2012: How Black Will Oscars Be?

Beautifully black, I suspect. It’s official: Eddie Murphy (pictured) will be the host for the upcoming Academy Awards ceremony. Plus: Rex Okpodu and I both think that “The Help” has a strong chance of leaving the annual Hollywood dance with statuettes for Best Picture, Best Actress (Viola Davis, pictured), and Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer). Rex thinks “The Help” is like “Slumdog Millionaire”: the Little Movie That Could. Overall, he sees this year as being like 1998, when “Shakespeare In Love” won Actress, Supporting Actress, and Picture, but not Best Director, which went to Steven Spielberg for a war movie, “Saving Private Ryan.” The same thing could happen this year, with Spielberg winning the Best Director statuette for “War Horse.” “The Help” is less likely to win Best Director, since when the Academy does deign to laurel a young filmmaker he has to be British (Tom Hooper, Sam Mendes), not American like “The Help”‘s Tate Taylor. If Taylor were African-American, would that help his chances? No black person has ever won the Best Director Oscar.

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