Colour wash for the awards season?

2014-01-12 14:00

From slaves to freedom, it’s anyone’s award to win, reports Gayle Edmunds.

Will this year’s awards-season colour be black?

That’s the buzz as British director Steve McQueen looks like a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination come Thursday.

And tonight, he’ll find out if he’s the first black director to win a Golden Globe in the 70-year history of the awards.

He’s only the second black director to be nominated for a Globe since Spike Lee in 1990 for Do The Right Thing.

Should he get a nomination, he’ll be the third black director nominated in the history of the Oscars after John Singleton in 1991 (Boyz n the Hood) and Lee Daniels in 2009 (Precious).

McQueen’s film, 12 Years a Slave, also provides a lead actor nomination for Chiwetel Ejiofor.

It is his fifth Globe nomination after previously being nominated for Endgame (he was Thabo Mbeki in that one), Kinky Boots and two TV dramas.

Also adding colour to the Golden Globe nominees list this year is Idris Elba, tipped to win for his lead role in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

He’s two for two this year at the Globes because he has also been nominated in the TV category for the crime series Luther, which is his third nomination for this show. He won the best actor award for it in 2012.

Neither Ejiofor nor Elba have received Oscar nods before and if both get one, it won’t just be a colour wash, but another year of the British invasion.

McQueen, Elba and Ejiofor are all Brits and three of the best actress nominees are their countrywomen – Judi Dench for Philomena, which is her 11th nomination, though she’s only won once; Emma Thompson for Saving Mr Banks, which is her eighth nomination and she’s won two; and Kate Winslet for Labor Day, which is her 10th nomination (she previously won three).

McQueen’s fellow best director nominee, Paul Greengrass, is also British and he’s up for his first Globe too, though he was nominated for an Oscar in 2007.

The hopes for an African-American win at the Globes lie with writer John Ridley, who is nominated for the screenplay of 12 Years a Slave.

He’ll be the third black American to be nominated after Charles Fuller (A Soldier’s Story) in 1985 and Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing) in 1990.

If he goes on to get an Oscar nod too on Thursday, he won’t make the “first black” title because Geoffrey Fletcher already claimed it with his adaptation of Push by Sapphire, which became the movie Precious.

As for the women, Mexican-born, Kenyan-raised and American-educated newcomer Lupita Nyong’o (local audiences will know her from TV’s Shuga) is in the running for her part in 12 Years a Slave.

She goes up against last year’s Oscar and Globe winner Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle) as well as veteran Julia Roberts (August: Osage County) and Brit Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), who won in 2009 for Happy-Go-Lucky.

The only other African-American woman who could get a Globe is Kerry Washington, who has been nominated for her role in the TV drama Scandal.

British actor Don Cheadle is also up for a TV award for House of Lies, an award he won last year.

He previously had film nominations for Hotel Rwanda at both the Globes and the Oscars.

One big shock is the exclusion of Naomie Harris on the Globes nomination list for her brilliant portrayal of Winnie Madikizela in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

I hope that Oscar is less blind to her talents and gives her a nod – which would continue the trend of the black British invasion that promises to be launched at the two most prestigious annual awards ceremonies of the year.

» ?The Golden Globes are on M-Net from 3am local time tomorrow. The Academy Award nominations will be announced on Thursday


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