In the wake of #Oscarssowhite we have seen the Academy making efforts to be more inclusive, more diverse, whether they know the meaning of the word or care to understand the gravity or importance, they make baby steps when I think we peeples are ready to fly. Here’s how it would have gone down at the Black Oscars – wait before we go forward, I feel like if this is our own thing, we need our own name, maybe the Rosco’s or no, more respeck on it, “The Ase’s”
Here are the nominees…
Best Actor in supporting and Leading roles
Denzel Washington: Roman J. Israel, Esq.
Denzel for his portrayal of Roman J. Israel, Esq. and because he is Denzel. It seems every year he is doing some impactful work in film and theater or both – a film adapted from a stage play. As Roman J Esq he plays an attorney with roots in the civil rights movement and Black Panther party who now works to just make ends meet. He decides, it’s time to make money and enjoy life and doesn’t quite keep on the high road he has been on in the past. I haven’t seen this film just yet, but I already know his performance is Oscar-worthy. He’s Denzel dare I say he is our Streep??…
Chadwick Boseman: Marshall
This actor has exploded on the silver screen playing great men in our history like Jackie Robinson, James Brown, Thurgood Marshall and Black Panther. If anything we are seeing his versatility at work. He’s someone who can really delve into the life of a character embody someone fully AND be an action star! As Black Panther he is embracing and truly conveying what it means for the Black community, the African community here and abroad. His portrayal of Marshall gives new life to the iconic figure and a story less told in history of Thurgood’s brilliance. Boseman looks like he is having fun and representing in this role.
Jason Mitchell: Mudbound
I haven’t seen Mudbound, but I have been following the swell and in The Ase’s we give Ase where credit is due. Mitchell was made known to popular culture and mass audiences with his portrayal of Easy E in straight outta Compton. He was phenomenal in my eyes and thought he’d actually get a nomination for that, yet no nomination then nor now. An actor who knows how to get into the emotionality of a character and give us a genuine performance. I am sure he deserves a nom at least for his work on Mudbound.
Sterling K Brown: Marshall
This actor is a unique talent who has graced the small and big screens. Already winning an Emmy for his work with The People vs OJ Simpson as a prosecutor with the DA Christopher Darden, and his role in This is Us, now we see him as Joseph Spell victim in a crime in which he is accused of assaulting a white woman in the heart of Jim Crow. I have no doubt in my mind this man poured all of himself into this role, as he does with all roles. I just want him to EGOT so… he nominated!
Lil Rel Howery: Get Out
This was everyone’s fan favorite in the film, Get Out. Howery played the character we all felt we would be in that situation, the loyal friend who knows something is up. While we were yelling at the screen, his character was making the same very moves. He was able to bring comedy to the situation and still keep us grounded in the world that the film presented to us. Best supporting nominations are in order for Mr. Howery.
Daniel Kaluuya: Get out
Also known for Black Mirror and recently Black Panther, in a film that excited us all, Daniel Kaluuya’s performance in Get Out shocked us and made us feel oh so many things. His raw talent is what landed him in this category, to have access to his emotions so well, and serve us face only when face was needed was a trip. Crying on command, I really need to learn that one. His performance had us tryna get him out!
Dee Rees: Mudbound
Again, I haven’t seen this film, but just the fact that so much of this has been catching the eye of all film lovers and those who appreciate filmmaking leads me to believe she was left off the ballot for no reason. For her work ethic alone, choosing to hire all women behind the camera and then the cinematographer being nominated and making history with that makes me feel accolades are in order and we here at The Ase’s give Ase where credit is due. To have the vision and drive to bring to life such a strong storyline and stellar cast is something her and her production team deserve to celebrate.
Jordan Peele: Get Out
In this breakout film, Jordan Peele used talents we should have known he had. When you think back to his skits and the way he played them, there was always an eerie tone which made it hilarious. Peele took his creativity to whole nother level in Get Out, bringing in horror drama in for a POC audience that translates to all audiences. A horromedy that has the potential to truly inspired and elevate our conversations on race is all I ever want.
Guillermo Del Toro: Shape of Water
Yup, we inclusive in the Black Oscars. Shape of Water is shaping the hearts of people everywhere. I am excited to see this film and feel the enchantment that everyone is raving about. Although I have heard some in the POC community say it was not their favorite of the Guillermo flicks, I feel his is one of the most imaginative and creative directors and filmmakers and deserves a win. I can’t wait to see what he makes after this lifelong achievement he has reached.
Best Actress in Supporting and Leading roles
Mary J Blige: Mudbound
I see you tryna EGOT. Mary J has had a stellar year, new albums new leases on life after her split from her husband and new ventures into new talents. Mary J is the original queen of hip-hop soul and the more brown women getting nominated for Oscars is ok with me. I know she can give a strong performance and she may have a right be on that list.
Tiffany Haddish: Girls Trip
One thing the Oscars have not learned to do is integrate comedy into their line up. If they can’t integrate the genre of comedy into their ranks then POC comedy is even further away from their purview, but to me Girls Trip was one of the best comedies of the year. Tiffany Haddish had me dying at every moment. Ms. Haddish may have been in the comedy scene for quite some time, but this roll threw her into the big screen and lit it up! Her ability to take the character so far, and even further, she stole every scene and held it on a zip line through Nola. I am proud of black women in comedy today and in the Ase’s comedy is just as important as the Dramas.
Betty Gabriel: Get Out
Wow, that is all I can say about this woman. Her physicality in this film was beautifully performed, she committed to every scene made the creep factor all too real. Her smile, her posture, her haunting gaze, and who could ever forget her iconic scene, smile on face and tears running down her cheeks. I am amazed at the talents of our peoples – yes – Ase!
In this period piece, we are given the electrifying story of Thurgood Marshall in his early career as an attorney supporting young men of color who are accused of crimes simply based on their race. This is a side of Thurgood Marshall we may not know and an exciting way to see the legend.
Horromedy as I have called it, the story of a young black man Chris Washington who travels with his white girlfriend to the country to meet her family. In this seemingly innocent event, we see there is an underlying agenda for the family and Chris must Get Out if he wants to live his life as he knows it to be. A groundbreaking film that turns all genre on its head and exposes the nuances of fetishization and cultural appropriation, while displaying class and race in a horrifically wonderful way.
Yes, comedy is important in the Ase’s because if we are not displaying our forms of Black joy and Black laughter than what is the point. This film is by far one of the best comedies of the year. When four old friends reunite at the Essence festival in New Orleans for their friends keynote speech on her new book, hilarity ensues as we see their friendships be tested and their sexual appetites as well. It is a come up for brown women in comedy showing us truly how far we can go and the realness of sisterhood.
In a film about two soldiers returning home from service in WWII into a very much segregated south. We see what it means to be Black and a soldier in a time when your life doesn’t matter at home no matter what you risked for country and home. A story we may think we have seen but realize, it is truly untold. A part of African American history that is yet another split, another fray in a black man’s consciousness in America.
Out of these fantastic nominees who do you think should get the Ase? There are so many many more POC actors and industry professionals who made moves in 2017, let us know who your nominees are.