Will Michelle Yeoh and Jamie Lee Curtis Win Oscars After SAG Awards?4 min read
“Everything Everywhere All at Once,” the most-nominated film at the Oscars, won the most SAG Awards of all time, with four. Final voting begins Thursday, March 2, and it’s no longer a question of whether the A24 sci-fi comedy will win Best Picture but how many statues it will take home.
Michelle Yeoh is the first Asian woman to win a leading actress film award. Seeing her emotions hold her back was heartwarming and long 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 be as flamboyant or memorable as we’d like, especially for someone competing with Cate Blanchett, after winning BAFTAs, Critics’ Choice and Globes for “Her.” However, her co-star James Wong may have brought it home for Yeo with his rousing speech during acceptance for the cast ensemble.
The 94-year-old veteran actor reminded the room (and the industry) of racist treatment of people of color and struggles to develop an industry that has yet to see leading East Asian actors win Oscars and other accolades. Add Wong’s spot-on critique of “The Good Earth” (1937), and it may be fresh in voters’ minds as they fill out their ballots.
Can Yeh make up enough ground to beat Blanchett, who previously won two Academy Awards for “The Aviator” (2004) and “Blue Jasmine” (2013)? Estimates are too close to call.
I’ve long believed “Everything Everywhere” winning Best Picture and Director would be what Yeh needed to win the Best Actress Oscar. However, it turns out the key to winning (pun intended) was his co-star Jamie Lee Curtis (and James Hong) along.
Curtis, a former SAG nominee for “True Lies” (1994), in which she was joined by her mother, Janet Leigh, was Yeh’s most spirited cheerleader during the episode’s two terms. The spirited championing of 64-year-old veteran Best BAFTA winner Kerry Condon (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) and CCA and Globes recipient Angela Bassett (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”) benefited from her own campaign at SAG.
A win seemed inevitable for Bassett in the early days of the season. Now, with his movie missing a Best Picture nom in partnership with the genre’s bias for superhero movies, the category has become even more fluid, and Bassett’s potential Oscar moment could be in jeopardy.
For Condon, whose movie holds the record for the most losses in SAG history for five films, he emerges as the best shot for “Banshees” to win some Oscars. A victory for him is also possible, as Bassett and Curtis could split the “elderly” vote, leaving Condon, who is likely to get a majority of the international population, in the middle.
As for supporting actor Kay Hui Kwan, the first Asian male to win an individual SAG film award, he’s locked and loaded for the Academy. Emotional, grateful and joyful in a comeback we don’t often see, even after 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 movies 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 Strait. Neither film won Best Picture.
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s Multiverse Sensation is a small engine that could be after its March 2022 debut at the South by Southwest festival. At Saturday’s WGA Awards (where “Banshees” was not nominated due to ineligibility), it’ll be the first film since “Argo” (2012) to top the major guilds. However, Ben Affleck’s thriller won the BAFTA and Globes, with “Everything Everywhere” losing to Netflix’s “Oll Quiet on the Western Front” and Searchlight’s “Banshees,” respectively.
As for Best Actor, Brendan Fraser’s golden moment for “The Whale” is hard to ignore and almost impossible not to root against. Yet, like Bassett, his film was not nominated for Best Picture. There hasn’t been a non-picture winner in the lead actor category 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” isn’t entirely out of the question.
But will all these tears translate to victory at the 95th Oscars? The year of “Parasite” (2019) is the year of the last awards with a perfect match with the acting and top categories of the Oscars. Before that “Birdman” (2014). In fact, it’s also the first year since the 2002-2003 season that no acting winner has swept all four televised award shows: Critics’ Choice, Globes, SAG and BAFTA.
We will see which group the academy favors. Voting started on Thursday and will end on Tuesday, March 7.
To see ranked predictions for each individual category, see of diversity Oscar Hub.