The 89th Academy Awards nominations were released on Tuesday morning.
For the past two years the Oscars have been known as the #OscarsSoWhite due to the lack of nominated individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds. This year we see films released with more diverse casts, predominantly black casts.
Three of the films with predominantly black casts nominated for best Picture include Fences, Moonlight and Hidden Figures. Fences directed by Denzel Washington focuses on an African-American man who was formally a basketball player in the 1950’s and his struggle with money and race relations. Denzel is also nominated for best actor for the role and Viola Davis is nominated for best supporting actress. Hidden Figures is based on a group of African-American women that worked on many of Nasa’s missions in the 1960’s, Octavia Spencer who plays one of the women is also up for best supporting actress. Moonlight focuses on a black man’s struggle growing up gay in a rough neighbourhood, the role has Mahershala Ali nominated for best supporting actor and Naomie Harris for best supporting actress. The director, Barry Jenkins is also nominated for best director; he is only the fourth black director to have ever been nominated.
Dev Patel is nominated for his role in Lion, where he plays a character who is trying to find his mother in India after being adopted by an Australian family. Dev is only the third actor with an Indian ethnicity to have been nominated. 13th is nominated in the documentary category, it focuses on race on the American criminal justice system. It’s up against I am Not Your Negro which is also centred on race relations in America and OJ: Made In America, a documentary on OJ Simpsons experience of the media and law. In comparison to the past 2 previous years the categories are more diverse and it hasn’t gone unnoticed. Chirlane McCray Tweet “It’s an important time to make history” and Jada Pinkett Smith commented that she was “glad to see that protects like Hidden Figures, Fences and Moonlight are getting recognition. I’m very proud this morning.”
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