Ava DuVernay’s “Selma” had a completely botched Oscar campaign. With a late, limited release date accompanied by poor advertising the film only managed to receive 2 Oscar nominations – Best Picture and Original Song.
Even though it’d win the ladder, the lack of nominations for it and “Beasts of No Nation” contributed to the “OscarsSoWhite” backlash when all four acting categories failed to nominate a person of color.
Some would argue that the omission of “Beasts of No Nation” was due to the Academy being cold toward Netflix and the graphic nature of the film.
It’s harder to make an excuse for the omission of “Selma.” It had a release date prime for award season, it scored an 89 on MetaCritic and felt accessible enough for audiences with racist tendencies.
The omission of David Oyelowo in Lead Actor was particularly polarizing. Carmen Ejogo probably should’ve squeezed in to.
Think other performances edged them? You be the judge:
Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper – American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton – Birdman
Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
Laura Dern – Wild
Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game
Emma Stone – Birdman
Meryl Streep – Into the Woods
Lead Actor was stacked! I would still rank Oyelowo third among them and half the Supporting Actress nominations were completely forgettable.
The point is – this film needs more credit. It is the penultimate MLK film and as time moves on it will be remembered as such.