When Moonlight won Best Picture at the 2017 Academy Awards, it may have been a sign that the future of the Oscars will include more recognition of diverse casts and stories. Some of the predicted contenders for the 2017 Oscars do indeed point in that direction. First on the list is Get Out, Jordan Peele’s groundbreaking and critically acclaimed film that defies genre. EW predicts that Get Out could see nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Daniel Kaluuya), Best Supporting Actress (Allison Williams), and Best Original Screenplay.
Another Best Picture contender is Mudbound. It’s perhaps a bit unlikely since Netflix is behind the film and the industry seems to ignore their offerings, as they did Beasts of No Nation a few years ago. However, if the Oscars has decided to stay woke, the film should have every shot at a Best Picture nom as well as noms for Best Director (Dee Rees) and Best Supporting Actress (Mary J. Blige). Mudbound was enthusiastically received at Sundance.
Other potential Best Picture nominees could be the box office behemoth Wonder Woman; the Kathryn Bigelow-directed story of the 1967 Detroit riots, Detroit; Kumail Nanjiani’s The Big Sick; the gay romance Call Me By Your Name; Steven Spielberg’s The Post starring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep; the People’s Choice Award winner from the Toronto International Film Festival, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water; Sean Baker’s The Florida Project; Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk; and a second film about the Dunkirk evacuation, Darkest Hour.
Additional talent that has a chance of being nominated include Idris Elba for Best Supporting Actor in Molly’s Game, Denzel Washington for Best Actor in Roman J. Israel, Esq., and John Boyega for Best Supporting Actor in Detroit. As it continues to become increasingly clear that diverse films sell tickets and diverse storytelling makes good business sense, there is hope that there will continue to be more of these stories told and more recognition. There is certainly an abundance of talent among African-American actors, directors, and writers, and there is every reason to believe we will continue to see more and more diverse nominations and wins. The 2017 Academy Awards may have been the turning point. We’ll be paying close attention to the 2018 nominations.