Thursday, December 13, 2007

Denzel Gets The "Thug" Nomination (Again)

Denzel in Training Day


The 2008 Golden Globe Nominations where announced this morning here in California. Of interest to me was the nomination of the Oprah Winfrey produced film The Great Debaters and Denzel getting a nomination for his thug role in American Gangster.

As I'm sure you recall Denzel has already won an Oscar for his thug cop role in Training Day. And since the Golden Globe's sometimes sets a trend that the Oscars follow, we might see Denzel up for another Oscar for playing a thug. Note that Denzel was not nominated for his role in The Great Debaters.

I'm happy that the yet to be released The Great Debaters (Which opens on Christmas day) was nominated in the Best Motion Picture category. I hope the Oscars follows this lead.


Does Denzel's thug role nomination bother you?




Photo Attribution: MSNBC

20 comments:

browngirl said...

the 1st time, i thought "cool, finally for denzel" even thoug he shoulda gotten it for malcolm x and spike for that matter. anyway, this oprah flick seems to be the one pushing for an oscar nod and that i don't like. if he gets a nod for american gangster i will have to look sideways at the situation. but if the debates start again about negative portrayals of blacks on film getting the nominations, i'll spew venom. white folks have been getting oscars noms and wins for playing hookers, scoundrels, murderers and whatever else is deemed irreputable for.ev.er. we need to focus more on the artistry and the craft because it's not the 20's when you knew blacks were purposely given demeaning roles. denzel can command any role he chooses, these movies aren't just a meal ticket for him.

Danielle said...

Him playing the thug doesn't bother me because he has spent decades doing some seriously righteous work on the acting front. I've always been proud of his talent, intelligence and innate dignity.

Him getting nominated for the thug role again is tiresome. The man has an excellent body of work and has been robbed more times than you can count.

Hollywood needs to stop playing the stereotype game and recognize the humanity of black people. Then again, I am a dreamer.

clnmike said...

Im waiting to see the Debaters first before I make a choice of better roles, but I really do not think his role in American gangster was that special, least of all in comparison with Training Day. In that movie he had me sold.

But I see your point two in a row for gangster roles is suspect. Than again his body of work is full of the good guy roles that when you see him as a criminal it blows you away. This makes two i think were he has played a scoundrel.

Symphony said...

Agree, some of the best roles are the "bad guys". I don't think its a reflection on Blacks in movies necessarily.

I wasn't upset he got it for Training Day, I'm upset it wasn't his second...again, not for Malcolm X? I was watching a documentary on Malcolm and Denzel's performance was so entrenched in me that I thought Denzel was talking...I looked up at it was Malcolm X.

I think Pacino won that year for Scent of a Woman......eeeh, sorry, no.

I think people are so intrigued by Denzel playing bad guy because its almost shocking that he can pull it off. Its just not something you're used to seeing. He's the good guy, he brings the knowledge...but bad guy? Its different and almost shocking.

Tami said...

It doesn't really bother me. I have heard actors of all colors say that they enjoy playing super villains, thugs, drug addicts, abusers and the like. Those meaty roles offer a chance to really flex acting muscle unlike, say, playing a devoted teacher or happy family man. It's not surprising that Denzel's flashier performances draw more attention, though I would argue that his portrayal of Malcolm X deserved an Oscar. And don't forget the supporting actor nod he got for Glory.

Mango Mama said...

All I want to know is how did Don Cheadle and Talk To Me get left out of the mix?

Mes Deux Cents said...

Browngirl,

I think everyone generally thinks that Denzel should have won for Malcolm X. That is one of the best performances I've ever seen.

I think the problem people have is that there is not enough balance. For instance with so-called Black films it's usually either comedies or thug movies: almost never complicated films about the lives of regular African Americans.



Danielle,

I agree with you about Denzel being over looked. I hope that Black roles and films will do as you say and show us in more ways then just thugs and buffoons.


ClnMike,

I'm really looking forward to The Great Debaters too. I think there will be a lot of really good performances in that film.

That's true about the contrast between his good guy and bad guy roles. But of late he's played quite a few sketchy characters.

Get back to the good guys Denzel! (lol)


Symphony,

I didn't see it but Denzel performed in the role of Malcolm on Broadway. From what I hear, as good as his film performance was, his stage performance was even better.

That may have been his role of a lifetime.



Tami,

I almost forgot that he won for Glory.

Everyone seems to be in agreement that Denzel was ROBBED when he didn't win for Malcolm X.


