'Beasts,' 'Flight,' 'Django' lead NAACP Image Award nominees, 'Middle of Nowhere' sidelined
I must confess I don't really get the NAACP Image Awards. On the one hand, the idea of an awards show dedicated specifically to honoring non-white achievements in popular culture seems uncomfortably self-marginalizing in this day and age. On the other, the unhappy truth is that non-white artists and stories are still marginalized in Hollywood, so there's something to be said for a ceremony that celebrates the finest talent the community has to offer.
Why, then, does the NAACP routinely do such a poor job of recognizing that very talent for themselves? This year's list of Image nominees is led by three crossover features with substantial African-American leads (all, incidentally, from white filmmakers): "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Django Unchained" and "Flight" nabbed four nominations each. Where, however, is "Middle of Nowhere?"
The shoestring character drama from African-American writer-director Ava DuVernay has emerged as one of the year's most critically championed true indies since winning DuVernay the Directing Award at Sundance this year, and recently racked up four Independent Spirit nominations, but is scarcely in evidence here. While actors Emayatzy Corinealdi and David Oyelowo (though not the scorching Lorraine Toussaint) picked up nominations for their performances, the film is missing from the Best Picture lineup because... "Red Tails" was so universally well-liked? Tyler Perry needs a boost? I'm at a loss here, particularly when the film is even more unaccountably missing from the Best Independent Film lineup.
How does this help the NAACP's cause? It's best not to think too hard about it, and enjoy the curiosity value of what will surely remain the only awards body to lump "Life of Pi" newcomer Suraj Sharma and Tyler Perry (again) together for Best Actor. Check out the full list of nominations below, and catch up with the season's awards announcements so far at The Circuit.
"Beasts of the Southern Wild"
"Tyler Perry's Good Deeds"
Jamie Foxx, "Django Unchained"
Morgan Freeman, "The Magic of Belle Isle"
Tyler Perry, "Alex Cross"
Suraj Sharma, "Life of Pi"
Denzel Washington, "Flight"
Halle Berry, "Cloud Atlas"
Emayatzy Corinealdi, "Middle of Nowhere"
Viola Davis, "Won't Back Down"
Loretta Devine, "In The Hive"
Quvenzhané Wallis, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
Best Supporting Actor
Don Cheadle, "Flight"
Dwight Henry, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
Samuel L. Jackson, "Django Unchained"
Lenny Kravitz, "The Hunger Games"
David Oyelowo, "Middle of Nowhere"
Best Supporting Actress
Taraji P. Henson, "Think Like a Man"
Phylicia Rashad, "Tyler Perry's Good Deeds"
Gloria Reuben, "Lincoln"
Amandla Stenberg, "The Hunger Games"
Kerry Washington, "Django Unchained"
Best Independent Motion Picture
"Beasts of the Southern Wild"
"Chico & Rita"
"Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day"
Best International Motion Picture
"Chico & Rita"
"For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada"
"The Raid: Redemption"
Best Documentary (TV or Film)
"On the Shoulders of Giants - The Story of the Greatest Team You've Never Heard Of"
Best Writing (TV or Film)
Elizabeth Hunter, "Abducted: The Carlina White Story"
John Gatins, "Flight"
John Ridley, Aaron McGruder, "Red Tails"
Keith Merryman, David A. Newman, "Think Like a Man"
Ol Parker, "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel"
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
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