Michelle Yeoh has High Demand, Momentum, and Positive Sentiment on her side going into the big night

10 March, 2023

Similar to what we saw in the Best Actor category, it looks like another tight race among the leading women vying for the Best Actress award, at least when it comes to who has the attention of audiences. So far this year, Ana de Armas (nominated for her role as Marilyn Monroe in Blonde) leads the field with nearly 38 times the average talent demand. Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once) is close behind her with 30.8x demand, which is well ahead of third ranked Cate Blanchett (Tár). While at first glance Ana de Armas appears to have the edge in the contest for the Academy Award for Best Actress, if we dig deeper the story is more complicated.


Ana de Armas has had the highest demand among nominees for a majority of the year to date. Both she and Michelle Yeoh saw dramatic spikes in their demand following the Golden Globes on January 10th and after the Oscars nominations were announced on January 24th. However, Michelle Yeoh has clearly used her win at the SAG Awards as a springboard to give her momentum going into the Oscars. Her history-making win at the SAG Awards and euphoric acceptance speech put her at the center of the conversation for days and set her demand on an upward trajectory that saw it more than triple from the day before her SAG win until March 5th. A late surge like this could be helpful in winning over any voting members that were on the fence until voting closed on March 7th.


One other factor where Michelle Yeoh may have a leg up on the competition is the positive sentiment audiences have for her. Michelle Yeoh has had the most positive sentiment of the Best Actress nominees so far this year. While Ana de Armas had greater demand, she was also a more divisive actress and the attention she drew was not as positive.

Notably, Andrea Riseborough was the only one of the nominees to have a net negative sentiment. The British actress caused a bit of a controversy with her nomination for her role in To Leslie after it appeared that there was a coordinated campaign by A-List actors to tip the scales in her favor, even as other favorites like Viola Davis failed to secure a nomination.


Looking at the ranking of Best Actress nominees by their sentiment may point to Michelle Yeoh’s fiercest competition in this category - the ever-formidable Cate Blanchett. Ms. Blanchett, already a two-time Oscar winner, has won critical acclaim for her role as a famous conductor in Tár. In this regard at least, the public and critics feel the same way - incredibly positive about Cate Blanchett. Will this be enough to propel her to a third Oscar win or will Michelle Yeoh’s momentum carry her across the finish line? We’ll find out on Sunday night!

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