Blacks take on nuanced, compelling, roles in box office winners

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Multiple Oscar winner Denzel Washington is somber as he ponders his next move in his latest thriller “The Equalizer,” which won the box office when it opened 9/26/2014.

By Carmen Glover

In their first pairing since their Academy Award-winning turn in “Training Day,” director Antoine Fuqua and legendary actor Denzel Washington joined forces again to dominate the box officer last weekend with the thriller “The Equalizer,” which grossed close to $35 million in ticket sales when it opened on September 26, with movie theaters reporting brisk sales and numerous sold out shows.

no good deed

Tariji P. Henson and Idris Elba keep audiences breathless perched at the edge of their seats as the scenes unfold in “No Good Deed,” which topped the box office when it opened September 12, and continues to draw a strong crowd.

The movie comes on the heels of “No Good Deed,” a fast paced thriller starring heart-throb sensations Idris Elba and Tariji P. Henson, who both infused their roles with rich texture that had them emanating from the screen with compelling authenticity. “No Good Deed,” which opened in theaters on September 12, also surged to the top of the box office with strong sales, supported by a diverse audience.

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On October 3, rapper Nas adds to the offerings with the debut a film by One 9 and Erik Parker, “Nas: Time is Illmatic,” which opened earlier this year at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival. The documentary chronicles Nas’ journey from childhood to music stardom while examining the lives of his friends along the way, and how they fared.

liam

Liam Neeson as Matt Scudder and Brian “Astro” Bradley, as T.J. in the film “A Walk Among the Tombstones,” which opened on September 19.

Various other movies round out the menu of what is being shown in movie theaters, giving audiences a wide range of stellar performances and an opportunity to shine. One that is particularly noteworthy is the gem “A Walk Among the Tombstones,” starring Liam Neeson and featuring a smooth portrayal by Brian “Astro” Bradley, whose ease in the role is as natural as it is riveting.

After a great year in 2013 which featured a mixture of solid roles featuring black actors, 2014 is continuing the trend of showcasing black actors in movies that give them a chance to shine with excellent scripts. It remains to be seen if this trend will continue–OnPointPress.net.

 

Six lessons to learn from the recent movie awards season

Steve McQueen created history at the Academy Awards, becoming the first black director to have his film win Best Picture.

Steve McQueen made history at the Academy Awards, becoming the first black director to have his film win Best Picture. McQueen boasts Caribbean and British heritage.

By Carmen Glover

Now that the movie awards season has come to a close it is instructive to examine the lessons that should be gleaned. Below are six important lessons that can be learned from the movies that were honored, nominated and snubbed. Perhaps by closely examining these lessons, the 2014 movie season will unfold with more promising results when the honors are meted out in 2015.

An elated Steve McQueen leaps for joy when the film he directed, "!2 Years a Slave" won Best Picture at the Oscars, a first for a black director.

An elated Steve McQueen leaps for joy when the film he directed, “12 Years a Slave” won Best Picture at the Oscars, a first for a black director. The film’s crew looks on in amusement.

1. Persistence Pays Off

As refreshing as it was to see director Steve McQueen, Lupita Nyong’o and John Ridley of “12 Years a Slave” walk off with the Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay, respectively, at the Academy Awards, the underlying message that emanated from their moving acceptance speeches was the importance of persevering. McQueen refused to give up when financial backing for his movie dried up. Then the benevolent Brad Pitt entered the picture with his Plan B Productions, lending much needed support to what critics worldwide have agreed is one of the most important films ever made because it chronicles the life of a free man who was kidnapped and forced into slavery to endure haunting realities before regaining his freedom.

Due to McQueen’s persistence, he triumphed in the end to become the first black director to see his film receive the Best Picture award by the Oscars. Ridley became the second African-American to receive the honor for Best Adapted Screenplay while Nyong’o won over the hearts of movie lovers across the globe with her riveting performance as Patsey, for which she won numerous awards this season.

An emotional yet eloquent Lupita Nyong'o delivers a stirring speech at the Academy Awards .t

An emotional yet eloquent Lupita Nyong’o delivers a stirring speech at the Academy Awards, where she won another in a string of Best Supporting Actress Awards this season for “12 Years a Slave.”

Nyong’o’s performance would not have been possible if McQueen hadn’t followed his instincts in casting an authentic dark-skinned actress with natural hair, who proudly embraces every aspect of her African heritage, in her first movie role. An exuberant McQueen jumped for joy as he hoisted his Oscar trophy, vindicated for his persistence, courage and determination to bring his vision to the life. Nyong’o brought tears to the eyes of fellow actors and movie lovers across the world when she delivered her acceptance speech with poise, despite shedding copious tears simultaneously.

