnificent, but the race really comes down to Bassett and Curtis.  Both are beloved by the industry, but Curtis has been a staple for four decades and the voters love to reward a veteran, especially to one who is generally as gracious as she has been.  The clincher is the SAG award.  This is Curtis’ race to lose.

The Winner: Jamie Lee Curtis in Everything Everywhere All At Once
Dark Horse: Angela Bassett in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

About the Author:

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