The Banshees of Inisherin is a movie that I can almost guarantee will be one of the top contenders at this year’s Academy Awards. From its stellar performances to outstanding writing, this movie is a masterclass in filmmaking, and it stands a good chance of taking home multiple trophies this year. From being one of Colin Farrell’s career-best performances to showing off the genius that is a Martin McDonagh script, this movie has been on many best-of lists (including CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg’s Top Ten and ReelBlends best movies of 2022), and will it be a serious contender come Oscar night.
For that reason, here is a breakdown of the four categories The Banshees of Inisherin is the most likely to win, why they might win, and who could stand in their way.
Colin Farrell For Best Actor – Most Likely To Happen
Let’s start with this: 2022 was Colin Farrell’s year. The actor low-key dominated the 2022 movie schedule by starring in four, that’s right four, wildly different films throughout the year. Farrell wow-ed and scarred people in The Batman with his jaw-dropping transformation into the Penguin. He saved lives with Viggo Mortensen in Ron Howard’s Thirteen Lives. Meanwhile, he contemplated life and artificial intelligence in After Yang. However, The Banshees of Inisherin, where he plays a simple and kind Irish man who can’t understand why his friend doesn’t like him anymore, might be one of his best performances of not only the year but his entire career. This is just one reason why he is one of the frontrunners in this year’s Oscar race for Best Actor.
If you look at various predictions across entertainment outlets, like EW and Variety, the Best Actor race is constantly fluctuating between three actors. As it stands right now, the competition looks pretty even between Farrell, Brendan Fraser for his widely acclaimed performance in The Whale, and Austin Butler for his take on the king himself in Elvis. All three give phenomenal performances, and it will likely come down to who runs the best campaign leading up to the big night in March. Farrell has already been nominated for multiple awards including nods from the Golden Globes, Critics Choice Awards, and has a win from the National Board of Review. If he keeps up the momentum it stands to reason that he’d win his first Oscar this year.
Farrell is so incredibly charismatic himself, and this performance in Banshees is vulnerable, nuanced, hilarious and heartbreaking. Then when you consider the incredible year he’s had with three other stellar films, I think he totally has what it takes to take home a trophy on March 12.
Martin McDonagh For Best Original Screenplay – Highly Probable
I don’t know about you, but when I think of Martin McDonagh, I think of him as a writer, and a playwright, first before I think about him as a director. One of my big takeaways from Banshees was how masterful McDonagh’s dialogue is, watching this movie feels like watching an incredible yet minimal play. With that being said, when you realize just how strong the writing of this movie is, and his track record of getting nominated at the Academy Awards, it makes perfect sense that the writer/director would take home his first Oscar this year.
While McDonagh has received writing nominations for two of his movies, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and In Bruges, his competition also has quite the track record of getting writing nominations. So, while the man behind Banshees feels like the clear frontrunner he has stiff competition. He’ll likely be up against two, two-time Best Adapted Screenplay nominees Todd Field for his movie Tár and Tony Kushner (and Steven Spielberg) for The Fabelmans. It’s also worth noting that Kushner has won a Pulitzer Prize and multiple Tony Awards for his seminal work Angels in America.
So, while McDonagh is the only potential nominee with experience in the Original Screenplay category, his competition is no joke. However, I do think The Banshees of Inisherin is an extremely strong and original script unlike anything I’ve ever seen, and for that reason, I think it’s highly probable that McDonagh will win.
Kerry Condon For Best Supporting Actress – There’s A Good Chance
Kerry Condon feels like a classic choice for The Academy. In the past, the award has gone to extremely strong and independent characters who speak up for what they believe in, and don’t conform to the status quo. For example, Ariana DeBose won for her role as the headstrong and passionate Anita in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story last year. Condon plays her character in Banshees with passion and ease, and she truly holds her own against her castmates, making her one of the standouts in the film.
It’s worth mentioning that McDonagh’s actors have somewhat of a streak for taking home the Academy Award. Back in 2017, Frances McDormand won Best Lead Actress for her role in Three Billboards, I could totally see Condon doing the same this year, but in the supporting category.
I think it’s safe to assume Condon will snag a nomination, which means she’ll likely be up against Jamie Lee Curtis for her performance in Everything Everywhere All At Once, Angela Bassett for her tragically beautiful and challenging performance in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and likely some of the women from Women Talking, like Jessie Buckley. Note, that both Curtis and Bassett starred in popular and fantastical movies that don’t live in the genre of film that typically gets nominated, and because of that I’m not sure what their chances are of winning. This category is a bit more up in the air because of that, however, I feel like Condon stands a good chance of winning the trophy for her outstanding performance in Banshees.
Brendan Gleeson Or Barry Keoghan For Best Supporting Actor – It’s Not Impossible, They Have The Numbers
Just like in the last section, I’d like to take you back to 2017 one more time. For the 90th Academy Awards, McDonagh’s movie Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri received two nominations for Best Supporting Actor — Woody Harrelson was nominated, and Sam Rockwell won. I think something similar will happen this year. I assume, like in 2017, Banshees will nab two of the five slots in this category. My guess is both Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan will be nominated, which just looking a the numbers, gives the movie a 40% chance of winning, which is for sure better than the odds for any other film in this category.
When it comes to these two men in this movie, it’s like watching a masterclass in acting. Gleeson gives a frustrated yet stoic performance, one that will likely be toward the top of his best performances. While Keoghan shows off his range after giving a chilling performance in The Batman, and then re-teaming with Colin Farrell and showing off his comedic chops before absolutely flooring audiences at the end of Banshees. However, both actors’ narratives outside the movie are not as strong as some of the other contenders.
If there’s one thing the Academy loves as much as a good performance, it’s a good story. While both men are amazing, with great narratives and stellar filmographies, Ke Huy Quan has stolen the hearts of many, and he is the clear frontrunner for Best Supporting Actor. Between his incredible comeback story as well as kind and kick-ass performance in Everything Everywhere All at Once, the likelihood of Quan winning is very high. For that reason alone, it seems improbable, but not impossible for either of the actors from Banshees to win.
There’s no question that The Banshees of Inisherin will be one of the big movies to watch out for on the night of the Academy Awards. If I were a betting woman, I’d assume the film will receive at least five nominations, if not more. With that said, they stand serious chances of winning two awards, and I wouldn’t count them out of two other races just yet.