[With 2022 all wrapped up and we’ve had time to let the previous year sink in, it’s time for our fifth annual Golden Cages Awards! Over the next two weeks, the staff at Flixist will be announcing the winners in sixteen different categories that range from all different genres and categories before ultimately revealing what our best film of 2022 was. So sit back, relax, and come join us as we take one final look at 2022 and see the notable movies the year had to offer.]
Folks won’t be shocked to see that the Flixist team picked an actress from the Daniels’ smash hit Everything Everywhere All At Once for the coveted Best Supporting Actress Golden Cages. After all, two made the final nominees! But it was Stephanie Hsu’s groundbreaking dual performance as Joy and Jobu Tupaki that made the final cut this year.
EEAAO was Hsu’s breakout into mainstream recognition, though she’s been acting in smaller roles for several years. Her portrayal of Joy – the unapologetically queer daughter of Michelle Yeoh’s Evelyn Wang – proved relatable to many viewers of the film. She also played Jobu Tupaki, whose nihilism and chaotic nature threatened the entire multiverse.
What makes Hsu’s portrayal of these two oppositional (yet linked) characters so important to viewers is how she worked with Yeoh to unpack the generational divide between mother and daughter. While Evelyn is not outright homophobic, she isn’t supportive of Joy’s sexuality or choice of partner. This weighs down on Joy and leads her to create Jobu Tupaki. Hsu creates subtle differences between Joy and Jobu Tupaki while still communicating how her mother’s expectations affect her emotional state.
Stephanie Hsu’s depiction of a daughter desperate for her mother’s acceptance is what makes Joy/Jobu Tupaki such a standout role for her. She navigates these difficult emotions with ease and comedy, making a more niche experience of being a queer, first-gen daughter into something that all viewers can empathize with. Even though she doesn’t wield the iconic hot-dog fingers like co-star Jamie Lee Curtis (who was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress for EEAAO), Stephanie Hsu is the decided winner of this year’s Golden Cages. And I can’t wait to see her future work!