Academy Awards

#OscarsBlackAF: My Thoughts on the 2017 Oscar Nominations


The 2017 Academy Award nominations were announced on Tuesday, and I was too lazy to post my thoughts on them at the time. But I’m ready to do so now. Leggo.

First, this year’s crop of nominees is clearly the most diverse Oscar has ever seen. For the first time in history, people of color have been nominated in every acting category in a single awards year. Also, Moonlight‘s Barry Jenkins scored nominations for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture — a trifecta never before achieved by a Black filmmaker.

This year’s awards are so diverse that we could honestly say #OscarsBlackAF.

As far as nominations and numbers, Damien Chazelle’s La La Land topped the list with a record-tying 14 nods, including Best Picture, Best Actress for Emma Stone, and Best Director and Original Screenplay for Chazelle. The film also got two song nominations — “City of Stars,” expected; “Audition (The Fools Who Dream),” unexpected.


Tying in second, with eight nominations apiece, were the aforementioned Moonlight and the sci-fi drama Arrival (which I wanted to see, but dammit, never did). In addition to Picture, Director, and Adapted Screenplay, Moonlight shined with nominations for Mahershala Ali (Best Supporting Actor, a lock), Naomie Harris (Best Supporting Actress), Cinematography, Film Editing, and Original Score.

Meanwhile, the Amy Adams-led Arrival didn’t even get a nomination for its lead actress. Curiouser and curiouser.

Hidden Figures

Crowd-pleasing box-office smash Hidden Figures earned nominations for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actress for Octavia Spencer. However, Spencer won’t win in this category — that’s going to go to Viola Davis for her powerful performance (straight offa Broadway) in the Denzel Washington-directed Fences, which also got nominations for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. Washington got a well-deserved Best Actor nomination, but was shut out of the Director category. Damn, damn, damn!

Moving away from narrative films, we see two Blackcentric documentaries walk away with nominations: Ava DuVernay’s 13th and the James Baldwin-centered I Am Not Your Negro are both in the running for Best Documentary Feature.

A few snubs surprise me, but only a few. Where was Taraji P. Henson’s nomination? I didn’t think she would win — Emma Stone will for La La Land — but she certainly should have been up there. And what happened to Deadpool? After being recognized at the Golden Globes, DGA, PGA, and WGA awards, it had so much momentum going into the Oscars, and I honestly thought we’d at least see a Best Picture nomination.


Below are my handwritten predictions for Oscar night. I swear I wrote them down before the nominations were even announced, but no one will believe me. So at least I’ve at least put my predictions out there now.

2017 Oscar Predictions

What are your thoughts on the 2017 Oscar nominations? Lemme know below.

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