“Thank you to the Academy for this incredible recognition. It does not escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in another’s,” she said, before thanking her family, the Yale School of Drama, which she attended, like the indomitable Angela Bassett, who won an NAACP Image Award for her role in “Black Nativity.”

John Ridley became the second African-American writer to win an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

John Ridley became the second African-American writer to win an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Ridley was emotional as he made it clear that Solomon Northup, whose memoir inspired “12 Years a Slave,” deserved all the credit. “All the praise goes to Solomon Northup. These are his words, his life. All the thanks goes to the entire crew, the entire cast,” said Ridley, gripping his Oscar onstage.

Chiwetel Ejiofor won Best Actor for "12 Years a Slave" at the BAFTAs.

Chiwetel Ejiofor won Best Actor for “12 Years a Slave” at the BAFTAs.

“12 Years a Slave” won Best Picture honors from the Golden Globes, British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTAs), Image Awards, Independent Spirit Awards and Screen Actors Guild, a real tribute to the power of persistence.

2. Trust Your Instincts

Like McQueen, who followed his heart in casting Nyong’o and the fiercely talented lead actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, who won Best Actor for “12 Years a Slave” at the London-based BAFTA Awards; Ryan Coogler, a 27-year-old first time director of “Fruitvale Station,” decided that the story of Oscar Grant needed to be told. Despite being a film student with very little disposable income, Coogler chronicled the short life of the young, unarmed Oakland father in a movie whose authenticity leaped off the screen based on stellar performances by Michael B. Jordan of “The Wire” and Octavia Spencer of “The Help.”

Ryan Coogler was not deterred in his quest to tell Oscar Grant's story in the gripping "Fruitvale Station."

Ryan Coogler was not deterred in his quest to tell Oscar Grant’s story in the gripping “Fruitvale Station.”

It took Coogler’s vision and determination to share the story in a movie setting. The Independent Film Award bestowed on the movie by the NAACP Image Awards was icing on the cake. How many times in life, do you feel compelled to do something, take a certain path, but you allow fears to consume and discourage you? Coogler’s success should be an example to others to trust your instincts. Never let naysayers cause your dreams to shrivel up. Take ownership of your goals and forge ahead, regardless of any obstacles that you encounter. Believe in yourself and like the Nike slogan: “just Do It.”

3. Follow Your Dreams/Take Chances

For years after the release of “The Best Man,” Director Malcolm Lee toyed with the idea of creating a sequel.

"Best Man Holiday" did well at the box office and was nominated for NAACP Image Awards.

“Best Man Holiday” did well at the box office and was nominated for NAACP Image Awards.

He finally decided to follow his dreams and the result was “The Best Man Holiday” which arrived in theaters on November 15, 2013 to the delight of enthusiastic fans. While the movie did not receive any industry awards, it was nominated in several categories at the Image Awards and did phenomenally well as the box office, with fans eagerly waiting for another follow-up, since the sequel ended with a cliff-hanger.

Forest Whitaker received the NAACP's Chairman's Award and Best Actor Award in a movie for "The Butler."

Forest Whitaker received the NAACP’s Chairman’s Award and Best Actor Award in a movie for “The Butler.”

Academy Award winning actor, director and producer Forest Whitaker expanded his creative reach and invested in “Fruitvale Station” as the executive producer. Not only that, he had his hand in two other notable movies in 2013: “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” for which he won Best Actor at the Image Awards and “Black Nativity” for which  Bassett won Best Actress.

Angela Bassett won an NAACP Image Award for her outstanding performance in "Black Nativity."

Angela Bassett won an NAACP Image Award for her outstanding performance in “Black Nativity.”

4. Live Your Passion

Comedian and actor Kevin Hart was named Entertainer of the Year by the Image Awards team for being an inescapable presence in movies, comedy tours and comedy series that entertained fans while highlighting his passion for his craft.

Kevin Hart was named Entertainer of the Year.

Kevin Hart was named Entertainer of the Year at the NAACP Image Awards.

Not only is Hart a hard worker, he has perfected the art of marketing and distributing his work as well as cross-promoting and branding his art so that it is impossible to miss what he has to offer. He lives and loves his passion, leading to enormous success.

