To Every Other Jobu Tupaki After Jamie Lee Curtis’s Oscar Win |

March 30, 2023

To Every Other Jobu Tupaki After Jamie Lee Curtis’s Oscar Win |

Except it’s not our failure, and definitely not Stephanie Hsu’s. It’s the Academy’s. Sure, that’s a strong feeling, and sure, I shouldn’t make a habit out of exhausting myself when incredible QTPOC stories get overlooked for awards, especially when this film did sweep in other, crucial, beautiful ways. But the specificity of the situation makes me want to put the entire Academy on an everything bagel. With extra salt. To balance out the salt in the wound that makes it impossible to ignore.

That character? In that role? In this movie? It would be one thing if she’d lost to another actor in the category. But both Hsu and Curtis play supporting characters with queer storylines who change Evelyn Wang’s life. Hsu plays every version of Joy: Jobu Tupaki, daughter and monster, supervillain and depressed queer second gen kid who just wants her mom to see her. Hsu embodies the role thrillingly, flayingly well. It’s in the way she moves, the history of hurt behind her eyes. The familiar, complicated intricacy of loving your mother in all her messy truth and wishing she would just goddamn do the same for you. It’s there, that rarely told story of shame and sharp longing.

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