The 61-year-old auteur’s “BlacKkKlansman” earned nods for best picture and best director Tuesday, marking the first time Lee has been recognized by the Academy in both categories.
“BROOKLYN IN DA OSCARS YA DIG? SHO-NUFF,” he wrote on Instagram.
Lee has endured an inexplicable scarcity of Oscar love after being nominated for his “Do The Right Thing” screenplay in 1990. But the landmark film was surprisingly omitted from best picture and best director consideration. His documentary “4 Little Girls” also picked up a nomination in 1998, but that’s his last whiff of a competitive Oscar. He has received an honorary Oscar, however.
The Academy might have just righted history in one fell swoop, especially if Lee goes on to win. “BlacKkKlansman,” about a black cop who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s, also earned a best adapted screenplay nomination for Lee, plus best supporting actor for Adam Driver, best original score and best editing.
Lee also achieved milestones for all African-American filmmakers. He is just the sixth black person to be nominated for directing, the 11th black producer of a best picture nominee and the first black writer to earn a second screenplay nod, Variety noted. The Academy Awards still hasn’t awarded a black filmmaker with best director.
But Lee said earlier this month that he wasn’t making movies for the awards.
“The goal is not to be nominated,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “The goal is to make films of impact, and this film definitely has,” he said. “I’m not trying to be some grandiose motherfucker like, ‘Oh, I don’t need awards.’ I’m not saying that. But what I’m saying is that there are things more important.”