On Wednesday, film nominees for the 2023 Critics Choice Awards were revealed.
As we always do on the Black side of the internet, we’d like to highlight our melanated brothers, sisters and projects that received recognition this year. That includes folks like: Viola Davis (Best Actress, The Woman King); Danielle Deadwyler (Best Actress, Till); Brian Tyree Henry (Best Supporting Actor, Causeway); Angela Bassett (Best Supporting Actress, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever); Janelle Monáe (Best Supporting Actress, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery); Gina Prince-Bythewood (Best Director, The Woman King); Hannah Beachler and Lisa K. Sessions (Best Production Design, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever); Ruth E. Carter (Best Costume Design, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever); and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever for Best Song (“Lift Me Up” by Rihanna), Best Hair and Makeup, and Best Visual Effects.
One other category I want to highlight in particular, however, is the Best Acting Ensemble category, which saw a nomination for the Viola Davis-led film The Woman King. Now while I’m ecstatic that the film got this recognition (because each actor ABSOLUTELY CRUSHED THEIR RESPECTIVE ROLES, but I’ll get more into that later), I am DEEPLY OFFENDED at the lack of recognition for Thuso Mbedu and Lashana Lynch in the aforementioned Supporting Actress categories.
Those two women arguably brought the most heart and emotion of any person in that film and made you feel things that stuck with you long after you walked out of the theater. To not see them in the running—for the fourth time, mind you (no Gotham, Golden Globe, Film Independent Spirit, or Critics Choice noms)—is one the biggest misses to come out of these early award nominations.
I mean, did we all watch the same movie? In the words of Tauheed “2 Chainz” Epps: “I’mma start a riot, I’mma start a riot.” Why? Because this is a travesty that I’m having a hard time coming to terms with each and every time it happens. (While we’re on the subject of supporting actors from this film, let’s go ahead and toss in Sheila Atim and John Boyega who’ve been getting little to no love for their portrayals, too.)
And sure, sure—these are just the early film nominees. We’ve yet to get to the “big dogs” a.k.a. the BAFTAs, SAG, and Oscars. But if this is any indication as to what pattern we can expect moving into the new year, specifically as it relates to Black women artists in film, then let me go ahead and put my riot gear on layaway now.
To see the full list of 2023 Critics Choice nominees, head to deadline.com.