Chadwick Boseman and the posthumous Oscar nominations

Indeed, the nearly ten-minute monologue of the late Chadwick Boseman on Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom caused a sensation. It was one of the high points of a complex film, and also a demonstration of the actor’s considerable talent. As if that weren’t enough, it gave the cinema one of its most powerful moments in an atypical year.

Even before its release, Boseman’s participation in the film was considered essential to understanding its scope and significance. With his surprise death, the actor became part of an uncomfortable debate. The immediate consequence was a stir and an immediate discussion about the actor’s merits in earning an Oscar nomination. That, despite his physical absence.

But in reality, Boseman was from the get-go a strong contender in future awards season. At the time of his death, he was part of the essential names of an atypical year. Not only for his performance in the George C. Wolfe film, but also for his participation in Da 5 Bloods, de Spike Lee.

After the tragedy was known, there were rumors about the fact of a possible posthumous Oscar nomination. Whether it was for one film or another, it was clear that the name of Chadwick Boseman would be part of the selection box, which in the end it happened.

Chadwick Boseman and a singular group

A posthumous nomination is not uncommon, but the Academy grants the honor with great caution. In particular, to avoid the possibility that the award will become a tribute – undoubtedly deserved – to the actor or artist in question. But the institution has always tried to honor the work of active artists, with the intention of showing the best of a particular year. A posthumous recognition is a specific message that departs from the objectives of the Academy.