With Oscar nominations dropping on Monday morning, many are wondering if Spike Lee’s critically acclaimed Netflix feature, “Da 5 Bloods” could go home empty-handed. The feature, focused on the lives of four African-American Vietnam vets who return to the country seeking the remains of their fallen commander and a cache of gold, has only secured one BAFTA nod in this year’s awards race.
And in a recent interview with The New York Times director Lee was asked about how he felt about the film being snubbed at the recent Golden Globes. “Well, I would say that I had an inkling that history would be repeated with ‘Green Book.’ And I’ve never really paid much attention to Golden Globes, so…,” said Lee.
Lee’s comment brings up the recent news reveal that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which gives out the Golden Globe awards, has not had a Black member in over two decades. Over the last weekend, the HFPA announced its commitment to change and last Tuesday shared that it had hired advisors to oversee implementation of said institutional changes.
That being said, the question now becomes whether Lee’s feature will be recognized by the Academy. It’s something Lee is also skeptical about, citing the Best Picture winner of 2018, “Green Book.” Lee has been highly critical of the Peter Farrelly-directed period drama starring Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen in the past, comparing it to the feature “Driving Miss Daisy.”
For Lee, the lack of awards love isn’t a requirement. “But here’s the thing, though. I made this film specifically for the Bloods — the Black soldiers who fought an immoral war — this film was for the ones who came back alive and the ones that came back in a casket. That’s it,” he said.
Regardless, the director explains that there’s far more diversity on-screen these days, despite it being reflected by awards. “Well, we’ll see what happens with the nominations. But in no uncertain terms, we’ve seen many more voices and films reflecting — a better reflection of this mosaic of the United States of America,” he said.
Lee went on to discuss his relationship with former NYU students Chloe Zhao, director of “Nomadland,” and Shaka King, helmer of “Judas and the Black Messiah,” saying that he’s incredibly proud of both their features.
“Da 5 Bloods” is available on Netflix now.