Award season is upon us! It’s time to find out who wins big and who gets snubbed as usual. With the announcement of the Oscar nominations, a few of us at BNP got to talking about who we want to see take home the gold and why. Check out the nominees and our predictions below. Then tweet us and tell us what you think. Who are you rooting for to win?

Gif of Issa Rae saying "I'm rooting for Everybody Black"

Aisha

Here we go! It is award season. If you read my stuff you know this is my “holidays.” I know the terrible nature of awards, the buyouts, all the old white men making decisions — I am fully aware. That does not change my desire to root for the best of the best!

Best Costume Design

My Black nerdiness does not permit me to vote for any other film but Black Panther in this category. Even without that, the costume design in this flick is more on point than any audience member even knows! If you are one of those fans who pre-ordered the movie, you know those special features are Bast-level. In one section, Coogler describes the casino fight scene focusing on the clothing choices for three characters — from the red, black, and green to the intricate details embroidered into the fabric — this alone got my vote. For the culture at least. But let’s be honest. For this type of party — based on historical record — is gonna wanna see the period piece like The Favourite win, but we’ll see…

Image courtesy of Getty Images.

Best Animated Feature

I know it is gonna look like I’m rooting for everyone Black — but ummmm I’m rooting for everyone Black. Not only because I believe is our brown skin excellence, but because the ish we put out this past year was excellent!!! Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is an absolute masterpiece. It is by far one of the best movies I have watched in 2018. The expert animation is why it is in this category for sure, but the story, the acting, the clever editing and pace, the music! It came together like a fine woven web. You know only god could have created a creature that can make that. Big ups to those creators. For real for real, I think it won the Golden Globe so – if my historical records are correct, whoever wins the Golden Globe gets the Oscar. Let’s keep it that way. No disrespect to the others — Incredibles 2 is legit! 15 years in the making and it did not disappoint, and I thoroughly enjoyed Isle of Dogs. I’m a little shocked Ralph Breaks the Internet is there. It was fun to watch, a good solid movie and sequel but Oscars?? ok…

Best Picture

This is famously contested because they always only ever pick dramas, and they have to be real gutter dramas, like all the women are prostitutes that cut and have to sell their hair and murder men and what not, or have real ugly cry moments. This year we *clap* in *clap* there *clap* – Black Panther is nominated!! After that nonsense they pulled with the new “Popular Movie” category they had to retract, they still had to recognize we got game (no pun intended). My Black nerdiness again only allows me to pick Black Panther, but we do have stiff competition, one because you know… whiteness and white America but also cuz the other films in the line up are top notch as well. Green Book won the Golden Globe, but this is where I hope the tradition does not ring true. Green Book is a book of lies and all respect to Mahershala, he’s real talented but… naw.

BlacKkKlansman poster

BlacKkKlansman was great as well, one of Spike Lee’s better recent works, (we won’t talk about Chi-raq or She’s Gotta Have It). I know people are going gaga over Vice and The Favourite so honestly, it might be one of those two. I’m interested in either of those winning, but just not Green Book – I hope I didn’t jinx it, ugh. To be fair Alfonso Cuaron could take it for Roma. That man, wrote, directed, filmed (as in he is the DP), and edited that film HIMSELF – what the deuce?! I have also heard it is a masterpiece.

One I’m missing in this category, If Beale Street Could Talk, it should be nominated for Best Picture – everyone Black, hello! And James Baldwin c’mon. Regina King is gonna win for Best Supporting Actress in that role and I just think that movie needed a bit more love in this years noms.

Best Supporting

Big up to the Best Supporting Actor/Actress categories, there are some heavy hitters in there. From Regina King for If Beale Street Could Talk as I mentioned, to Adam Driver for BlackKKlansman he did a phenomenal job in that role. Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz I’m sure were a riot to see work in The Favourite. And I will forever root for Sam Rockwell – he is the man, one of my ultimate favorite actors and even though I haven’t seen Vice yet, I know Sam did the damn thing as George W., Jr.

These are my picks, and you know I will be back to sip on the tea, the shade, and the pink lemonade for those chosen winners.

Kenny

So, I must say that I’ve been avoiding watching awards shows since #oscarssowhite (and still pretty much am). And I know you may be tempted to say, “well, I guess you’re just watching cuz there’s more diversity.” And I would have to say, that “You damn right!” I’m sorry, but I’ve been over not seeing Black people get credit for their hard and amazing work. I.e., Whoopi Goldberg getting an Oscar for

Ghost, but not The Color Purple. *hard side eye*

via GIPHY

But anyway, here are my picks.

Best Costume Design

This shouldn’t be any surprise. Black Panther’s wardrobe was FAN-FUCKING-TASTIC! Ruth E. Carter put her foot on our necks and didn’t let up. Do you hear me? Carter did a piece with Vanity Fair where she talked about what went into creating the wardrobe. She talked about the research into African tribes and representing them in the movie. Things were hand-stitched and 3D printed. Angela Bassett is beautiful and regal as Queen Mother Ramonda and to find out the collar and headpieces (including the black one she has on later in the movie) are all 3D printed showed me just how much technology can help bring a world to life. In this case, it goes right down into the very clothes the actors/actresses were wearing. That type of outside the box thinking, while paying homage through doing extensive research into your subject matter, is why Ruth E. Carter and her entire team deserve this award.

Best Animated Feature

While I really enjoyed Wreck-It-Ralph and Ralph Breaks the Internet, I gotta give this to the Miles and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Between this and Black Panther, these types of movies are finally showing little children of color that they too can be the superhero. Miles is especially important, because he is a Black teen. He wasn’t raised in a castle and groomed to be a king. He is the everyday teen, going to school, listening to rap music, and doing his homework. He is the person more relatable to everyday Black boys and girls, and he is a hero. The movie is also funny, action-packed, and just overall great, especially having a Black teen in the mantle of a character that most people (who don’t know comic lore) don’t know is canon. This makes me want a real-life version of Miles…who will actually be in his 20’s playing a teen.

