The 2023 Oscars have nominated Angela Bassett for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Angela Basset is nominated opposite Hollywood titan Jamie Lee Curtis and rising star Hong Chau, as well as Kerry Condon, and Stephanie Hsu. This marks Bassett’s second Oscar nomination since her first in 1994 and indicates a step in the right direction for the Academy Awards.
2023 has seen Oscar nominations including Everything Everywhere All At Once, and more than one superhero movie: areas that have historically been snubbed. After growing calls to acknowledge the diverse talent Hollywood has to offer, the Oscars have begun to commend the work from traditionally marginalized communities. While Bassett’s 2023 Oscar nomination is well-deserved, it simply is not enough and her eclectic career has deserved much more recognition.
Angela Bassett’s First Oscar Nomination Explained
In 1994, Angela Bassett was nominated for her first Oscar for her portrayal of Tina Turner in What’s Love Got To Do with It. While she didn’t take home the award that night, she has since become a household name and was soon on the radar of the Hollywood elites. The movie co-starred Laurence Fishburne, six years before his role as Morpheus in The Matrix, and saw him also nominated for his first Academy Award that year as well. New milestones reached or not, Bassett’s career after portraying famed singer Tina Turner may have been successful, but before 2023, she had not been recognized again by the Academy despite her various Oscar-worthy roles.
Why Angela Bassett’s 2023 Oscar Nomination is Not Enough
In 1995, Bassett starred opposite Ralph Fiennes in the mind-bending sci-fi drama, Strange Days. While the movie gained some strong critical acclaim and has gained a cult following since its release, it was snubbed by the Academy and received no nominations whatsoever. Bassett’s performance was nuanced (to say the least), and she brought a strong female presence to the forefront of the film, owning the screen anytime she graced it. Angela Bassett should clearly have been nominated for Oscar for her part in Strange Days. Bassett went on to star in some impressive roles in movies like Contact, opposite Jodie Foster, and The Score, opposite Robert De Niro. Bassett also starred alongside Eddie Murphy in the Box Office bomb, Vampire in Brooklyn.
While many comedy actors are praised for their dramatic turns when they go against type, it doesn’t always work the other way around. The movie was a dud with critics and this could potentially be the reason Bassett was snubbed in the upcoming years despite dishing out some impressive, sizable roles. Vampire in Brooklyn may have very well led Bassett on a path of comedies, in turn losing her respect from the Academy. Along with action movies and superhero movies, comedies have rarely faired well with the hard-to-please voters at the prestigious Oscars. While the odd comedy like As Good as it Gets and Tootsie slip through the cracks occasionally, many others don’t get that same shot. Despite Bassett’s many memorable roles in Hollywood, the Oscars have consistently ignored her work. While it is great that Angela Bassett has been recognized by the Oscars once again for the first time in nearly 30 years, it doesn’t make up for the three decades she was ignored for.
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