Why not everyone is happy about Lupita

86th Annual Academy Awards - Red CarpetOn the 2nd of March, 2014, 43.74 million viewers all around the world tuned in on their screens to watch the 86th celebration of the Oscar Awards. This was the largest number of viewers in the world in the history of Oscar Awards viewers. Africans around the globe tuned in rooting for Lupita Nyon’go to win an Oscar for her performance in 12 Years a Slave while some girls (like me) were waiting for Leonardo DiCaprio to win his first Oscar. Sadly, the latter didn’t happen. After Lupita won her Oscar, social media broke into a frenzy. Trending tweets and Facebook statuses. If you weren’t talking or reading about Lupita, you had a problem, or a lack of internet. However, the skeptic in me has questions that need to be asked. Did Lupita win because she portrayed an oppressed black woman? Did she really deserve that Oscar? I’ve watched her in previous productions (Shuga) and she is an amazing actress. But is she really Oscar-worthy? Now, this article was not meant to rain on Lupita’s parade but she beat American darlings Julia Roberts and Jennifer Lawrence not forgetting the Sally Hawkins and June Squibb. Actors like Heath Ledger died as he embodied his character as The Joker in The Dark Knight. Matthew McConaughey lost a humongous amount of weight for a movie role. People have gone to extremes for different movies they have acted in. We love Lupita, she has done Africa proud. But was she Oscar-worthy?

Lupita Nyong'o- Scarlet Nduta (3)

4 comments

  1. Invisible Mikey · March 13, 2014

    The short and simple answer is yes, Lupita earned it, and deserved it. She gave us huge, authentic emotions, and even did the accent properly. It was hard, beautiful work.

    There’s always a political dimension to the awarding of the Oscars. Lawrence, who was just as good, already has one, and it’s almost unheard of to get another the very next year. 12 Years a Slave is a very important film about a big subject, and it was a hit. By comparison, August: Osage County (Julia Roberts) is about small personal stuff, and it was a box-office failure.

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    • One could argue that the Oscars aren’t determined by how well a movie does at the box office. If it was that way, Leonardo DiCaprio would have won instead of Matthew McConaughey. That’s what is the problem with the winning for me. Did she win because she was an amazing actress or was it because the “big subject” which is slavery was explored in the movie.

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      • Invisible Mikey · March 13, 2014

        No, the win for McConaughey also fits. Dallas Buyers Club was a massive hit, and Wolf of Wall Street was basically “break-even”. Dallas Buyers Club offers an oppressed, sympathetic hero, as in 12 Years a Slave. The heroes in Wolf of Wall Street are comedic at best, and far less noble.

        “DBC” only cost $5 million to make and took in $33 million, a profit of more than 600%. “WOWS” cost $100 million, and only sold $375 million in tickets, a more moderate profit, but there’s more to it than that simple number.

        Unlike independent productions, big ticket studio films (because of all the union contracts etc.) also include marketing campaigns that can exceed their production budget, which means a $100 million dollar film has to make back at least $400 million to be considered a “hit”. Compare this to Gravity. It cost the same as “Wolf” to make, and was an equivalent big ticket studio title. It took in $712 million, so it’s a hit, and that helped it win Oscars.

        Movies are an art, but also a business. It’s the business part most consumers don’t understand.

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  2. Kabelo · March 13, 2014

    It has been argued that black actors and actresses don’t get much of recognition at the Oscars, so this could most probably be the organizers are giving women like Lupita recognition like there has been a rave in the black community demanding recognition for black actors.

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