Mango Mama,
I didn't see that film yet, but I heard Don's performance was really good. I've been a fan of his since I saw him as "Mouse" in Devil in a Blue Dress. He was great in that role.

Ehav Ever said...

I agree with Tami. Often playing a villain lends itself to a more intense role. There are a number of actors who like the idea of playing a bad guy because there is so much depth that comes from it. Just think of Al Pacino is so well known for playing Tony Montana in Scarface. That is his most recognizable role.

Playing tortured souls, crooks, and deplorable people lend themselves to an actors artistic tools.

Mes Deux Cents said...

Ehav,

True though there are more non-thug roles per White actor available than for Black actors.

Jackie said...

Denzel in Training Day was a masterful performance. That character was despicable and complex and that makes for a good role requiring a good actor. Unfortunatly we do have to keep our eye on stereotyping even regarding awards. But, for me it's all about the artistry, good character or bad. So if a black actor is nominated for a thug role badly acted, then I'd be mad and suspicious.

Ehav Ever said...

Hey MDC,

I agree with you, but the only way that is going to change is for African American actors who are successful to save ALL of their money. Then they can use that money to make their own films. For example, if I was an athlete in the US who makes millions of dollars I would be investing that money so I could make cartoons and films. I would start with cartoons because the budgets are a lot lower, giving more freedom to do more.

Personally, I believe that only African American athletes and millionaires can change that situation. They are the ONLY ones who have the finances and the power to push projects through that give African American actors a chance. Even if they loose money on the investment they can write it off on their taxes.

Mes Deux Cents said...

Hi Jackie,

That's true we do need to keep an eye on the roles that Hollywood chooses to recognize.



Ehav,


I seem to remember a certain person, you, saying that African America couldn't depend on actors and athletes. (lol)

Do you remember that?

Ehav Ever said...

Hey MDC,

I did say that and I still stand by it, so na na. What I am talking about are the actors. If they want better roles they are going to have to do what they can to create them, the ones who are making money.

The other issues that African America faces are not going to be solved by the roles that people get or don't get in Hollywood. I once had a teacher tell my class that reasons why she doesn't watch award shows is because they are a bounce of rich people pat each other on the back.

The fact that there exists African American Athletes, Actors, etc. who have the money to make such change possible (once again talking about actors and their careers), but they don't that is why the average African American (who wants to see social change) can't rely on them.

Like I said, "IF I" was an athlete with millions of dollars I know what I would be doing with it. Yet, I am not an athlete, and even if I was people should rely on me to save them or lead them.

Mes Deux Cents said...

Ehav,

(lol) Okay so now we have to find a sport for you. Do you have any ideas? I'm sure you're a good athlete.

Janie said...

I must agree with Mango Mama! Don Cheadle should not have been left out of the mix. I have not seen American Gangster, so I don't feel qualified to respond.

I guess what it really amounts to is not having enough of a range of Black Films/Actors. We have such a small range to choose from that it feels that we just get the "pimps/hoes" awards. (See Halle Berry and Monster's Ball")

It will be beautiful when we can move past the stereotypes that denigrate us, marginalize us. and just be a part of the pool of great art.

Mes Deux Cents said...

Janie,

You're right. We are marginalized in film and in the media in general which makes us very sensitive to things like this.

Hopefully one day (soon) we can just sit back and enjoy films without having to consider the racial implications.

Ehav Ever said...

Hey MDC,

No sports for me. I take martial arts, but because it is a Jewish religious martial art I would not call it a sport.

I am not good at baseball, basketball, football, or soccer so that pretty much knocks out the big money makers. When I used to play tennis with my mother she quit because I kept hitting the balls over the tennis court fence. She got tired of buying new equipment.

So it looks like your going to have to find a different pony. (smile)

Mes Deux Cents said...

Ehav,

(lol) I think you're being modest.

Ehav Ever said...

Hey MDC,

Oh no. There are a long list of witnesses and references that can attest to my lack of sport related abilities. There are a lot of people who can vouch for me never becoming a sports legend. Unless there is something to that Adam Sandler The Waterboy movie.

Besides lifting weights and martial arts, I am pretty much bereft of sports talent.

Mes Deux Cents said...

Ehav,

Okay I'm going to take your word for it. But I still have a feeling you are being modest. (lol)

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About Me

West Coast, United States
African American, Poet?, Vegetarian, Music lover, Agoraphobic, Social Phobic

My Favorite Poet

My Favorite Poet
Staceyann Chin

My Favorite Track Athlete

My Favorite Track Athlete
Christine Arron