“Precious” and “Princess” Top Black Reel Awards Nominations

Posted: December 16, 2009 in Awards History, Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx, Spike Lee, Taraji P. Henson
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The dark and disturbing story of a teenage girl dealing with multiple forms of abuse, “Precious” officially became the darling of this year’s Black Reel Awards receiving ten nominations to lead one of the most competitive fields in the organization’s history.

One day after receiving three Golden Globe nominations, “Precious” dominated the field being nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress (Gabourey Sidibe), Best Supporting Actress (Mo’Nique, Paula Patton and Mariah Carey), Best Director (Lee Daniels) and Best Screenplay, Original or Adapted (Geoffrey Fletcher). In addition, the film was nominated for Best Ensemble and rocker Lenny Kravitz was honored with a Best Supporting Actor nod.

While “Precious” possessed a decidedly darker turn, voters also showered huge praise on Walt Disney’s African-American royalty nominating “The Princess and the Frog” for seven nominations. Starring Anika Noni Rose, the film was also nominated for Best Picture and three nods to the film’s star for Best Voice Performance as well as for two of the film’s three nominated songs, “Almost There,” “Down in New Orleans” and “Never Knew I Needed.” Additional nods were bestowed to Keith David for his voice work not only in “The Princess” but will face-off against himself with dual nominations for “Coraline.”

Other films that fared well this year included Samuel Goldwyn’s “American Violet,” which received six nominations including Best Picture and dual nods for young newcomer Nicole Beharie as well as the inspirational story of Baltimore Ravens’ offensive lineman Michael Oher, “The Blind Side” which was tabbed for four nods. Also receiving four nominations was the film based on the life of hip-hop icon, Biggie Smalls, “Notorious” and the Tony winning Broadway musical brought to the big screen, Spike Lee’s “Passing Strange.”

But the story of this year’s awards will be the historic run of Daniels’ little gem, “Precious.” Despite having no major lead performances or songs under consideration, the film came within one nomination of tying a record eleven nods by “Dreamgirls” and has an outstanding chance to break the record for most wins by a single film in a year, six, currently held by three films “Love and Basketball,” “Ray” and the aforementioned “Dreamgirls” with nods only in eight of the this year’s 16 categories. Momentum has slowly built this awards season for the film which has won multiple awards or nominations from several critics groups as well as the Globes.

Along with many of the newcomers were plenty of familiar faces receiving additional nominations including another nod for Best Actor nod for four-time winner Denzel Washington (“The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3), Morgan Freeman (“Invictus”) and Jamie Foxx (“The Soloist”). Also recognized for her work again this year is rising star Taraji P. Henson for her searing role in Tyler Perry’s “I Can Do Bad All By Myself.”

The late Michael Jackson was even remembered for his stirring concert film, “This Is It” which will oppose both the funny Chris Rock doc, “Good Hair” and the up close and personal look at fallen champ Iron Mike in “Tyson.”

Other notable nominees were indie favorites Tina Mabry’s Mississippi Damned, Kirk Fraser’s “Without Bias,” Ava Duvernay’s “This is the Life” and the baseball drama, “Sugar.”

The 2010 Black Reel Awards winners will be announced on Friday, February 12, 2010 in Washington, DC.

Black Reel Awards nominees

Best Actor

Quinton Aaron | The Blind Side
Jamie Foxx | The Soloist
Morgan Freeman | Invictus
Souléymane Sy Savané | Goodbye Solo
Denzel Washington | The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

Best Actress

Nicole Beharie | American Violet
Taraji P. Henson | I Can Do Bad All By Myself
Sophie Okonedo | Skin
Maya Rudolph | Away We Go
Gabourey Sidibe | Precious

Best Supporting Actor

Charles Dutton | American Violet
Chiwetel Ejiofor | 2012
Lenny Kravitz | Precious
Derek Luke | Madea Goes to Jail
Anthony Mackie | The Hurt Locker

Best Supporting Actress

Mariah Carey | Precious
Mo’Nique | Precious
Paula Patton | Precious
Zoe Saldana | Avatar
Alfre Woodard | American Violet

Best Director

Lee Daniels | Precious
Bill Duke | Not Easily Broken
Spike Lee | Passing Strange
Scott Sanders | Black Dynamite
George Tillman, Jr. | Notorious

Best Screenplay, Original or Adapted

Brian Bird | Not Easily Broken
Geoffrey Fletcher | Precious
John Lee Hancock | The Blind Side
Scott Sanders, Michael Jai White and Byron Minns | Black Dynamite
Reggie Rock Bythewood and Cheo Hodari Coker| Notorious

Best Film

American Violet | Samuel L. Goldwyn
The Blind Side | Warner Bros.
Invictus | Warner Bros.
Precious | Lionsgate
The Princess and the Frog | Walt Disney

Best Breakthrough Performance

Quinton Aaron | The Blind Side
Nicole Beharie | American Violet
Souléymane Sy Savané | | Goodbye Solo
Gabourey Sidibe | Precious
Jamal Woolard | Notorious

Best Ensemble

American Violet | Samuel Goldwyn
Notorious | Fox Searchlight
Passing Strange | Sundance Selects
Precious | Lionsgate
The Princess and the Frog | Walt Disney

Best Song, Original or Adapted

Almost There | The Princess and Frog (Anika Noni Rose)
Down in New Orleans | The Princess and the Frog (Anika Noni Rose)
I Can Do Bad | I Can Do Bad All By Myself (Mary J. Blige)
Keys (Marianna) | Passing Strange (Stew, de’dre Aziza and Daniel Breaker)
Never Knew I Needed | The Princess and the Frog (Ne | Yo)

Best Documentary

Good Hair | Roadside Attractions
Michael Jackson’s This Is It | Columbia
More Than a Game |
Lionsgate
Passing Strange: The Movie
| Sundance Selects
Tyson
| Sony Pictures Classics

Best Voice Performance

Keith David | Coraline
Keith David | The Princess and the Frog
Delroy Lindo | Up
Anika Noni Rose | The Princess and the Frog
Forest Whitaker | Where the Wild Things Are


Independent

Best Independent Feature

Blue | Ryan Miningham
Mississippi Damned | Tina Mabry
Sugar | Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden
The Tenant
| Lucky Ejim
This is The Life | Ava Duvernay

Best Independent Mini Feature

Life on Earth | Jeffrey Keith
(Mis)leading Man | Morocco Omari
The Roe Effect |
Kiel Adrian Scott

Best Independent Documentary

Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness | Llewellyn Smith
Without Bias | Kirk Fraser
Still Bill | Alex Vlack & Damani Baker

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