It’s no secret that minorities don’t often find themselves in serious contention for Oscar in any category. The year they often refer to as the most “international” year for the Academy Awards was at the 2007 ceremony:
- Best Picture – Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu (Producer) for Babel
- Best Director – Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu for Babel
- Best Actor – Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland
- Best Actor – Will Smith for The Pursuit of Happyness
- Best Actress – Penelope Cruz in Volver
- Best Supporting Actor – Djimon Hounsou for Blood Diamond
- Best Supporting Actor – Eddie Murphy for Dreamgirls
- Best Supporting Actress – Adriana Barraza for Babel
- Best Supporting Actress – Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls
- Best Supporting Actress – Rinko Kikuchi for Babel
- Best Original Screenplay – Guillermo Arriaga for Babel
- Best Original Screenplay – Co-Writer Iris Yamashita for Letters from Iwo Jima
- Best Original Screenplay – Guillermo del Toro for Pan’s Labyrinth
- Best Adapted Screenplay – Alfonso Cuaron, Hawk Ostby, David Arata for Children of Men
The following year Oscar answered back with one African-American mention in the major categories (Ruby Dee in American Gangster) and Spaniard Javier Bardem winning the Oscar for No Country for Old Men. Name some acting or directing works by minorities that Oscar has overlooked that should have either been either nominated or taken home an Academy Award.
It’s easy to go back to last year and the heartbreaking loss for Viola Davis in Tate Taylor’s The Help (2011) but either Michelle Yeoh or Ziyi Zhang were perfectly worthy of Oscar nominations in Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000). I’ve always been so much more taken by the work of Dennis Haysbert over Dennis Quaid in Todd Haynes’ Far from Heaven (2002).
The most head-scratching omissions have come in the form of Spike Lee whose stellar career has produced, directed, and written films like Do the Right Thing (1989), Malcolm X (1992), and 25th Hour (2002). While John Singleton and Lee Daniels carry the torch for Black filmmakers in Hollywood and AMPAS, Spike Lee still stands as one of the best they’ve never rewarded.
Tags: Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Dennis Haysbert, Entertainment/Culture, Far from Heaven, Film, Film soundtracks, Javier Bardem, michelle yeoh, Minorities, Oscar, Zhang Ziyi