HOLLYWOOD—We’re about 5 weeks away from what I like to call the end of Awards Season with the Academy Awards or as many of us call it: The Oscars! It is the pinnacle of awards people being it is perhaps the biggest accolade you can receive in the entertainment industry. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to look at the Big Six as I like to call it: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor.
This week we’re going to look at Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress (you can read all about it in another column). However, this column is all about Best Supporting Actor, and I will just say this America, this will be an easy one to predict. Your nominees are: Brendan Gleeson “The Banshees of Inisherin,” Brian Tyree Henry “Causeway,” Judd Hirisch “The Fabelmans,” Barry Keoghan “The Banshees of Inisherin” and Ke Huy Quan “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”
I can tell you now who is going to win, but what fun would that be without analyzing the candidates and their respective roles. Let us begin with the two co-stars in “The Banshees of Inisherin.” Look, I have seen the dark comedy and it is not everyone’s cup of tea, two besties soon become ex-besties and a lot of weird things happens as a result. It’s grounded in the Irish culture so some of the jokes and the narrative in the film not everyone will understand, and it is not the movie you think it is.
Gleeson has a bigger presence in the movie than his co-star Keoghan, but Keoghan has way more heart in my opinion and is a bigger scene stealer. It’s a likely chance both nominees cancel one another out, but I would give a bigger edge to Keoghan personally because his character has scene stealing moments that are memorable.
Then you have Hirsch who I still cannot believe earned a nomination for his very limited role in “The Fabelmans.” He portrays a kooky character and I didn’t think he was a scene stealer, but apparently members of the Academy thought otherwise. I thought Paul Dano should have earned the nomination over his co-star, but it didn’t happen. His chances of winning are slim and if he did win I would be literally speechless.
That leaves us with two people left to chat about, dark horse Brian Tyree Henry and favorite Ke Huy Quan. Look, I did not see “Causeway,” I don’t think most Americans even heard of the picture before last week because it was a small movie on Apple TV and there was buzz for Henry who plays a man grieving the loss of his nephew. Anytime a person is nominated for an Oscar especially in a competitive race where no one expected it that is always a good sign. Why? There are people behind backing the actor and that is potential momentum in the long run. Does he have a chance? Everyone does, but for him to win, that momentum would have to be gargantuan compared to Quan.
Why? Ke Huy Quan has dominated this awards season picking up almost every big award up to this point for his performance in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” He won the Golden Globe, he won the Critic’s Choice Awards, he is likely to win the Screen Actors Guild Award and that is a major predictor of where Oscar is headed. In addition, he has a great comeback story of being a child actor from the 80s, who left the industry only to return and has this performance that everyone has been talking about. If Ke Huy Quan doesn’t win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor it could be one of the biggest upsets I can recall at the ceremony in quite some time.
Think Mark Rylance winning for “Bridge of Spies” over Sylvester Stallone for “Creed” or perhaps Christoph Waltz “Django Unchained” over Tommy Lee Jones “Lincoln.” Does it seem likely in 2023? No, but if there is any category that delivers those surprises it tends to be Best Supporting Actor, with Best Supporting Actress right behind.