5. Limited Releases Hurt Movies’ Viability and Visibility

“Fruitvale Station” opened in limited release in July 2013 before opening in wider release two weeks later. “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” opened on Christmas Day and had a limited run in theaters on very few screens, all of which hurt the movie, despite its compelling storyline and incredible performances by Idris Elba and Naomie Harris.

Michael B. Jordan's film, "Fruitvale Station," was named Best Independent Film.

Michael B. Jordan’s film, “Fruitvale Station,” was named Best Independent Film. by the NAACP Image Awards.

It is unfortunate that this trend of releasing movies for a limited run before opening the film nationwide, disproportionately affected important films about black life. This type of marketing strategy hurts black films and the practice needs to be examined closely and a better model embraced so that great films made in the future have equal chance for commercial and critical success.

6. Embrace the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ)

Many of the films that were honored previewed at the NABJ’s Convention in Orlando, Florida last summer. Also, many of the key individuals associated in the films made an appearance at the convention to talk to black journalists. McQueen, Nyong’o and Alfre Woodard discussed “12 Years a Slave” after a preview; Tyrese mingled with attendees after a preview of “Black Nativity.” Forest Whitaker participated in a question and answer session after showing “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” and Malcolm Lee took part in a panel discussion after showing “The Best Man Holiday,” although none of the film’s stars showed up for the event, as promoted.

Lupita Nyong'o joins Pharrell in dancing to his song "Happy."

Lupita Nyong’o joins Pharrell Williams in dancing to his song “Happy,” which illustrates her thankful and joyous mood after dominating the awards season with several honors.

As Nyong’o delivered the most poignant part of her speech and danced with joy alongside Pharrell Williams to his hit song “Happy,” the image of her sitting next to Woodard and McQueen at the NABJ convention in Florida, came to mind. “When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid,” she said at the Academy Awards. Who would have thought that the stars would have shone for her so brightly during the awards season, when she sat so calmly and spoke to a room full of journalists in Florida during the summer?

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In the end, being available to NABJ paid dividends because the films generated intense buzz that translated into a wider awareness for moviegoers. With the new movie season well underway, it is clear that if more black talent invest in movies and refine the distribution process they will solidify their presence in a way that compel all other entities to take notice or ignore the new breed of movie savants to their detriment. –OnPointPress.net

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NAACP Image Awards reflect diversity, balance, fairness

Forest Whitaker received the NAACP's Chairman's Award and Best Actor Award in a movie for "The Butler."

Forest Whitaker received the NAACP’s Chairman’s Award and Best Actor Award in a movie for “The Butler.”

By Carmen Glover

The 45th NAACP Image Awards, held on Saturday, February 22 in Pasadena, California, achieved what the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild combined failed miserably to do: honor a broad range of deserving African-Americans who showcased outstanding performances during the past year. Broadcast live for the first time on TV One, the 2014 Image Awards got off to an entertaining start with a phalanx of stars such as Judge Greg Mathis, Dennis Haysbert,Tatyana Ali and Tika Sumpter walking the red carpet. Actor Anthony Anderson hosted the event and made an effort to connect with the audience.

Oprah Winfrey delivered a tribute to late South African President Nelson Mandela.

Oprah Winfrey delivered a stirring tribute to late South African President Nelson Mandela.

Oprah Winfrey and Stevie Wonder honored the late international icon and South African President Nelson Mandela. “Nelson Mandela was a true hero. His spirit was never broken. His life was an example to us all,” Winfrey said, describing being in his presence as “sitting with the face of grace and majesty.” Stevie Wonder performed a medley of his hit songs including “Higher Ground” and “Always.”

Stevie Wonder performed a musical tribute to Nelson Mandela.

Stevie Wonder walked the red carpet and later performed a musical tribute to Nelson Mandela.

Paris Barclay and Cheryl Boone Isaacs were inducted into the Image Awards Hall of fame for achieving significant firsts: Barclay is the first African American President of the Directors Guild of America (DGA) while Boone Isaacs is the first African American President of the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences.

Cheryl Boone Isaacs was inducted into the NAACP Image Hall of Fame.

Cheryl Boone Isaacs was inducted into the NAACP Image Hall of Fame for achieving a first.

Paris Barclay

Paris Barclay was inducted into the NAACP image Awards Hall of fame for achieving a first.

Among the winners at the venerable awards show was Oscar Award winner/director/producer Forest Whitaker, who won both the NAACP Chairman’s Award and the Best Actor award for his riveting performance in “Lee Daniels’:The Butler” which was snubbed by the other awards shows. The ever classy Whitaker acknowledged his fellow actors and said a humble “Thank you,” in accepting his award. Whitaker also starred in “Black Nativity” and produced “Fruitvale Station,” both of which were recognized during the event.

