'The Butler' leads film nominees at NAACP Image Awards

Posted by · 6:19 am · January 10th, 2014

After what has been universally acknowledged as a banner year for black filmmakers and black-themed cinema, the NAACP Image Awards — usually an awards haven for popular film in the Tyler Perry vein — have an unusual amount of prestige titles to recognize this year. Oscar frontrunner “12 Years a Slave,” of course, figures heavily into the equation with six nominations, but its Lee Daniels’ summer sleeper hit “The Butler” that leads the way with eight.

Those two will presumably duke it out for Best Film, where “Fruitvale Station” and “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” are also nominated — making Malcolm D. Lee’s amiable romcom sequel “The Best Man Holiday” stick out like an agreeably sore thumb. The Best Actor category is even more stacked, with “42” star Chadwick Boseman joining the buzzier Ejiofor-Whitaker-Elba-Jordan quartet.

The Best Actress field, however, suggests 2013 wasn’t quite so generous with its black female leads. (Halle Berry, I thought, was on rather good form in “The Call,” but I sense her awards campaign stops here.) Still, If nothing else, this is likely to be the only awards ceremony this year where two actresses’ interpretations of Winnie Mandela — one excellent, one by Jennifer Hudson — are up for gold.

Elsewhere, it’s nice to see “Blue Caprice” up for the Best Independent Film honor, though a shame that “Mother of George” was left off the list entirely.

Some winners will be announced at a non-televised ceremony on February 21, with the remainder at a televised ceremony the next day. Full list of film nominees below. Keep up with the season thus far at The Circuit.

Best Film
“The Best Man Holiday”
“Fruitvale Station”
“Lee Daniels’ The Butler”
“Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”
“12 Years a Slave”

Best Director
Malcolm D. Lee, “The Best Man Holiday”
Jono Oliver, “Home”
Lee Daniels, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”
Justin Chadwick, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”
Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave”

Best Actor
Chadwick Boseman, “42”
Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”
Idris Elba, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”
Michael B. Jordan, “Fruitvale Station”
Forest Whitaker, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”

Best Actress
Angela Bassett, “Black Nativity”
Nicole Beharie, “42”
Halle Berry, “The Call”
Jennifer Hudson, “Winnie Mandela”
Kerry Washington, “Tyler Perry Presents Peeples”

Best Supporting Actor
Morris Chestnut, “The Best Man Holiday”
Cuba Gooding Jr., “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”
Terrence Howard, “The Best Man Holiday”
Terrence Howard, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”
David Oyelowo, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”

Best Supporting Actress
Naomie Harris, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”
Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”
Octavia Spencer, “Fruitvale Station”
Oprah Winfrey, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”
Alfre Woodard, “12 Years a Slave”

Best Screenplay
“Fruitvale Station”
“Lee Daniels’ The Butler”
“12 Yeares a Slave”

Best Independent Film
“Blue Caprice”
“Dallas Buyers Club”
“Fruitvale Station”
“The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete”
“The Trials of Muhammad Ali”

Best International Film
“Call Me Kuchu”
“High Tech, Low Life”
“La Playa D.C.”
“Lion Ark”
“War Witch”

Best Theatrical Documentary
“Call Me Kuchu”
“Free Angela and All Political Prisoners”
“Girl Rising”
“The New Black”
“20 Feet from Stardom”

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