5 reasons why Angela Bassett will win Best Supporting Actress Oscar for ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’

Some pundits might argue Kerry Condon (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) or Jamie Lee Curtis (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”) will win Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars on Sunday night, but I believe Angela Bassett will take the gold trophy instead for her remarkable performance in Marvel’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” directed by Ryan Coogler. As the grieving Queen Ramonda, Bassett gives a powerful performance that has been singled out by many, including Kambole Campbell in Empire, who called Bassett’s performance “commanding and heartbreaking.” Bassett was an early favorite this awards season when she won Best Supporting Actress at both Golden Globes and Critics Choice. She might have lost at the BAFTA and SAG Awards, but I still think she will win the Oscar. Why? Here are the top five reasons.

1. Bassett is the only person with two major televised trophies in the category.
Condon got a big win at BAFTA, and Curtis was a surprise winner at the SAG Awards, but Bassett should still be considered the frontrunner to win the Oscar since she took both the Golden Globe and the Critics Choice Award in January. Some doubted she could win for a performance in an MCU movie, but these two victories in the same week showed that voters were taking her seriously and that she had the possibility to win at the Oscars, too. Bassett taking those two prizes also jump-started her momentum long before anyone else in the category, and her having two televised victories over Condon and Curtis’ single victories makes Bassett a major threat going into the Oscars on March 12.

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2. She currently has the same trajectory as Regina King.
Many have argued that Bassett can’t win the Oscar since she lost at both BAFTA and SAG Awards. Yes, often it’s important win at least one of these trophies to be successful on Oscar night. However, the one person in recent history we can turn to who had a similar trajectory to Bassett was King, who prevailed in 2019 for “If Beale Street Could Talk.” King won the Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award, and then she wasn’t even nominated at BAFTA (which went to Rachel Weisz for “The Favourite”) or at SAG (which went to Emily Blunt for “A Quiet Place”). These omissions didn’t hurt King at all as she went on to easily win the Oscar, beating out Weisz in the category, while Blunt was not even nominated at the Academy Awards. Bassett won the same precursor trophies as King, and she also made it into both BAFTA and SAG Awards, something King didn’t. This tells me that Bassett still has a good chance of claiming the Oscar.

3. Bassett’s Best Actress Oscar loss still stings.
Twenty-nine years ago, Bassett had a very good chance of becoming the first woman of color ever to win Best Actress at the Oscars for her astonishing performance in 1993’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It,” but she ultimately lost to Holly Hunter in “The Piano.” Many have thought throughout the years that Bassett was the most deserving figure that year in Best Actress, and thus her nomination for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” this year might be a way to right that wrong, with voters looking to finally give Bassett that overdue gold trophy. She could’ve made history in 1994, and now with Bassett in her 60s with a rich decades-long career in film and television behind her, we have found the moment for Bassett to finally make her way to the Oscar stage.

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4. “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” was nominated for five Oscars.
If the Marvel sequel had only been nominated for Best Supporting Actress and nothing else, Bassett’s chances would be slim, but the film showed up in four technical categories as well: Best Costume Design, Best Makeup & Hairstyling, Best Song (“Lift Me Up”) and Best Visual Effects. It might win for costumes, but “Elvis” looms as a major threat there, per Gold Derby odds. It’s also in second place for song, behind the overwhelming front-runner “Naatu Naatu” (“RRR”). With the movie not being a frontrunner in any of these categories, Best Supporting Actress, which has been such a chaotic category all season, might be the one place for academy voters to reward the project. And since it’s nominated in so many categories, lots of members will look at the film and Bassett’s performance, and thus may be more inclined to vote for her.

5. She is a living legend who delivers a brilliant performance.
Some might argue a win for Bassett in Best Supporting Actress this year would only be for her legacy as her actress and not as much for her performance in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” Although I agree that part of her win would be due to her loss for “What’s Love Got to Do With It” and for all the other terrific performances she’s delivered in film and television for the last thirty years, her turn in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is a worthy one, with at least two unforgettable dramatically charged monologues that has pinned audiences to their seats for months. It’s one of the clear stand-out performances in any of the MCU movies to date, and with enough academy members splitting votes between Condon and Curtis, Bassett is the likeliest contender in the Best Supporting Actress category to charge ahead to victory at the Oscars on Sunday night. As Johnny Oleksinski in The New York Post writes, “[Bassett gives] the best dramatic acting in an MCU movie so far.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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