Academy Snubs Leading Contenders from the Year of the Black Film

 

Oscar Buzz Deferred

      by Kam Williams

2013 was widely lauded as the “Year of the Black Film,” but you would never know it, judging by the recently-announced list of Oscar nominations. It looks like the Academy settled on 12 Years a Slave as a sort of token blackOscar_trophy 2 representative, with Steve McQueen (Director), John Ridley (Adapted Screenplay), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Lead Actor) and Lupita Nyong’o (Supporting Actress) landing nominations. Otherwise, the only other black nominee in a major category was Barkhad “I’m the Captain now!” Abdi, the Somalia-born cab driver who made his acting debut as the pirate who took Tom Hanks hostage in Captain Phillips.

Perhaps the most noteworthy snub was that of Fruitvale Station which had won coveted awards at both the Sundance and Cannes Festivals. Or maybe it was that of The Butler, which was my favorite film of the year. Upon that picture’s release back in August, colleague Roger Friedman was not alone in unabashedly declaring Oprah Winfrey already a lock to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

But, in the end, Oprah wasn’t even nominated, nor was her co-star Forest Whitaker, despite his having delivered a nonpareil performance. The list of overlooked thespians arguably extends to a couple other critically-acclaimed productions featuring black principal cast members, namely, the brilliant biopics 42 and Mandela.

            What happens to Oscar buzz deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or does it dream of an NAACP Image Award?

COMPLETE LIST OF OSCAR NOMINATIONS BEST PICTURE
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity
Her
Nebraska
Philomena
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street
BEST DIRECTOR
Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street
BEST ACTOR
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
BEST ACTRESS
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
David O. Russell and Eric Warren Singer, American Hustle
Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine
Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack, Dallas Buyers Club
Spike Jonze, Her
Bob Nelson, Nebraska
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke, Before Midnight
Billy Ray, Captain Philips
Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, Philomena
John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
Terence Winter, The Wolf of Wall Street
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine
Frozen
The Wind Rises
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)
The Great Beauty (Italy)
The Hunt (Denmark)
The Missing Picture (Cambodia)
Omar (Palestine)
BEST DOCUMENTARY – FEATURE
The Act of Killing
Cutie and the Boxer
Dirty Wars
The Square
20 Feet From Stardom
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
Alone Not Alone, Alone Yet Not Alone
Happy, Despicable Me 2
Let It Go, Frozen
The Moon Song, Her
Ordinary Love, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Philippe Le Sourd, The Grandmaster
Emmanuel Lubezki, Gravity
Bruno Delbonnel, Inside Llewyn Davis
Phedon Papamichael, Nebraska
Roger A. Deakins, Prisoners
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Michael Wilkinson, American Hustle
William Chang Suk Ping, The Grandmaster
Catherine Martin, The Great Gatsby
Michael O’Connor, The Invisible Woman
Patricia Norris, 12 Years a Slave
BEST DOCUMENTARY – SHORT SUBJECT
CaveDigger
Facing Fear
Karama Has No Walls
The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall
BEST FILM EDITING
Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten, American Hustle
Christopher Rouse, Captain Phillips
John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa, Dallas Buyers Club
Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger, Gravity
Joe Walker, 12 Years a Slave
BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathew, Dallas Buyers Club
Stephen Prouty, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny, The Lone Ranger
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
John Williams, The Book Thief
Steven Price, Gravity
William Butler and Owen Pallett, Her
Alexandre Desplat, Philomena
Thomas Newman, Saving Mr. Banks
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Judy Becker (Production Design) and Heather Loeffler (Set Decoration), American Hustle
Andy Nicholson (Production Design); Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard (Set Decoration), Gravity
Catherine Martin (Production Design) and Beverley Dunn (Set Decoration), The Great Gatsby
K.K. Barrett (Production Design) and Gene Serdena (Set Decoration), Her
Adam Stockhausen (Production Design) and Alice Baker (Set Decoration), 12 Years a Slave
BEST SHORT FILM – ANIMATED
Feral
Get a Horse!
Mr. Hublot
Possessions
Room on the Broom
BEST SHORT FILM – LIVE ACTION
Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me), Esteban Crespo
Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything), Xavier Legrand and Alexandre Gavras
Helium, Anders Walter and Kim Magnusson
Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?), Selma Vilhunen and Kirsikka Saari
The Voorman Problem, Mark Gill and Baldwin Li
BEST SOUND EDITING
Steve Boeddeker and Richard Hymns, All Is Lost
Oliver Tarney, Captain Phillips
Glenn Freemantle, Gravity
Brent Burge, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Wylie Stateman, Lone Survivor
BEST SOUND MIXING
Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith and Chris Munro, Captain Phillips
Gravity Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro, Gravity
Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick and Tony Johnson, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland, Inside Llewyn Davis
Andy Koyama, Beau Borders and David Brownlow, Lone Survivor
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould, Gravity
Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick, Iron Man 3
Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams and John Frazier, The Lone Ranger
Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann and Burt Dalton, Star Trek Into Darkness

 

 
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