It Become the Third Movie in History to Win Three Acting Oscars?
“Everything Everywhere All At Once,” the most nominated film at the Oscars, won the most SAG Awards ever with four. Final voting begins on Thursday, March 2, and it’s no longer a question of whether the A24 sci-fi comedy will win Best Picture, but how many statuettes it will take home.
Michelle Yeoh became the first Asian woman to win a leading film award. Seeing her emotions overcome her was touching and overdue for an actress who should have already been nominated for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000) and “Crazy Rich Asians” (2018). However, her speech may not have been as loud or memorable as we would have liked, especially for someone competing against Cate Blanchett after she won BAFTAs, Critics’ Choice and Globes for ‘Tár’. However, her co-star James Hong may have brought it home for Yeoh with his moving speech during his acceptance speech for the cast.
The 94-year-old veteran actor reminded the audience (and the industry) of the racist treatment of people of color and the struggle to evolve in an industry that has yet to see East Asian actors win top Oscars and other honors. Add in Hong’s spot-on review of “The Good Earth” (1937), and that could be fresh in voters’ minds when they fill out their ballots.
Could Yeoh make up enough ground to overtake Blanchett, who has won two previous Academy Awards for “The Aviator” (2004) and “Blue Jasmine” (2013)? Views are too close to call.
I’ve long believed that “Everything Everywhere” winning Best Picture and Best Director would be what Yeoh needed to win the Oscar for Best Actor. However, it turns out that the key (pun intended) to the win was with her co-star Jamie Lee Curtis (and James Hong) all along.
Curtis, a former SAG nominee for “True Lies” (1994), which she attended with her mother, Janet Leigh, was Yeoh’s most passionate cheerleader in this second phase. That dynamic championing benefited her own campaign, as seen by 64-year-old veteran BAFTA winner Kerry Condon (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) and CCA and Globes recipient Angela Bassett (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”) at SAG .
A win for Bassett seemed inevitable in the early days of the season. Now, with her film missing out on the best picture title, coupled with the genre’s bias against superhero films, the category has become more fluid, and Bassett’s potential Oscar moment may be in jeopardy.
For Condon, whose film set the record for the most losses for a film in SAG history with five, it emerged as the best take for “Banshees” to win anything at the Oscars. A win for her is also likely, given that Bassett and Curtis could split the “veteran” vote, allowing Condon, who likely draws a wealth of international demographics, to reach the middle.
As for supporting actor Ke Huy Quan, the first Asian man to win an individual SAG film award, he’s locked and loaded for the Academy. Touching, grateful and happy in a comeback we don’t see very often, even with a shocking loss to Barry Keoghan at the BAFTAs.
Since the 2009 expansion, no Best Picture winner has won more than six Oscars. More importantly, only two films in history have won three acting awards: “A Streetcar Named Desire” (1951) for Vivien Leigh, Karl Malden and Kim Hunter and “Network” (1976) with Peter Finch, Faye Dunaway and Beatrice Straight. Neither film won Best Picture.
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s multiverse sensation was the little machine that could since its debut at the South by Southwest Festival in March 2022. Possible winner at Saturday’s WGA Awards (where “Banshees” is not nominated due to ineligibility) , It will be the first film since “Argo” (2012) to sweep the major guilds. However, Ben Affleck’s thriller also won BAFTAs and Globes, which “Everything Everywhere” lost to Netflix’s “All Quiet on the Western Front” and Searchlight’s “Banshees” respectively.
When it comes to Best Actor, Brendan Fraser’s golden moment for “The Whale” is hard to ignore and almost impossible not to address. However, like Bassett, his film is not nominated for Best Picture. The lead actor category hasn’t seen a winner from a non-film nominee since Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart” (2009). That statistic alone keeps hope alive for Globes and BAFTA winner Austin Butler (“Elvis”). Even Colin Farrell from “Banshees” is not completely out of the question.
But will all those tearful wins translate to the 95th Oscars? The year of “Parasite” (2019) is the last awards year that matched perfectly with the acting and top category Oscars. Before that, “Birdman” (2014). In fact, this is also the first year since the 2002-2003 season that no acting winner has swept all four awards ceremonies: Critics Choice, Globes, SAG and BAFTA.
We’ll see which team the Academy favors. Voting starts on Thursday and ends on Tuesday, March 7.
To see the ranked predictions for each individual category, visit Variety Oscars Hub.