Now until the Feb. 24 Oscar telecast, Take 2 will run a series of posts focusing on issues and subjects involving the Academy Awards.
This is the first time that Shelton Jackson Lee, better known as Spike Lee, has been nominated from a best director Oscar. In his 30-plus years of filmmaking, he has only been nominated for best original screenplay for “Do the Right Thing” and best documentary feature for “4 Little Girls.” In 2016, he was awarded an honorary Oscar for his cinematic achievements.
This year, Lee is also up for best adapted screenplay and best picture for “BlacKkKlansman.”
Lee has touched nearly all aspects of film, even as a professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. This year’s Academy Awards’ field is no different. Several of the major nominees share a past with Lee. Here are a few examples:
Ruth E. Carter
Carter is nominated for best costume design for her Afrofuturistic work in “Black Panther.” Carter was previously nominated in 1993 for Lee’s “Malcolm X” and Steven Spielberg’s “Amistad.” Carter and Lee’s partnership dates back to 1988’s “School Daze” and includes “Do the Right Thing,” “Mo’ Better Blues,” “Jungle Fever,” “Crooklyn,” “Clockers,” “Summer of Sam,” “Oldboy,” Da Sweet Blood of Jesus” and “Chi-Raq.”
Malek is a first-time nominee for his role as Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Malek previously appeared in two Lee-directed movies that were remakes, “Oldboy” and “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus,” Lee’s reimagination of “Ganja and Hess.”
Dafoe earned his fourth nominee with his portrayal of painter Vincent van Gogh in “At Eternity’s Gate.” Dafoe had a supporting role in Lee’s bank caper “Inside Man.”
The Oscar-nominated actress is T’Challa’s mother, Ramonda, in best picture nominee “Black Panther.” Bassett played Dr. Betty Shabazz in Lee’s “Malcolm X.”
Josh Brolin and Pom Klementieff
Brolin, a previous nominee, and Klementieff appear in “Avengers: Infinity War,” which is nominated for best visual effects. Both also star in Lee’s remake of “Oldboy.”
During a morning forum before the Directors Guild of America Awards on Saturday, Cooper shared a little antidote involving Lee. Cooper auditioned for a part in either a film or show, but he didn’t get the part.