The Oscars have come and gone again, and once again there are questions about inclusion and diversity. There were a lot of performers and presenters of color, but when it comes to nominees, in the major Oscar categories, there was just one. Which is confusing because the performances and films were out there. Here are ten diverse nominations that the Academy missed out on.
Jamie Foxx – Just Mercy
Jamie is brilliant in this real life film about a wrongly convicted Mississippi man. Once again, he proved that he is one of the few actors who can melt into a character and make you forget you are watching the guy who sings “Blame It On The Alcohol” and “Gold Digger”. No shade this is just a reminder that Jamie is hella versatile.
Jordan Peele – US Original Screen Play
Jordan Peele continues to push the horror genre forward with original and diverse scripts. Are you telling me “Marriage Story” was a more ORIGINAL concept than “US”? I thought the script was up to par with “Knives Out” and “Once Upon A Time Hollywood” and deserved a nomination.
Eddie Murphy – Dolemite Is My Name
Eddie Murphy is brilliant in this movie about the groundbreaking comedian Rudy Ray Moore. This is simply a case of a ground breaking black comedian being played by a groundbreaking black comedian and being overlooked by the white Oscar voters.
Lupita Nyong’o – US
Does a black actor have to play a slave or historical character to win an Oscar. Academy voters loved Lupita as Patsy, the raped, savaged, and brutalized field hand in “12 Years A Slave”, but she gets zero love for two roles in “US”. Apparently, as a upper middle class housewife, Lupita can’t win. HMMMMM.
Ruth Carter – Costume Design
Ruth Carter is a genius, and she took home the only Oscar for “Black Panther” last year. Her costumes were amazing, but I’m confused about the exclusion of Ruth this year. “Dolemite Is My Name” was based in the 60’s and 70’s and the costumes that Eddie Murphy and Wesley Snipes wore were outrageous, yet we all had a family member back in the day that dressed like them. How does Carter get excluded, but “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood”, “The Irishman” and “Joker” make the cut. That’s a head scratcher.
Michael B. Jordan – Just Mercy
Michael B. is clearly going to be the black Brad Pitt. His best work overlooked until one day somebody looks up and wonders why the hell he has not won an Oscar. But here’s the bigger problem, can a brotha’ get a nomination. His performance in “Black Panther” as Killmonger was, the best villain in super hero movie history. And he didn’t get a nomination, so he goes hella nuanced as a lawyer defending wrongly accused clients in “Just Mercy”, and still gets snubbed. C’mon y’all.
She didn’t have a project, or a movie, but did you see Regina King. I don’t know what she is doing, but she is aging better than Benjamin Buttons. She hit the stage and time stood still. I need her to get nominated every year til she dies, simply because she is that damn fine.
Himesh Patel – Yesterday
This was one of the year’s most original movies, one of my personal favorites, and Himesh Patels performance was spectacular. He pulled off the delicate balance needed to make this fantasy feel very very real. Plus, he did a hell of a job singing Beatles classics. I just get confused when an original movie like this gets overlooked, but the 27th version of “Little Women” grabs a bunch of nominations.
Jennifer Lopez – Hustlers
I didn’t think this was JLo’s greatest performance, just see “Selena” or “El Cantante” if you disagree. But, it was nomination worthy because if you were anywhere near a movie theatre when this film opened, it was a real moment for women. At the time of the Academy Awards, “Parasite” had earned a little over 30 million dollars domestically. In its opening weekend “Hustlers” eclipsed that number. Plus, isn’t it worth the nomination just to see J. Lo on the red carpet … yep!
Just Mercy, Dolemite is My Name, Us
Any one of these films could have been in the mix for Best Picture. I’m a little shocked and surprised that one of them didn’t at least get a sniff.