Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Things To Do For Black History Month Day 16

Things To Do For Black History Month Day 16: See The Films That Feature This Year's 2004 Oscar Nominees

This year's Oscars has already made history without giving out any awards. How? Well, by featuring an unprecedented five nominations for performances by four different black actors in a single year. The Academy has never nominated that many performances by black actors in one year before. I am happy to say that there are no token nominees in this bunch, either. All of these performances are worthy of their nominations. With this in mind, I suggest that you check out the movies that contain these performances sometime before February 27th, the day of the Oscar ceremony.

The films are:

Hotel Rwanda (in theaters): Don Cheadle (nominated for Best Actor) and Sophie Okonedo (nominated for Best Supporting Actress)
This is a great movie, one that is sad, moving, and heartwrenching to watch. It covers a shameful piece of surprisingly recent history. While Cheadle and Okonedo put in very strong performances, the other actors hold their own as well.

Million Dollar Baby (in theaters): Morgan Freeman (nominated for Best Supporting Actor)
Morgan Freeman's character in this film is the glue that holds it together. His narration guides us through the journey that the two main characters go on. This is another great film in its own right, and Freeman's noble, subdued, and lightly humorous performance is one of his best.

Collateral (on DVD): Jamie Foxx (nominated for Best Supporting Actor)
Jamie's performance in this film really isn't a supporting performance. There is nary a scene without him. Despite that, this is the performance that showed the world that Jamie Foxx could act. His performance as a weak-willed, slightly nerdy cabbie who undergoes a transformation after picking up the wrong fare is a real surprise. Jamie owns this movie from beginning to end, and he's the main reason why it's so compelling.

Ray (on DVD): Jamie Foxx (nominated for Best Actor)
I have yet to watch this film, but we do have the DVD. I'll probably edit this post once I watch it. However, if Collateral showed the world Jamie Foxx could act, then this film (probably) confirmed it. I'm impressed by the short little snippets I've seen in the commercials. I wish Ray wasn't such a long movie, otherwise I would've fit it in a while ago. But I can't wait to set aside some time and really see the performance that has already earned Jamie a Golden Globe and a SAG award.

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