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‘Women Talking’ Shakes Up the Best Supporting Actress Race

The conversation around Best Supporting Actress has turned to theorizing which woman from "Women Talking" could win the Oscar.

Women Talking

“Women Talking”


This article contains IndieWire’s preliminary Best Supporting Actress predictions for the 2023 Oscars. We regularly update our predictions throughout awards season, and republish previous versions (like this one) for readers to track changes in how the Oscar race has changed. For the latest update on the frontrunners for the 95th Academy Awards, see our 2023 Oscars predictions hub.

Nominations voting is from January 12-17, 2023, with official Oscar nominations announced January 24, 2023. Final voting is March 2-7, 2023. And 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. We update predictions through awards season, so keep checking IndieWire for all our 2023 Oscar picks.

The State of the Race

The Best Supporting Actress race just experienced the biggest sea change of any acting race this year with the premiere of Sarah Polley’s “Women Talking” at Telluride. The ensemble drama that has casually been called “12 Angry Women” has performances that could fill all five Best Supporting Actress race. That will never happen given the competition of the category — but it truly seems like the only question now is whether the momentum will fall to Claire Foy, who plays the fiercely protective mother in the group of women deciding whether or not to leave their Mennonite colony full of male sexual predators, or Jessie Buckley, who plays the perceived contrarian of the juridical gathering.

Rooney Mara is excellent in the film as well, but would likely be pushed to Best Actress if the cast does not all decide to enter into the supporting categories. (When “Spotlight,” a mostly male ensemble, submitted its entire cast in the supporting categories, only Mark Ruffalo got nominated for Best Supporting Actor).

Also out of the Venice and Telluride were the premieres of “TÁR” and “The Banshees of Inisherin.” The former, an epic two hour and 38 minute drama about a pioneering female composer, has put Nina Hoss — as the faithful wife to Blanchett’s genius character — as a frontrunner for a Best Supporting Actress nomination. While she is not as known stateside, the German star of “Phoenix” and “Barbara” has a passionate cult following with international cinephiles. “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” breakout Noémie Merlant may make the cut for this category too, as Lydia Tár’s ambitious assistant, depending on how rapturous a response “TÁR” gets when it goes wide. The latter, “The Banshees of Inisherin,” has Kerry Condon playing the bold, bookish sister taking care of Colin Farrell’s character. After the film’s 13-minute standing ovation in Venice, many pointed to the Irish actress specifically as a worthy Oscar contender.

Bardo: False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths (2022). (L-R) Daniel GimÈnez Cacho as Silverio and Ximena Lamadrid as Camila. Cr. Limbo Films, S. De R.L. de C.V. Courtesy of Netflix

Bardo: False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths (2022). (L-R) Daniel Giménez Cacho as Silverio and Ximena Lamadrid as Camila.

© Limbo Films, S. De R.L. de C.

It should be said as well that there were plenty of fans for Anne Hathaway’s work in “Armageddon Time” and Ximena Lamadrid’s work in “Bardo” coming out of Telluride—they both clearly improve upon their respective films—but neither has enough screen time to really nail why they should win Best Supporting Actress the way other contenders do.

There is still much left to see, from Michelle Williams in “The Fabelmans,” to the women of “She Said,” but the one early year Best Supporting Actress candidate still standing tall is Jamie Lee Curtis, hot dog fingers and all, stumping for “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

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

Jessie Buckley (“Women Talking”)
Kerry Condon (“The Banshees of Inisherin”)
Jamie Lee Curtis (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”)
Claire Foy (“Women Talking”)
Nina Hoss (“TÁR”)

Patricia Clarkson (“She Said”)
Laura Dern (“The Son”)
Anne Hathaway (“Armageddon Time”)
Stephanie Hsu (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”)
Vanessa Kirby (“The Son”)
Ximena Lamadrid (“Bardo”)
Rooney Mara (“Women Talking”)
Sheila McCarthy (“Women Talking”)
Noémie Merlant (“TÁR”)
Michelle Williams (“The Fabelmans”)

Long Shots:
Gillian Anderson (“The Pale Blue Eye”)
Hong Chau (“The Whale”)
Zoe Kravitz (“The Batman”)
Lashana Lynch (“The Woman King”)
Samantha Morton (“She Said,” “The Whale”)
Julianne Nicholson (“Blonde”)
Zoe Saldana (“Amsterdam,” “Avatar: The Way of Water”)
Griselda Sicillani (“Bardo”)
Jean Smart (“Babylon”)
Kristen Stewart (“Crimes of the Future”)
Anya Taylor-Joy (“Amsterdam,” “The Menu”)
Olivia Wilde (“Babylon”)
Kate Winslet (“Avatar: The Way of Water”)

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