Da 5 Bloods: Netflix Will Campaign Delroy Lindo for Best Actor
Delroy Lindo gives one of the year’s best performances in Da 5 Bloods. So it’s only fitting that Netflix has decided to push for a Best Actor Oscar nomination. The streaming service could’ve hedged their bets and tried to campaign Lindo for Best Supporting Actor. But will instead save that for the rest of the film’s cast: Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis, Isiah Whitlock, Jr., and the late Chadwick Boseman.
I try to stay out of Oscar punditry because I find it rather crass. And I hate turning movies into sporting events. But in case you’re unaware of this, let me give you a super-quick crash-course on “category fraud”. You see, the Oscars are a game. If you’ve gone this far in life assuming the Academy awards people simply on merit, you are sorely mistaken. There’s an entire system in place, almost like politics, involving campaigning and flesh-pressing and all sorts of other frivolities. And studios are happy to play along because they want that Oscar glory.
As a result, studios like to get strategic around with who gets nominated based on the odds of who could win what. Because of this, they’ll often push people who are clearly leads in supporting categories. For example: even though Cate Blanchett plays the titular role in Carol, Rooney Mara is clearly the lead of that film. The movie is almost entirely from her perspective, and she’s in more scenes. And yet, when the Academy Award season rolled around that year, Mara got pushed – and was nominated for – Best Supporting Actress. The reasoning: the Weinstein Company (ugh) wanted to campaign Cate Blanchett for lead. And they didn’t want to have two people from the same film competing for the same Oscar.
That’s just one quick example. It happens all the time, and when Da 5 Bloods came out and Delroy Lindo began earning rave reviews for his performance. I began to see the Oscar pundits theorizing which category he could be nominated in. Especially since there are so many other major parts in the film. There was a concern among the people who care about these sort of things that Netflix would campaign Lindo for Supporting Actor. Even though the case can be made that he has the biggest, most essential part in the film.
Well, no one needs to worry about that anymore, because Variety has confirmed Netflix will campaign Lindo for Best Actor, while the rest of the cast – Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis, Isiah Whitlock, Jr., and Chadwick Boseman – will be campaigned for Best Supporting Actor. While there’s no guarantee Lindo will actually get the nomination, he really should. Not only does he give a phenomenal performance. But he’s also long overdue for award season recognition for his years of exemplary work.