I have been thinking of this topic for awhile and since it’s Black History Month and this usual the time when the Academy Awards would be upon us (it’s on April 25th this year), I thought it would be great time to showcase Black Oscar nominees that are underrated and have been possibly forgotten. I’ll be showcasing some films I’ve seen and some that I haven’t seen yet but is needed to showcase their performances that my have been overlooked.
(If I find the film free online, a hyperlink will be provided)
Nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in Secrets & Lies (1996)
If you would like to see the film, As I can see it is is only available on HBO Max.
Nominated for Best Actor and Best Actress in Sounder (1972)
Here are some quotes from Roger Ebert’s review saying:
“The mother is played by Cicely Tyson, and it is a wonder to see the subtleties in her performance. We have seen her with her family, and we know her strength and intelligence. Then we see her dealing with the white power structure, and her behavior toward it is in a style born of cynicism and necessity. She will say what they want to hear in order to get what she wants to get.”
“The relationship between the man and wife is so completely realized on a mature level that it comes as a shock; we'd forgotten that authentic grown-ups can be portrayed in films. We'd thought, for a moment, that to be a movie adult you had to drive a fast car, be surrounded by sexy dames, and pack an arsenal. "Sounder" proves it isn't so.”
Many platforms carry the film like Hulu and Amazon Prime but it’s for premium subscriptions. But here is a link to the whole movie for free on YouTube.
Nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in A Soldier’s Story (1984)
This film is on many platforms that are free includes Crackle, Pluto and Amazon Prime.
Nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in Imitation of Life (1959)
I looked on the many film platforms and none had the movie for free. I believe the film cost $3.99 on most of those platforms.
Nominated for Best Actor in Round Midnight (1986)
Considered to be one of the best jazz films ever made, Round Midnight is about “In the 1950s, Dale Turner (Dexter Gordon, real life jazz musician), a gifted black saxophonist with a drinking problem, leaves behind New York and his estranged family and relocates to Paris. There he plays for a progressive, jazz-loving audience without being judged by his race, and ages quietly in peace. Not intending to turn away from his vices, Dale nonetheless becomes the project of a French fan (François Cluzet) who tries to help him fight his alcoholism, ultimately inspiring both Dale and his music.”
Since I haven’t seen the movie, I’ll use (again) an excerpt of Roger Ebert’s review of the film to describe Dexter Gordon’s performance saying, “Gordon plays the central role with an eerie magnetism. He is a musician, not an actor, and yet no actor could have given this performance, with its dignity, wisdom and pain”.
I didn’t see the film on any film platform to watch for free or pay to rent it. Though I found the whole film on Vimeo.
Nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in Ragtime (1981)
Nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in Cross Creek (1983)
Nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in The Crying Game (1992)