Can Angela Bassett win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” despite losing both major industry precursors (BAFTA and SAG)? It’s not impossible. Just ask Regina King.
For her role in “If Beale Street Could Talk” (2018) as a mother fighting to exonerate her daughter’s lover of a crime, King won Golden Globe and Critics Choice Awards for Best Supporting Actress, so she seemed to be sitting pretty in the Oscar race. Then she wasn’t even nominated at the SAG Awards. And she wasn’t nominated at the BAFTAs either. SAG that year ended up going to Emily Blunt (“A Quiet Place”), which was a major upset since she wasn’t even nominated for the Oscar. BAFTA was awarded to Rachel Weisz (“The Favourite”), who did have an Oscar nom. But Weisz was nominated against her co-star Emma Stone, which possibly split votes, so King won the Oscar anyway.
Bassett has been on an eerily similar ride for her performance as Queen Ramonda. Like King, she won Golden Globe and Critics Choice Awards early in the season. Then she did even better by earning the nominations at the BAFTA and SAG Awards that King was denied. She lost both of those — Jamie Lee Curtis (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”) took SAG, Kerry Condon (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) took BAFTA — but just like Rachel Weisz, Curtis is nominated against another actress from her film, Stephanie Hsu, risking a potential vote split. Could Bassett come back at the Oscars too? Her film has even more total nominations than “Beale Street” had (five to three), and Bassett has an overdue narrative, having waited three decades since her last nomination for “What’s Love Got to Do With It?”
Bassett’s biggest challenge may be coming from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which many in Hollywood have criticized for gobbling up the entire movie industry over the past 15 years. But frankly, if the academy could give two actors Oscars for playing Batman’s arch-nemesis the Joker they have no business being snobbish about the MCU. Do you think Bassett still has what it takes to win the grand prize?
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