Lulu Wang’s The Farewell premiered at Sundance to outstanding reviews and already, back then, people were talking Oscar potential. The film was released in July and remains one of the most critically acclaimed movies of the year with strong specialty box office performance to back it up. And through the last few months, Awkwafina has maintained a steady presence on the award circuit, staying in the award conversation for a Best Actress Oscar nomination. She was at the Academy Governors Awards. She’s been attending the Hollywood Foreign Press Association events, she was at the AFI Contenders Roundtable the other day, on a similar campaign track as Robert Pattinson, and some might say she has a better chance than Bobby right now. 

A couple of weeks ago, Gold Derby had Awkwafina in fifth place odds in the Best Actress race behind Renee Zellweger, Charlize Theron, and Scarlett Johansson. Looks like the final two spots are between Awkwafina, Saoirse Ronan, Cynthia Erivo, Lupita Nyong’o, and Alfre Woodard. If Awkwafina makes it in, she would be the first ever East Asian nominated for Best Actress. Here’s where I hate myself a little bit – because if it were anyone else, a young breakout actress in a critically acclaimed film that was a financial success story, this would be, well, I don’t know that I’d still feel like there’s a possibility that she might not be nominated, you know? Not that it has anything to do with my ass at all but I’m preparing myself to be disappointed. Which is self-defeating but, at the same time, it’s also realistic. Equality is not a reality. At the same time, now is not the time to be a f-cking buzzkill. Like if I’m on her campaign strategy team, I’m firing myself because that is a bad work attitude. So you keep pushing. She’s out there, she’s doing the interviews, she’s showing up. Scott Feinberg at The Hollywood Reporter actually has her in fourth position this week. And hopefully she can get a boost when the Golden Globe nominations are announced at the beginning of December.