Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Black contenders target Oscar record

Earlier this year, the New York Times ran an article titled "Coming Soon - A Breakout Year for Black Cinema". It put a welcome spotlight on all the emerging talent from black filmmakers and their deserved acclaim. Of course, it's perhaps too early to declare a paradigm shift in Hollywood, but it's certainly a step in the right direction. What's truly outstanding about this year though, is the number of black contenders in the Oscar race. In fact, we may see a new record for the number of individual black Oscar nominees (discounting duplicate citations) for a single Oscar year. The current record was set in 2006, which yielded nods for 8 persons - Forest Whitaker, Will Smith, Djimon Hounsou, Eddie Murphy, Jennifer Hudson, Sharen Davis, Siedah Garrett and Willie D. Burton. While that tally was largely due to "Dreamgirls", this year is noteworthy for the wider variety of films gaining attention. Of course, many of the smaller films will lose some traction throughout the season. However, I'm fairly confident that we'll see at least 9 different black contenders securing nods on January 16th.

So without further ado, here are the black nominees(in bold) I'm currently projecting for the 2013 Oscar year:

BEST PICTURE (full predictions here)
Steve McQueen, 12 Years A Slave
Forest Whitaker, Fruitvale Station

Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Steve McQueen, 12 Years A Slave
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis
Spike Jonze, Her

Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years A Slave
Robert Redford, All Is Lost
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Forest Whitaker, The Butler

Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
Tom Hanks, Saving Mr. Banks
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Will Forte, Nebraska

Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years A Slave
Octavia Spencer, Fruitvale Station
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Oprah Winfrey, The Butler
June Squibb, Nebraska

John Ridley, 12 Years A Slave
Terence Winter, The Wolf of Wall Street
Billy Ray, Captain Phillips
Michael Petroni, The Book Thief
Steve Coogan & Jeff Pope, Philomena

Eric Singer & David O. Rusell, American Hustle
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis
Bob Nelson, Nebraska
Spike Jonze, Her
Ryan Coogler, Fruitvale Station

Are there any other frontrunners that I missed? Sound off in the comments.

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