Pleeeease, no Oscars for “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (EEAaO). Except Jamie Lee Curtis. The whole movie slaps every which way but sensible. Meanwhile, Curtis anchors the story with her oddball characterization.
Once you wave off the sci-fi froth from EEAaO, this film is about a family in need of an accountant. Jamie Lee Curtis, in all her frumpy, ineffectively controlling splendor, is an accountant. She’s a kick. Quiet the Oscar buzz for EEAaO. No Oscars … except Best Supporting Actress Gold to Jamie Lee Curtis.
From a more sober perspective, Kerry Condon in “The Banshees of Inisherin” may be the better Oscar choice. Her characteri-zation focuses the theme of “nice” that helps make this film such a fresh all-around choice. That’s the essence of a supporting role.
While Condon and Barry Keoghan do heartening work supporting the feeling for rural island life, the central dynamic of two friends can find its way more readily. In a somewhat rough film depiction of a nice world, Colin Farrell’s character refers to his sister (Condon’s character) as the nicest person.
Stephanie Hsu may help siphon votes from Jamie Lee Curtis, since both ar nominated for Best Supporting Actress from the same film. Like Michelle Yeoh, EEAaO’s lead actress, Hsu is used well to advance the
screwball story, but she’s not particularly fanning any Oscar-worthy flames.
Besides Curtis and Condon, there’s one other major contender. Angela Bassett in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” She stands a deserving chance to win Gold.
Black Panther, both the 1st & the 2nd, are visual wows. For a superhero blockbuster, it’s got passable substance. The characters and culture of the story inject oomph that’s bigger than mere action. Angela Bassett contributes to all this well – a strong supporting role.
The Academy has endured and reacted to criticisms in recent years about not enough awards going to non-whites. However true the criticism is, this filter could be the voting boost Bassett needs.
More than characters in other films who might be pegged with merely being used well, Bassett’s screen chemistry stirs other characters and sears into the audience psyche.
Hong Chau in “The Whale” suffers this “merely used well” evaluation. She is quite good in her supporting role. Indeed, as a caregiver to her whale of a friend, she literally plays a supporting role. To the script’s credit her vital support is offered at modest pitch.
Black Panther is a proud Black blockbuster. EEAaO happens to tell a story about an Asian family. Jamie Lee, white and anti-cool plays an Oscar winning hand.