Will there be a Black Oscar winner this year? It’s possible but highly unlikely. The two top Black nominees, 9-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis and veteran actor Denzel Washington are vying for top acting honors, but will likely be shut out given both Hollywood politics and their lack of wins through the awards season thus far. “Django Unchained,” nominated in three Oscar categories including Best Picture, may find a more favorable chance from Oscar voters, given that power player Harvey Weinstein is one of the it’s executive producers but it’s a long shot.
We caught up with film expert Tim Gordon, host of “Keeping it Reel” BlogTalk Radio, who has for the last 13 years promoted The Black Reel Awards, an alternate to the Academy Awards. We asked him the questions on everyone’s mind on the eve of the Oscars. The 85th Annual Academy Awards air on ABC on Sunday, February 24, live from the Kodak Theater.
Can Denzel Washington pull out the upset win for his role in “Flight?”
Denzel Washington was fantastic in “Flight.” He is a two-time Oscar winner and he is very deserving. Unfortunately, the tea leaves in the wind are strongly blowing in the direction of Daniel Day-Lewis who gave an amazingly transformative performance as Lincoln. He has won many of the critic’s groups awards, he’s won the Golden Globe Award, The SAG Award, and the same people are voting at all these awards shows. So if you look at the patterns, no, it doesn’t look like Denzel Washington could pull out the win this Sunday. If he does, it would go against what has been voted on throughout the awards season and I just don’t see that happening for Washington this year.
What about Quvenzhane Wallis – does she have any chance of becoming the youngest Oscar winner in history?
Quvenzhane Wallis is a wonderful story. Her acknowledgment was her nomination. I think this is the year for a lot of love for “Silver Linings Playbook.” Like Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence has dominated the awards season. Like Emmanuel Riva for “Amour” like Wallis for “Beasts of the Southern Wild” like Naomi Watts for “The Impossible” – all those folks are like “Thank you for coming.” This is Jennifer Lawrence’s award to win. For Wallis to get a nomination for a movie she made when she was 6 years old and all the attention you get during the awards season, that has been the win for her. She is not going to win on Sunday.
Does “Django Unchained” have a realistic shot for Best Picture?
If you watched all the awards shows from Golden Globes to now there is tremendous amount of love for Ben Affleck and for “Argo.” I thought “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Lincoln” would be the superior films but people loved “Argo.” If “Argo” doesn’t win Best Picture on Sunday that would be the biggest upset, since it’s won everything. It could happen but it’s very rare, and I don’t think any of the 8 other nominated films can pull off the upset.
Should we look for any other Black people at the Oscars or is this another whiteout year?
“Searching for Sugar Man,” the documentary about the mysterious musician Rodriguez who became a cult figure in South Africa has a Black man behind it but not a Black American, a black African. There’s not a lot of brown in this year’s show but that’s not atypical.
Is there anything special planned that we can look forward to in this year’s Oscar telecast?
They’re going to pay tribute to the 50th year of James Bond. Everybody likes Bond -Black, white, green, yellow, etcetera. They’re going to bring back all the Bonds and that’s going to be a very sexy and amazing piece, probably with Adele singing. I also just got a tweet yesterday that they’re planning some huge end of show thing that they won’t go in to. If you’re Black it might not be must-see TV, but it’s must-peek TV. Just peek at it from time to time over the course of three hours.
Between presenters Halle Berry, Jennifer Hudson and Queen Latifah, who will take the red carpet battle this year?
I’m going to go out on a limb and say Halle Berry will be spectacular at the Oscars this Saturday. Queen Latifah will find something that complements her shape and look fantastic and Jennifer Hudson, who’s slimmed down in a way that’s almost scary will look fantastic but Halle Berry always shows up on the red carpet.