2023 Oscars: Best Supporting Actress Predictions

We will update all our Oscar predictions throughout the season, so keep checking IndieWire for the latest news from the 2023 Oscar race. The nomination round of voting will take place from January 12 to January 17, 2023, with the official Oscar nominations announced on January 24, 2023. The final voting is between March 2 and 7, 2023. Finally, the 95th Oscars telecast will be broadcast on Sunday, March 12 and air live on ABC at 8:00 p.m. ET/ 5:00 p.m. PT.

See our previous thoughts for what to expect at the 95th Academy Awards here.

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The State of the Race

While 2022 is shaping up to be a banner year for films with all-female ensembles, it has turned the Best Supporting Actress race into a rollercoaster ride.

The biggest of these projects is “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” which recently had the highest-grossing November opening weekend of all time. Though co-stars Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira more than hold their own, Angela Bassett is the most commanding as mourning Queen Ramonda. A Black Hollywood icon, who nearly won Best Actress in 1994 for playing Tina Turner in “What’s Love Got to Do With It, Bassett has been doing a full awards push with multiple magazine covers, post-screening Q+As, etc., and the work seems to have paid off. She was one of the most popular attendees in a room full of Oscar voters at this year’s star-studded Governors Awards.

Yet to be released, but sure to dominate all conversations about Best Supporting Actress is Sara Polley’s “Women Talking,” a harrowing drama about a group of Mennonite women figuring out what to do about the men terrorizing their colony. While Polley assembled an extraordinary ensemble of film stars (Rooney Mara, Frances McDormand), theater veterans (Judith Ivey and Sheila McCarthy), and newcomers to argue the merits of staying or leaving the colony, where sexual abuse is rampant, two actresses break out of the pack and look most likely to land slots: recent Irish nominee Jessie Buckley (“The Lost Daughter”) and never-nominated Claire Foy (“The Crown”).

Another bustling ensemble contining to build popularity with the actors branch: “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” Indie Spirit nominee and never-nominated Jamie Lee Curtis could land a spot for her rollicking comedy turn, while less-known Stephanie Hsu delivers both dramatic and comedic colors opposite Michelle Yeoh as her mother, who is in a heated race for Best Actress with Cate Blanchett (“TÁR”).

“The Banshees of Inisherin” - Credit: Jonathan Hession/Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures
“The Banshees of Inisherin” - Credit: Jonathan Hession/Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures

Jonathan Hession/Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures

Meanwhile, quietly building steam are “The Banshees of Inisherin” star Kerry Condon and “The Whale” star Hong Chau, who act opposite Best Actor frontrunners Colin Farrell and Brendan Fraser, respectively. Though “Banshees” may sell itself as a two-hander between its male leads, Condon’s Siobhan serves as the conscience of the film, making filmmaker Martin McDonagh’s poetic writing sing even in the moments where we hear only her voiceover.

Chau too plays a moral figure who hammers home the most relatable, affecting aspect of “The Whale”: trying to save someone who does not want to be saved. Having come extremely close to a Best Supporting Actress nomination before with her breakout role in the 2017 film “Downsizing,” Chau has only won more favor with audiences in recent years on projects like “Watchmen” and this year’s “The Menu.” Now may finally be her time.

However, the Best Supporting Actress race is not short of more contenders that could break in. Spirit nominee Nina Hoss (“TÁR”), Dolly De Leon (“Triangle of Sadness”), and Thuso Mbedu (“The Woman King”) are examples that come from well-reviewed projects that have seen box office success. Plus “Avatar: The Way of Water” is on its way, once again featuring Zoe Saldana as a Na’vi leader, so there could be another push for more recognition for motion capture performances.

Contenders are listed in alphabetical order, below. No actor will be deemed a frontrunner until we have seen the film.

Frontrunners:
Angela Bassett (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”)
Jessie Buckley (“Women Talking”)
Hong Chau (“The Whale”)
Kerry Condon (“The Banshees of Inisherin”)
Stephanie Hsu (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”)

Contenders:
Jamie Lee Curtis (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”)
Dolly De Leon (“Triangle of Sadness”)
Clarie Foy (“Women Talking”)
Nina Hoss (“TÁR”)
Thuso Mbedu (“The Woman King”)
Janelle Monáe (“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”)
Carey Mulligan (“She Said”)
Gabrielle Union (“The Inspection”)

Long Shots:
Laura Dern (“The Son”)
Anne Hathaway (“Armageddon Time”)
Judith Ivey (“Women Talking”)
Sophie Kauer (“TÁR”)
Ximena Lamadrid (“Bardo”)
Lashana Lynch (“The Woman King”)
Sheila McCarthy (“Women Talking”)
Noémie Merlant (“TÁR”)
Zoe Saldana (“Avatar: The Way of Water”)
Jean Smart (“Babylon”)
Kate Winslet (“Avatar: The Way of Water”)

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