Oscar nominations show both progress and regression for diversity

A universe-hopping, sci-fi indie led the charge for Asian actors and filmmakers when the Academy Award nominations were revealed Tuesday, Jan. 24. But snubs for women and Black actors reminded observers that inclusivity is a work in progress.

“Everything Everywhere All at Once,” earned a whopping 11 Oscar nominations – including best picture, four acting nominations and best directing for Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, who bill themselves “Daniels.”

The film, centered on the story of a Chinese American family and its adventure with the multiverse, already received high accolades at both the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards and is positioned for a big night for the March 12 Oscars.

As the Academy of Motion Arts and Pictures announced the nominations for its 95th awards Tuesday, some celebrated them as a win for representation, while others had mixed reactions.

“It’s not necessarily an #OscarsSoWhite nomination list this year,” tweeted film and entertainment writer Dino Ramos. “It’s giving #OscarsStillWhiteButTrying.”

Seven people of color were nominated out of 20 in the Academy’s four big acting categories, and another (Kwan) was among the nominated directors.

Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh – who has worked in Hollywood for decades – was the first Asian nominee for best actress in nearly nine decades, since 1936. Her Asian American co-stars Ke Huy Quan and Stephanie Hsu were also recognized for supporting actor and actress, respectively.

“Even just to be nominated means validation, love, from your peers,” Yeoh, who would be the first Asian actress to win in the category if she can top perceived favorite Cate Blanchett from “Tar,” told the Associated Press. “What it means for the rest of the Asians around the world, not just in America but globally, is to say we have a seat at the table. We finally have a seat at the table. We are being recognized and being seen.”

Hong Chau, who is Thai, was nominated for supporting actress, for her work in A24’s “The Whale.” It’s her first nomination.

Brian Tyree Henry, another first-time nominee who rose to celebrity fame in the FX comedy-drama “Atlanta,” was recognized for his supporting role in “Causeway.” Cuban actress Ana de Armas, who played American bombshell Marilyn Monroe in Netflix’s “Blonde,” was also nominated.

Angela Bassett made the nominees’ list as best supporting actress for her role as Queen Ramonda in the sequel “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” While it was Bassett’s second nomination – she got a nod for her lead role in 1993’s “What’s Love Got to Do with It” – it was the first time any actor from the Marvel Studios machine was nominated for an Oscar.

As nominations went live, some expressed disappointment that more Black-led films –- such as Jordan Peele’s “Nope” and Gina Prince-Bythwood’s “The Woman King” – or Black actors – including Danielle Deadwyler for her role in “Till,” which won at the Gotham Awards, and Viola Davis in “The Woman King,” which was nominated at the Golden Globes and Screen Actors’ Guild Awards – were overlooked.

Others shouted out a noticeable …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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