Best Picture

Was this even a question? Black Panther was the movie this year. Point blank! Periodt! I remember the first time I saw this movie in theaters. It was at a special screening the day before it came out. I could not take my eyes off the screen from beginning to end. After it was over, my best friend and I were trying to schedule when to go see it again. We saw it three times in theaters. We had so many conversations about the visuals, characters, themes, plots. This movie sparked so much and truly gave Black boys and girls a visual representation of a hero that looked like them. More importantly, this includes Black girls! Shuri, Nakia, and Okoye and all of the Dora Milaje gave Black girls power! (Sorry, Storm, I love you, but the X-Men movies have done you no justice at all!) Seeing all the Black kids dressed up from the movie and reciting lines is the reason that representation matters! Fight me, if you don’t agree!

Angela-Bassett-Letitia-Wright-Black-Panther

And lastly, Black Panther gave us a villain that truly made us questions our loyalty to the hero. The best villains are the ones with layers, and Killmonger had that. I will never forget the scene where he talks to his father in the ancestral plains, and you can (at least for me) visually see the Killmonger realizes that the path he has taken is wrong, but it’s far too late to turn back now. This movie was all it needed to be and more, and win or lose, it’s made its mark on history.
Kids dressed as Black Panther characters

*hears wrap it up music playing*

I also hope that “All of the Stars” from Black Panther wins for Best Original Song, and Hannah Beachler and Jay Hart for Best Production Design for Black Panther as well. And Regina King and Berry Jenkins for If Beale Street Could Talk.

Khadjiah

Okay so, chances are I am going to cringe with each decision I make because the definitive nature of award ceremonies is both my favorite thing and what makes me throw my tea across the room. Capitalism makes people do some nasty things, but, we’re here to celebrate and talk about the wondrous products these creators have spent so much time on. Please note as I am making these decisions I am also crying into my cup of green tea in hopes that at least one of my picks receive an award. If that doesn’t happen this cup will be sacrificed into the void of my never ending rage. Without further ado:

Best Costume Design

Now, if you don’t think Black Panther had the sauciest costume design of 2018, we throwing hands. If there is one thing that I absolutely hate in this Bast-Damned world, it is appropriation. Hate it. You can’t expect to try and honor a culture in its various forms, and believe that just putting one warrior inna headwrap would do the culture justice. Nah. We gonna call the warriors, the Dora Milaje, up in this jawn. First off, let’s talk about how the warrior garb was properly shielded. I never questioned if they were armed, they came stacked with weapons in their sleeves. Okoye in that green dress? Caught em with the fade. How they were able to move from Wakandan Royalty to Westernized Warriors and right back? Everything felt linked to one another. It’s one thing to have dope design but it’s another thing to actually have the costumes resemble the personalities of the characters themselves. Viewers got to see the embodiment of freeness and lawful neutrality extended across each garb, across each tribe. This whole costume department spent BREAD, but you know how much respect this whole department deserves. They need to take this for their hours of research and dedication alone.

Best Animated Feature

I know, I know. I had to be the one.

via GIPHY

Listen to me for a second before you roll your eyes and shout to the hilltops “Into The Spider-Verse was the best-animated film to hit the big screen of all time. Of all time…”
To be honest Into The Spider-Verse was my favorite of the bunch. (I also LOVED Incredibles 2). I will not deny representation and the metaphors weaved throughout Into The Spider-Verse including the visuals and the usage of voice as a signifier to push forward the content. But I genuinely believe people are forgetting what Isle of Dogs did.

Isle of Dogs managed to address the evilness of capitalism, pride, toxic hierarchical standards and its effect on the well-being and perception of the general public. One minute you think we’re talking about fleas, next minute we’re diving into the inner paradigms of fear, expectation and standards in comparison to the public gaze. We go into classism and self-reflection, to be honest, I did not know Isle of Dogs would do me so good till I was halfway into the movie screaming out for the puppies.
Isle of Dogs still image

Best Picture

Oh, I bet you’re thinking “so surprising, Black Panther”. Yeah okay, and? Do you understand what this movie did the moment it was announced? Y’all, we had memes ready. Potluck plans. People coming out decked out in their best Wakandan fashion.[link] I went to the movie theater and felt underdressed. Y’all, I saw somebody pop out with A CAPE. A CAPE. T’Challa doesn’t even wear a cape, alright. My fellow writers hit everything that I personally felt about the movie so let me hit y’all with the experience. The visuals? *chef kiss* Costumes? *chef kiss* Accents? Alright so, sometimes they needed work, but the fact that they actually spent time to get these actors to get the dialect correct (throws shade to Season 2 of Luke Cage)? Proved that they spent time breaking the westernized stereotypes associated with Africa. People are now celebrating this fictional place and allowing it to live beyond just the panels and screens. I feel like an important thing to take into account of Best Picture is the effect it has on the general public. This movie was a movement y’all. A movement.

Original Screenplay

Sorry to Bother You still image
NOW. I have some hands for the folks that felt like Sorry to Bother You was not good enough for at least one nomination. That movie deserved at least an Original Screenplay nomination. If you want a surreal movie that talks about the work environment in the most accurate form with the cultivation of the “white voice” and how POC move within the paradigms of whiteness in the workforce? Phew. Sorry to Bother You dragged me from the other end of my vocal chords in the middle of my skype interview for a predominantly white company I didn’t want to work for in the first place.

The 91st Oscars Awards will be held Sunday, February 24th at 8pm EST on ABC.

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