Daniel Oyelowo



I don't know why Daniel Oyelowo was not nominated for an Oscar for Selma but I certainly don't see it as a case of racist Hollywood not paying due diligence to diversity. I think questioning the diversity of the assembly of top performances for a year is an after-the-fact gesture, almost meaningless. Diversity concerns should have been addressed when the roles were being cast, films greenlighted. Still, I do understand folks' feelings of disappointment. And I think I understand why Academy members did not give Oyelowo a nod for his performance as Martin Luther King Jr., whose memory we commemorate tomorrow. For many folks, Oyelowo looked and sounded like MLK, his bearing was spot on. He embodied a man whose 30-foot monument stands on the Mall in D.C. Ironically, I think it was Oyelowo's replication of King's cadence in his public orations that may have sunk his nomination. I've not read a word from anyone about this but suspect some Academy members, the purists in the thespian tradition, may have struggled with the precision of Oyelowo's delivery. It was marvelous but was this acting or mimicry? Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch scored for leading roles in two other bio-pics but Redmayne's transformation into Stephen Hawking was a Day-Lewis scale physical feat and Cumberbatch's recreation of a man who few knew and who died so many years ago (1954) could hardly be classified as mimicry and yet it was mesmerizing. Oyelowo will not suffer from the lack of a nomination. His star is on the rise -- as, no doubt, are his pay checks.

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