Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Color Purple - 11 and Out

I hate admitting I've never seen the Color Purple. As a Black person, that's almost a cardinal sin to put that out there but since I've never read the book either - go figure. It's funny that I've read Alice Walker's daughter's book twice but not a Pulitzer Prize winner.

Anyways, one of the most egregious things I've ever read in my life is that the film was nominated for 11 Oscars and won zero. Zero?? If a film got 11 noms now, they'd be a shoo-in for Best Picture and multiple awards. But in 1986? That looks embarrassing.

The film actually should've gotten 12 nominations because Steven Spielberg got screwed. But I wonder why a film with a Jewish director, co-produced by a musical genius (Quincy Jones) and a predominantly Black cast that grossed $90 million at the box office couldn't win crap at the Oscars.Just look at the facts.

Whoopi Goldberg being nominated for Best Actress in her debut? - Yeah she wasn't gonna win. Wait another two decades for that to happen with Halle Berry and another Oscar-winning debut in Jennifer Hudson, enjoy that Golden Globe though.

Margaret Avery and some unknown named Oprah Winfrey split the Oscar nom for Supporting Actress? - split votes are normal right?

Quincy Jones did the score and got nothing? Lionel Richie (who co-wrote the song from Color Purple with Quincy) ended up winning for Best Song.

Roger Ebert said this was the Best Film of the Year, praised Whoopi as the best Actress of the year. Guess his advice wasn't heeded.

And again, Spielberg gets no love after winning the Director's Guild? After three nominations, this should have been his fourth. Heck, Harrison Ford got his lone Oscar nom that year.

This is the biggest screwjob in Oscar History. Out of Africa by Sydney Pollack was the big winner at those Oscars and I'll be honest, nobody talks about that movie now really. Everyone still talks about Color Purple - not just because it's a Black cinema classic or because Oprah, Danny Glover and Whoopi all made great moves since.

I'm still scratching my head and saying how did that happen? Was it racism against Spielberg and an All-Black cast - a plausible reality. The last movie with an All-Black cast to make a dent at the Oscars was Boyz N The Hood. Spielberg finally won his Oscars for Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan.

Maybe it was themes of the movie? Black women being uplifted while the men are cast in an unflattering light (female author - go figure. But as a writer, Alice is a genius for exploring this, though) But I dont know. I just know it's a shame and the Oscars should never ever live this down.

No comments:

Post a Comment