The late Chadwick Boseman will be among the nominees for the voters of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to consider on April 25 after the Black Panther star was announced among the nominees for Best Actor in Leading Role for the upcoming Oscars night.
The actor played Levee Green, a trumpeter desperate for the big break in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom before his passing, He starred opposite Viola Davis who is also up for the Best Actress in a Leading Role for her portrayal of Ma Rainey.
The story was culled from a play written by Black playwright August Wilson, whose other play Fences was also brought to the screen by Denzel Washington and Davis.
Boseman becomes the fifth posthumous nominee in that category in Oscars history. It is a list that contains the likes of Massimo Troisi and James Dean. Boseman, or at least his family, would be hoping he pulls a victory from beyond against the like Anthony Hopkins, Gary Oldman and Riz Ahmed.
Meanwhile, Davis will not be the only Black woman nominated in her category. Andra Day, who brought singer Billie Holliday to life in The United States vs Billie Holliday is also up for the nod of Best Actress.
Day has already won the same category at the Golden Globes.
Perhaps, it is for the fame that Black Panther brought or that his was life so young that when it was cut by cancer, it provoked tons of emotions from hundreds of millions across the world. At least, in the last year, Boseman has grown more popular after his death and this can be said for a very group of people in modern history.
Ma Rainey is the only film that involves Boseman that has been released since his death although the Spike Lee-directed Da 5 Bloods came out only two months before he passed on.
Boseman’s career spanned a little over ten years but the period between 2018 and 2020 was clearly the most rewarding. He was part of the biggest cinematic storytelling of a comic strip in Avengers as T’Challa the Black Panther. Nominations for awards have also been a lot in these times.
Before the Oscars announcement on Monday, Boseman had already won the Golden Globe for Best Actor for Ma Rainey. His BAFTA nomination for the same role in the same category is also pending.
If he wins on April 25, Boseman will become only the fifth Black man to have won an Oscar for Best Actor in a leading role after Sidney Poitier, Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx and Forest Whittaker.