The National Board of Review issued its picks for Best Actor, Actress and Picture, priming the pump for what yours truly thinks will be a possibly historic Academy Awards next year -- as a majority of the nominees may be African American.
The NBR is, as Daily Variety correctly points out, "a group made up of film educators and other professionals with no official ties to the biz. While its workings are not well known in Hollywood, an NBR nod can help set the tone for the awards season and Top 10 lists that follow."
As Tom O'Neil's always-interesting L.A. Times Gold Derby blog notes, "The other NBR choices such 'King' and 'Queen' lording over the actor and actress domains -- Forest Whitaker ("Last King of Scotland") and Helen Mirren ("The Queen") -- aren't surprises, but 'Iwo Jima,' Catherine O'Hara and supporting actor champ Djimon Hounsou ("Blood Diamond") get a significant boost from winning the equivalent of the New Hampshire primary of the Oscar race."
Whitaker and Hounsou's nods could be the start of a history-making Oscars, because the NBR's credibility comes from its lack of affiliation with any faction in Hollywood, its opinion is largely trusted by all of Hollywood. Conceiveably, we are looking at an historic group of Best Actor Oscar nominees.
Some free, unsolicited advice, Eddie? Denying paternity isn't necessarily the way into the hearts of Oscar voters, or any voters, for that matter. As the AP recently pointed out, "Grover Cleveland, running for president in 1884, was faced with accusations that he'd fathered a child out of wedlock; the bachelor acknowledged right away that he'd had a relationship with the woman and said he'd support the child even though he had no idea if it was his (this was pre-DNA testing.) He won the election."
It's going to be a hell of an exciting Oscar season, and the nominations might be very exciting news -- especially in light of the current dearth of minorities in the media.