Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods is generating Oscar buzz across the board; from Best Actor to Best Supporting Actor and Best Picture, the film is ahead of the awards pack – at least, for now – and shaping up to be one to spot at the 2021 Oscars. Heck, there might even be Best Director in there for Spike Lee.
Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods debuted on Netflix early in the summer to rave reviews. Co-stars Clarke Peters and the late great Chadwick Boseman put in performances worthy of Best Supporting actor, along with Delroy Lindo who strikes an attractive pose for Best Actor contender.
Netflix will have an Oscar campaign to get Delroy Lindo nominated for Best Lead Actor for ‘DA 5 BLOODS’.
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) September 17, 2020
The New York Times review said, “Spike Lee’s new joint is an anguished, funny, violent argument with and about American history, with an unforgettable performance from Delroy Lindo at its heart.”
It’s still eight months before the Oscars get underway on April 25, but Spike Lee’s creation and many of those involved in it are emerging as the frontrunners in the race for golden statues. Indeed, by the early entertainment odds, Da 5 Bloods looks poised to clean up at the 93rd Academy Awards.
Da 5 Bloods was supposed to premiere at Cannes earlier this year, but due to the coronavirus pandemic that rocked the world, those plans were scuppered. As were all film festivals on the 2020 calendar. Instead, the movie went straight to digital release on June 12 with Netflix and cracked the No.1 spot on Netflix’ top 10 most-watched films.
Under any other circumstance, Da 5 Bloods straight-to-digital release would have made it ineligible for Oscar’s contention. However, on account of the global pandemic, the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has relaxed eligibility guidelines for Oscar consideration next year. Movies that otherwise would have been eligible but were forced to go digital and forgo the required theatre release will be considered.
Film critics are praising Lee’s boisterous tale about four “Big Red One” infantrymen, spearheaded by Delroy Lindo and Clarke Peters, who return to Saigon to retrieve not only the remains of a fallen colleague, played by Chadwick Boseman, but also buried treasure.
As a standalone product, the film is worthy of Oscar consideration on merit alone. Same for Lindo, Peters, and Boseman’s coming of age performances that are too worthy of Oscar consideration.
Where Da 5 Blood gets a leg up in the race is in timing, which is purely coincidental. Just as the film made its debut on Netflix, Black Lives Matter protests were raging across the streets of America – and then, ultimately, the world. The movie was a timely representation of the current status quo, generating interest in turn.
The Wall Street Journal describes Da 5 Bloods as “A drama crossed with a polemic that’s enriched by a black-history lesson, the film is sprawling, enthralling and essential viewing.”
Spike Lee in promoting the movie was in the right place at the right time, inadvertently becoming one of several celebrity spokespersons for the BLM movement.
Then again, it’s fair to say Lee has always been on the right side of the debate but the timing wasn’t on side. It’s only fitting that therefore that this tidal wave of protests has lifted Lee on its cusp as the spokesperson, backed by a 30-year resume in making movies that have long been highlighting social injustice and racial inequality.
Spike Lee won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay with BlacKkKlansman, his first golden statue thirty years after his coming of age movie “Do The Right Thing.”
“BlacKkKlansman” recounts the true story of two police detectives who infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan. Although it was nominated for six awards, including Best Directing, Best Picture, and Best Supporting Actor, it won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Spike Lee’s overdue a Best Director victory at the Academy Awards and with the Black Lives Matter movement and the woke coming to the fore, he could very well nab the most coveted honor among his peers. Indeed, it’s long overdue for a black director to join the select group and not just get nominated.