Kerry Washington won for Scandal while Lupital N'Yong'o won for "12 Years a Slave."

Kerry Washington won for Scandal while Lupital Nyong’o won for “12 Years a Slave.”

In recognition of the diverse and compelling roles that performers brought to life on the big screen, the NAACP also honored the following: “12 Years a Slave,” Outstanding Picture; Outstanding Actress, Angela Bassett for “Black Nativity”;  Lupita Nyong’o, Best Supporting Actress for her remarkable role in “12 Years a Slave.,” David Oyelowo was named Best Supporting Actor in “Lee Daniels’: The Butler;” while the riveting “Fruitvale Station” was finally recognized with a Best Independent Film award.

Kevin Hart was named Entertainer of the Year.

Kevin Hart was named Entertainer of the Year and  thanked his late mother for inspiring him.

Kevin Hart was named Entertainer of the Year, cementing his status as a star who is serious about his craft and utilizing expert marketing strategies to broaden his fan base. Hart also won two awards for television as Outstanding Actor in a comedy series and for the series itself in “Real Husbands of Hollywood.”  A solemn and visibly moved Hart walked to the stage, paused, then said: “First of all I gotta thank God,” as he accepted the final award of the night. He thanked his late mother and said: “I’m a mama’s boy but my mother passed away and is not here to share it with me but I know she’s smiling down on me right now.”

Idris Elba finally gets love, walking off with a Best Actor Award for the television show "Luther."

Idris Elba finally gets some  love, walking off with a Best Actor Award for the television show “Luther.”

The television categories were nuanced and broad. Morris Chestnut won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for “Nurse Jackie,” while Brandy Norwood won for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for “The Game.” The dominant series “Scandal” was named Outstanding Drama Series with Kerry Washington winning for Outstanding  Actress in a Drama Series and her father on the show, Joe Morton, winning Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. Accepting her award, Washington, who is due to give birth soon, thanked her “Gladiators” as the audience cheered.

Michael B. Jordan's film, "Fruitvale Station," was named Best Independent Film.

Michael B. Jordan’s poignant movie, “Fruitvale Station,” was named Best Independent Film.

L.L. Cool J won Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series for “NCIS: Los Angeles.” Taraji P. Henson won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for “Person of Interest” while Wendy Raquel Robinson won Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series. Idris Elba did not go home empty-handed, winning Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Miniseries or Dramatic Special for “Luther,” while Gabrielle Union won the female equivalent. Kristoff St. John and Tatyana Ali, won Best Actor and Actress, respectively, in a Daytime Drama Series, for their performances on “The Young and the Restless”

Dr. Heny Louis Gates, Jr. won for Outstanding News/Information (Series of Special) for “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Steve Harvey’s syndicated show won for Outstanding Talk Series, while “Iyanla Fix My Life” won for Outstanding Reality Series. “Black Girls Rock” won for Outstanding Variety Series or Special, “Wynton Marsalis: A YoungArts  MasterClass” won for Outstanding Children’s Program while China Anne McClain won Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children’s Program for “A.N.T Farm.”

Both John Legend and Robin Thicke won in the music category.

Both John Legend and Robin Thicke won in the music category.

Music was a mixed bag with K. Michele named Outstanding New Artist, John Legend named Outstanding Male Artist and Beyoncé named Outstanding Female Artist. Robin Thicke’s controversial “Blurred Lines,” featuring T.I and Pharrell, won for Outstanding Duo, Group or Collaboration. “The Songs of Stevie Wonder-SF Jazz Collective” was named Outstanding Jazz Album, Tamela Mann’s “Best Days Deluxe Edition” was named Outstanding Gospel Album, “Natalie Cole en Espanol” won Outstanding World Music Album, “Q.U.E.E.N” by Janelle Monae featuring Erykah Badu won for Outstanding Music Video, John Legend’s “All of Me” was named Outstanding Song and “Love Charlie” by Charlie Wilson won Outstanding Album.

Janele Monae was a winner at the NAACP Image Awards.

Janelle Monae was a winner at the NAACP Image Awards.

