This year’s supporting actress race looked all but sealed up after, in the space of a few days, veteran actress Angela Bassett was the recipient of both the Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice award for her reprisal of the role of Queen Ramonda in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” However, the remaining two major precursor awards ceremonies went to rival contenders. Jamie Lee Curtis (“Everything Everywhere All At Once”) was anointed SAG queen and Kerry Condon (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) won at the BAFTAs.
Those split decisions mean the Best Supporting Actress race is completely up in the air. Half of our experts are still sticking with Bassett, but now eight back Curtis, and the remaining half dozen have their eyes set on Condon. Here are 5 reasons why the underdog, Kerry Condon, will come out on top this Sunday.
BAFTA is King
When acting races get close, the BAFTAs have proven to be titans in predicting the Oscar winner. This has been demonstrated in a variety of different circumstances. BAFTA champs who went on to take the Oscar in close races include Meryl Streep (“The Iron Lady”), Nicole Kidman (“Moulin Rouge”), Casey Affleck (“Manchester By The Sea”) and Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”). Examples of the BAFTA alone propelling contenders to Oscar victory in each category include Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”), Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”), Tilda Swinton (“Michael Clayton”) and Alan Arkin (“Little Miss Sunshine”).
A primary reason for this trend is the overlap in voting membership between the two academies. A large portion of BAFTA members are also part of AMPAS. The support for Condon from the British sector of AMPAS will have a seminal influence come final Oscar voting. This is how BAFTA-winning Brits like Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”) and Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”) managed to steal the Oscar from seemingly unstoppable frontrunners like Sylvester Stallone (“Creed”) and Glenn Close (“The Wife”).
She has the role
Another factor aiding Condon in this race is her significant, impactful role in “The Banshees of Inisherin.” For many, her performance stole the film. Critics have thus, rightly showered her with nearly 20 awards, more than double Curtis and Bassett’s totals combined. This can largely be attributed to her screen time. She has, by quite a large margin, the most screen time: Curtis is at 12.38%, Bassett at 13.61% and Condon at 20.32%. This gave her more material to make an impression on critics and will likely do the same for Academy voters.
The apple in a basket of oranges
She’s the only non-American nominee, which aids her in an increasingly international Academy membership. She doesn’t have a co-star nominated alongside her to compete with (Jamie Lee Curtis and Stephanie Hsu, “Everything Everywhere All At Once”), which BAFTA winner Rachel Weisz (“The Favourite”) suffered from in this very category four years ago. She’s not in an MCU film (Angela Bassett, “Wakanda Forever”), which until this season, had never gotten an acting nomination, let alone a win. She’s in a Best Picture nominee, which, since 2010, has been a feature of 10 of 13 supporting actress winners.
A win for ‘Banshees’
Finally, there is an abundance of passion for “Banshees.” The film has a whopping nine nominations but isn’t a lock to win in any of its races. Sure, these days highly nominated films aren’t guaranteed to go home with awards, a la “The Irishman” and “American Hustle.” However, there is often a reason for such broad support, and in return, a reward. Since 2000, Best Picture contenders with eight or more bids have bagged with at least one Oscar statuette 51 of 54 times (94.4%).
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