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#OscarsSoWhite: Six POC-Led Films That Should Have Been Nominated

#OscarsSoWhite: Six POC-Led Films That Should Have Been Nominated

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This year’s Oscar nominations snubbed Us, Dolemite Is My Name, Last Black Man in San Francisco and more.

The 92nd Academy Awards nominations wouldn’t be sticking true to their roots if they didn’t snub numerous Black and POC-led films. 

READ: The Role Black People Play in the World of Joker

While Joker led the nominations with 11 nods quite a few staple movies of last year didn’t receive any: Us, Queen & Slim, Dolemite Is My Name, Parasite and Last Black Man in San Francisco were a few of the most exciting releases of 2019. Despite the superior cinematography and acting displayed in each, they weren’t acknowledged by Academy voters. Notably, Eddie Murphy (Dolemite Is My Name) and Lupita Nyong’o’s (Us) roles in the aforementioned films were critically acclaimed. 

READ: Diversity Is in the Details: What Beyoncé’s ‘The Lion King: The Gift’ Gets Right and Wrong

Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite did receive Oscar nods, but surprisingly not for any of the acting categories. An additional disappointment included Beyoncé who was left out of the conversation despite creating “Spirit” for The Lion King, a part of the soundtrack for the star-filled remake. 

Take a look at our favorite movies of 2019 that didn’t receive nominations for the 2020 Academy Awards below. 

Lead Actress, Lupita Nyong’o, Us

Lupita Nyong’o’s critically acclaimed performance in Jordan Peele’s Us (2019)  was perhaps the most shocking snub of this awards season. In the film, the Kenyan actress played the roles of Adelaide and her evil doppelgänger Red. For an IndieWire feature, Nyong’o shared that she was emotionally and physically drained after she was done with the film. She not only took ballet lessons, but she also studied individuals with spasmodic dysphonia, a neurological disorder that spearheaded the voice of Red. Us earned over $255 million at the global box office. 

Lead Actor, Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name

It’s been a minute since Eddie Murphy has fronted a buzzy film.  Netflix’s comedy Dolemite Is My Name (2019) was the perfect opportunity for him to gain his cult fans attention. In the biographical drama, Murphy leads the star-studded cast and plays Rudy Ray Moore, a struggling multi-hyphenate who goes on to develop the character Dolemite, his spunky, crass alter ego. His performance was well received  and enjoyable, a not-too-shabby return to his rise to fame in the ‘80s. Despite this snub, Murphy was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Comedy or Musical.

Supporting Actress, Lee Jeong-eun, Parasite

Bong Joon-Ho’s masterpiece Parasite, a black comedy thriller took home the top prize at Cannes Film Festival in 2019. What Lee Jeong-eun manages to do with her role as a live-in housekeeper, Moon-gwang is beyond twisted. Though her character may appear to not be important in the primary part of the movie, Jeong-eun takes viewers on a brilliant, tumultuous ride for the second half. Her compelling acting combined with her character’s secrets pushed the plot of the movie forward on more than one occasion. 

Best Screenplay, Last Black Man in San Francisco

Joe Talbot’s indie Last Black Man in San Francisco deserved an Oscar nod. The expertly shot movie was a standout of 2019 due to its cinematography credited to Adam Newport-Berra and the superb acting led by Jimmie Fails. The poignant story follows Jimmie seeking his place in his version of San Francisco. The film comes across as dreamy, picturesque and downright intimate.  

Best Original Song, “Spirit,” Beyoncé, The Lion King

Though the 2019 remake of Disney’s classic The Lion King (1994) failed to be met with widespread acclaim, the soundtrack featuring can’t be ignored. “Spirit” by Beyoncé is an airy, reflective song that can also be described as glorious. Fans took to Twitter to express their unhappiness as soon as the news broke that the global entertainer was snubbed. 

Cinematography, Queen & Slim

Melina Matsoukas’ Queen & Slim was one of the most beautifully shot films of 2019. It’s no secret that Matsoukas has built her career by creating glossy, themed music videos. Tat Radcliffe’s cinematography begs to be awarded for his ability to capture Black skin and the nationwide road trip throughout the movie. Each scene whether it took place in hole in a wall or the streets of a suburban neighborhood exuded energy. 



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