Pamela Samuels’ “Anybody’s Daughter won Outstanding Fiction; Envisioning Emancipation: Black Anericans and the End of Slavery” by Deborah Willis and Barbara Krauthamer won Outstanding Non-Fiction; Sheri Booker was named Outstanding New Author for “Nine Years Under;” “The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks” by Jeanne Theoharis was named Outstanding Biography/Autobiography; “The Vegucation of Robin: How Real Food Saved My Life” by Robin Quivers won for Outstanding Instructional,;Frank X. walker’s “Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers won for Poetry; Kadir Nelson’s “Nelson Mandela” won for Outstanding Children’s Book while Tanya Lee Stone’s “Courage Has No Color, The True Story of the Triple Nickles: American’s Frist Black Paratroopers” won for Outstanding Youth/Teens.

Morris Chestnut won an award for his role in "Nurse Jackie."

Morris Chestnut won an award for his role in “Nurse Jackie.”

The NAACP Image Awards reinforce the importance of African-Americans taking the lead in celebrating their entertainers instead of leaving it up to others who will probably never truly see the vast range, texture and power embodied in African-American talent.-OnPointPress.net.

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“12 Years a Slave” is best picture, black actors, director, snubbed

 

"!2 Years a Slave" Director Steve McQueen with the film's stars and Chiwetel Ejiofor. The film won Best Picture at the Golden Globes on Sunday night.

“12 Years a Slave” Director Steve McQueen with the film’s stars Lupita Nyong’o and Chiwetel Ejiofor. The film won Best Picture at the Golden Globes on Sunday night.

By Carmen Glover

The announcement that “12 Years a Slave,” which was nominated for seven Golden Globes, deservedly won the Best Picture of 2013 at the awards event Sunday night, took an extremely long time to be made. The big revelation was made at the end of the show after black actors were snubbed in all the other categories in which they were nominated. In a cruel twist, Steve McQueen, the film’s director, was overlooked in the Best Director category to the extent that he was clearly stunned when his film won the top award.

Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor renders a solid performance in "12 Years a Slave."

Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor renders a solid performance in “12 Years a Slave,” but was snubbed for a Best Actor award by the Golden Globes.

“Little bit in shock,” he said as he stood on stage with the film’s cast, gazing at the award. After thanking the actors, he thanked “Brad Pitt, without whom the film would not have been made.” It was surreal watching the broadcast of the Golden Globes as black actors and movies were ignored time and again, despite the stellar performances the actors gave in the movies that epitomized the best of their craft.

Idris Elba, who convincingly portrayed late South African leader Nelson Mandela in the film "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," was snubbed at the Golden Globe Awards.

Idris Elba, who convincingly portrayed late South African leader Nelson Mandela in the film “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” was snubbed for a Best Actor award by the Golden Globes.

“Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” won a nominal recognition by way of U2’s Bono, who won Best Score for his song “Ordinary Love,” but the film’s star, Idris Elba, who portrayed late South African leader Nelson Mandela with such grace and sophistication, was overlooked for his solid depiction.

Lupita Nyong'o  was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in "12 Years a Slave."

Lupita Nyong’o was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in “12 Years a Slave,” but went home empty-handed at the awards event.

Actors appearing in television series fared no better, with Kerry Washington “Scandal” and Don Cheadle “House of Lies,” both being shut out despite great performances.

It is at times like these when the significance of the NAACP’s Image Awards shines with relevance. The NAACP Image Awards proudly celebrates the work of black actors, showering them with the accolades and respect that they have strongly earned but which they rarely get from their peers. It is important for the mainstream award programs to realize that nominating black performers, only to ignore their talents when it’s time to hand out the awards, is simply unacceptable. It is a slap in the face of professionals who give their all to their work and who deserve to be recognized for the high quality of their work rather than be overlooked because of their skin color. –OnPointPress.net

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Mandela movie opens nationwide on Christmas Day

Idris Elba portrays Nelson Mandela in an uncanny, electrifying and authentic manner.

Idris Elba portrays Nelson Mandela in an uncanny, electrifying and authentic manner, Naomie Harris co-stars in the film.

By Carmen Glover

The wait is finally over, on Christmas Day, for the nationwide release of the movie “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” which earned Idris Elba a Golden Globe nomination for best actor. Elba plays the late international icon, Nelson Mandela, and delivers a compelling performance that transcends the screen. Mandela’s death on the evening of the London premiere of the film, shifted the focus even more intently to Mandela himself, causing people across the world to mourn while yearning to learn more about his life, his struggles and his triumphs.

Idris Elba in "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom."

Idris Elba in “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.”

