After recent year’s wild race controversy, this year’s Oscars nominees represent, as the kids say, a “woke” film culture. In 2016, the Oscars were referred to as #OscarsSoWhite on social media, but this time around proved to exemplify a much more diverse group of people in front of and behind the cameras. After two years of no black actor nominees, last year the Academy awards had a record breaking six black actors. Why did it take so long for the academy to become diverse?
According to Mental Floss, “The voting process that determines which films and filmmakers become Oscar nominees is a long and complicated undertaking that involves approximately 6000 voting members and hundreds of eligible films, actors, actresses, directors, cinematographers, editors, composers, and more.”
This year especially, movies are crafted in a way that addresses current social, cultural, political and controversial conversations head on. Recently, the movie industry has really made an impact regarding race. The well-known film Get Out, directed by Jordan Peele, boldly and unapologetically tackles an ever-growing concern of racism in America (and the whole world), which is why I think it holds a place for potentially winning the Academy’s Best Picture Award. Not to mention it is the only Best Picture nominee with a black main character. Critics, however, argue that the movie is simply nominated to prove that the Academy itself is not racist after 2016’s fiasco, and really does not have a chance at winning.
Get Out and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri are the only two films in the all-important Best Picture Category that are actually based in 2017-18. Out of nine movies, seven address topics in other time periods such as war, politics, sexuality and race. Addressing the present is arguably more important than addressing the past. This is why I think Get Out deserves a shot at winning. Although I am biased to Call Me By Your Name and The Shape of Water, as they are my ultimate favorites, I do ultimately appreciate the significance of the meaning behind Get Out. This years Oscar Nominees should be proud to be in a group of talented, “woke,” problem facing individuals and teams.
Other important honorable Oscar nomination mentions addressing race head-on include:
Denzel Washington – Roman J. Israel, Esq.
Mary J. Blige- Mudbound
Octavia Spencer- The Shape of Water