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Opinion: Despite Best Picture nod, ‘Selma’ gets snubbed by Oscars

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'Selma' is up for Best Picture in 87th Academy Awards. From left, Andrew Holland plays Andrew Young, David Oyelowo plays Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Wendell Pierce plays Rev. Hosea Williams in 'Selma' from Paramount Pictures, Pathe, and Harpo Films.  Credit: Courtesy of TNS.

‘Selma’ is up for Best Picture in 87th Academy Awards. From left, Andrew Holland plays Andrew Young, David Oyelowo plays Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Wendell Pierce plays Rev. Hosea Williams in ‘Selma’ from Paramount Pictures, Pathe, and Harpo Films.
Credit: Courtesy of TNS.

The 87th Academy Awards nominations were released Thursday. And even though it’s a great time for the filmmakers, actors and all involved in each respected film, one particularly important film with a large impact on society was mostly snubbed.

Ava DuVernay’s “Selma,” a biopic about Martin Luther King Jr.’s role in the Civil Rights Movement, only received two nominations, one being “Best Picture.” Though that’s a top honor, David Oyelowo should have also been in the running with “Best Actor,” as he did a phenomenal job portraying the protagonist King. All due respect to actor Michael Keaton, who stars as a former cinema superhero actor hoping to ignite his career with a Broadway production in “Birdman,” but his role was not as powerful as Oyelowo portraying MLK. I know film is supposed to be mainly for entertainment, but when a picture the magnitude of “Selma” is in consideration for an Academy Award, its impact on society should be heavily considered.

Another nomination for this film should have been “Best Director” for DuVernay, who is a black female director in a white, male-dominated industry. “Birdman” is also nominated in this category for Alejandro González Iñárritu, who tried to be too artistic by editing his film as one continuous shot. All it did was make me feel nauseated midway through the film and want to walk out.

The Academy should have created individual awards for everyone involved in “Selma,” both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. Their collaboration to get this film off the ground and into theaters was an important step in reminding society what we have forgotten (especially the black community), that despite TVs across the country being swept with the images of deadly interactions between blacks and law enforcement, a modest progress has been made, whether it be graduating high school, college and/or being competitively employable in “White America.”

The film received only one other nomination for best original song for “Glory” by rapper Common and singer John Legend.

Some of the more notable nominations are listed below:

Best Director

  • Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu, “Birdman”
  • Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
  • Bennett Miller, “Foxcatcher”
  • Morten Tyldum, “The Imitation Game”

Best Picture

  • “American Sniper”
  • “Birdman”
  • “Boyhood”
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
  • “The Imitation Game”
  • “Selma”
  • “The Theory of Everything”
  • “Whiplash”

Actress in a Leading Role

  • Marion Cotillard, “Two Days, One Night”
  • Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything”
  • Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”
  • Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”
  • Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”

Actor in a Leading Role

  • Steve Carell, “Foxcatcher”
  • Bradley Cooper, “American Sniper”
  • Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game”
  • Michael Keaton, “Birdman”
  • Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”

Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”
  • Laura Dern, “Wild”
  • Keira Knightley, “The Imitation Game”
  • Emma Stone, “Birdman”
  • Meryl Streep, “Into the Woods”

Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Robert Duvall, “The Judge”
  • Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”
  • Edward Norton, “Birdman”
  • Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher”
  • J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”

4 comments

  1. I disagree. Selma may be a good movie but nothing outstanding here. These movies are all about the painful past, the same story line shown over, over, and over again.

  2. @Bob-AMEN AMEN AMEN!!! I’ve talked to plenty of people and it gets back to what Nancy Giles, CBS Sunday Morning, said on a show…”I wish someone would tell Oprah we are a happy people. Stop with all the depressing movies!!”

  3. What does it matter? All these award shows are nothing but marketing.

  4. American Sniper was nominated for best picture, but its director was not nominated

    Argo was nominated for best picture, and won, but its director was not nominated and it did not earn nominations for best actor or actress either

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