Elba envelopes Mandela’s character and infuses the role with a rich, textured, layered veneer of authenticity that intertwines Elba’s personality with Mandela’s to the extent that the two men almost become one at critical points throughout the movie. The timing of the nationwide release couldn’t be more perfect: On Christmas Day when families are spending time together and have the time and desire to bond over a memorable event. “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” is a film that offers that option. It is a great conversation starter and is bound to generate passionate discussions in homes all over the world as people try to grasp the full meaning of Mandela’s strong legacy. Elba has demonstrated that he is the perfect messenger in his striking portrayal of a great man.–OnPointPress.net

Golden Globes nominations for Idris Elba, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o

Idris Elba in "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom."

Idris Elba authentic performance in “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” earned him a Golden Globe nomination in the Best Actor Category.

By Carmen Glover

Movies depicting the nuanced and diverse range of the black experience have been released in record numbers in theaters this year, making 2013 a great year for blacks in film. The announcement by the Golden Globes that two dramatic actors, Idris Elba (“Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”) in theaters Christmas Day and Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave,” will compete in the category of best actor comes as no surprise. In fact, it would have been unsurprising if that category had been dominated by black actors, including Michael B. Jordan, “Fruitvale Station;” Forest Whitaker, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” “Black Nativity;” and Chadwick Boseman in “42: The True Story of an American Legend,” for his moving portrayal as baseball great Jackie Robinson.

Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor renders a solid performance in "12 Years a Slave."

Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor renders a solid performance in “12 Years a Slave” for which he was nominated for Best Actor by the Golden Globes.

“12 Years a Slave” tied with “American Hustle” in receiving 7 nominations each. The movie was nominated for best actor, director, film in drama, supporting actor, supporting actress, screenplay and score. The nominations were announced yesterday by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. The Golden Globes are often seen as precursors to the Oscar, as far as the films most likely to be honored. The Golden Globes will air on January 12, 2014.

Lupita Nyong'o  was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in "12 Years a Slave."

Lupita Nyong’o was nominated by the Golden Globes for Best Supporting Actress in “12 Years a Slave.”

Michael B. Jordan in "Fruitvale Station."

Michael B. Jordan in “Fruitvale Station.”

Although Elba and Ejiofor were nominated in the dramatic category, black actors were ignored in the comedic category, despite the strong performances by the actors in the popular romantic comedy “Best Man Holiday.” And for reasons known only to the Globes’ selection committee, black women were snubbed for their film portrayals in the major categories. The exception was Lupita Nyong’o, who was nominated in the supporting actor category for her stellar performance in “12 Years a Slave.” Also, Kerry Washington snagged a nomination for her fierce depiction of Washington fixer Olivia Pope in the television drama Scandal.

Chadwick Boseman in "42."

Chadwick Boseman in “42.”

Among the noteworthy films that showcased the diversity of the black experience this year are: “Temptation,” directed by Tyler Perry and starring Journee Smollett-Bell, Lance Gross and Vanessa Williams; “2 Guns,” with Denzel Washington and Paula Patton; “White House Down,” with Jamie Foxx; “Olympus Has Fallen,” with Morgan Freeman and Angela Bassett, directed by Antoine Fuqua; “The Call,’ with Halle Berry; “Las Vegas,” with Morgan Freeman; “Now You See Me,” with Common; and several movies starring Dwayne “The Rock Johnson,” including “Snitch” and “G.I. Joe: Retaliation.”

Forest Whitaker and Oprah in "Lee Daniels' The Butler."

Forest Whitaker and Oprah in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”

Halle Berry stars in The Call, a WWE Studios movie released in theaters in March, 2013 and on DVD in July, 2013.

Halle Berry stars in The Call, a WWE Studios movie released in theaters in March, 2013 and on DVD in July, 2013.

One aspect of the range illuminated by the plethora of black films that hit the theaters this year is the opportunity the trend allowed for the pantheon of directors and producers to expand their reach and shine. Validation for the risks taken by directors and producers were evident in box office receipts with many films far exceeding expectations. Moviegoers flocked to the theaters in droves, eager to reunite with characters who seemed like old friends (“The Best Man Holiday.”) or simply to gain exposure to a different take on slavery in Steve McQueen’s masterful direction of “12 Years a Slave.”

The cast of The Best Man Holiday.

The cast of The Best Man Holiday.

 

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in "Snitch."

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in “Snitch.”

As the wait for the Oscar nomination continues, expectations are high that more black actors and actresses will be recognized for stellar performances that filled theaters from the year began. That trend is expected to surge when British heart-throb Elba’s stirring performance in “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” is made available to an expanded audience base on Christmas Day, when the movie opens in wide release. —OnPointPress.net.