And…The Oscar ‘Doesn’t’ Go To…………..

ON: THE OSCAR’S…Two of my picks won, SPOTLIGHT and THE ROOM. Yay!! But…I guess I missed on my third one. Or, maybe the Oscar’s missed??? And maybe it’s these sorts of misses that lay at the heart of the Oscar ‘blacklash’? So then, what was this third pick of mine? Are you sitting down? STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON. SHOCKING! Ikr!! Coming from a fine upstanding Spelman College type! Talk about being political INcorrect! Replete with its misogynistic themes, drug and violence glorification (much like the GODFATHER, SCARFACE and every other Mafia/Crimelord cinema I’ve seen!), STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON didn’t stand a chance. But, IMHO, actor for actor, these were some of the best performances turned out last year. Surprising texture and depth. And I LOVE when that happens. I didn’t expect to like this movie. Whatsmore, I DIDN’T WANT TO LIKE THIS MOVIE!! And yet, there was NO denying that despite cinematic and editing glitches, when it came to telling the story–it delivered IN SPADES. There were times when I caught myself saying, “Is that Eazy-E?!” Certainly not, E died of AIDS some years back, a casualty of MANY things–misogynistic behavior, being one of them. But, at my core, I’m an actress, and politics not withstanding, this was a hugely important film that holds a mirror up and allows those courageous enough to examine much,like how we got to the #BlackLivesMatter crisis that we find ourselves in as a nation. Jason “Da Champ” Mitchell (Eazy-E), Corey Hawkins (Dr. Dre),and O’Shea Jackson, Jr. (Ice Cube’s son), I TIP MY HAT TO YOU and to F Gary Gray for directing such a tightly nuanced ensemble–EACH & EVERY ONE! It was masterful. You did the impossible–made me care about characters, I myself have vilified. Final thoughts on this. The eternal optimist in me would like to believe that if “I” could be brought around, so might the Academy. But the inherent flaw in my logic may be this: If the Academy views these fine young, Black men, as merely ‘playing themselves’, as opposed to being trained actors who accomplished the near impossible in bringing to life such current, notable, Pop culture icons, then “Whitewashed & Myopic” cinema will persist and we would have done the world a HUGE DISSERVICE. [And, Nope. There was not ONE female character of any real significance. But then…that wasn’t the story of NWA.]


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