Silk Road

Posted on February 22, 2021 at 11:40 am

B +
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language and drug content
Profanity: Constant very strong language
Alcohol/ Drugs: A theme of the movie is drug dealing, offscreen death due to drug use
Violence/ Scariness: Law enforcement-related peril and violence
Diversity Issues: None
Date Released to Theaters: February 13, 2021
Copyright 2021 Lionsgate

Ross Ulbricht was a libertarian, a follower of Austrian school economist Ludwig von Mises who believed that “every action we take outside of government control strengthens the market and weakens the state.” He wanted to change the world. And so he created a website that was like Amazon or eBay except that it operated in the dark web and instead of being a place to buy consumer goods with credit cards it was a place to buy illegal goods, primarily drugs, with untraceable crypto-currency. The website was named for the ancient trading route linking China, India, and Rome. Ulbricht’s screen name was taken from a more modern source, William Goldman’s The Princess Bride. He called himself the Dread Pirate Roberts after the character (spoiler alert) who passed his name on to a series of successors to keep the legend alive. And he learned, as so many theoretical libertarians have in the past, that the problem with giving people freedom is that they do things with it you might not approve of, including things that limit the freedom of others.

“Silk Road” is the story of Ulbricht (Nick Robinson) and of Rick Bowden (Jason Clarke), the FBI agent who tracked him down. Think “The Social Network” crossed with “American Gangster. A sharp, clever, script by Tiller Russell (“Bernie”) and David Kusher and Russell’s dynamic direction make this a gripping rise-and-fall, cat-and-mouse story with vivid and believably flawed characters.

“This story is true,” we are told at the beginning. “Except for what we made up or changed.” So if you want to know what really happened, read Nick Bilton’s book. As far as the Ulbricht side of the story goes, though, it sticks pretty close to what really happened. He was a bright drop-out — we see his father deride him for not following through on anything. But he has big ambitions for changing the world to make it work the way he thought it should, meaning as free from government control as possible. And then he comes up with an idea, combining two ideas — the Tor gateway to the dark web and cryptocurrency, a kind of dark money. He thinks of what he is doing as practically humanitarian, saving consumers from the risks and inconvenience of in-person drug buys. He thinks he is being clever when he leaks information about the Silk Road to a journalist.

You can buy illegal drugs on the internet. But you cannot deliver illegal drugs on the internet. Law enforcement picks up on an unusual uptick in the drugs being shipped. And Ulbricht will learn that one problem of working with crooks is that they are often…untrustworthy.

This is where Bowden comes in, and one of the least accurate but most interesting part of the movie is the contrast between the computer-savvy kid who sets up the Silk Road and the old-school FBI agent who tracks him down. The film cleverly cuts back and forth between them, as in one early moment when they both resort to instructional videos on YouTube for a little help.

Crisply edited and sharply written, “Silk Road” does not ask us to think of Ulbricht as a hero or, as some who have argued for clemency, a dupe. One pre-credit exculpatory claim and another character’s sympathy-provoking motive to break the law may go father than needed in softening the story, but we also get a look at some of the consequences of making illegal drugs freely available. And this is a smart movie about smart people doing some not-smart things and facing the consequences that keeps us absorbed and, probably, making a mental note to stay well on the right side of the law.

Parents should know that this film has some peril and violence including murder for hire that does not happen and a drug-related death. Characters use strong language and there is a non-explicit sexual situation. Themes include criminal behavior and law enforcement.

Family discussion: Do you agree with what happened to Ulbricht and Bowden? How were they alike and how were they different? How do we balance privacy and accountability?

If you like this, try: “The Social Network” and “Brick”

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Days of the Bagnold Summer

Posted on February 22, 2021 at 11:37 am

B +
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Profanity: Some mild language
Alcohol/ Drugs: Reference to marijuana, teen drinking
Violence/ Scariness: Family stress and confrontations
Diversity Issues: None
Date Released to Theaters: February 20, 2021
Copyright 2019 Greenwich Entertainment

“I’m afraid you’re stuck with boring old me for six weeks, but we’ll have fun,” Sue Bagnold says with gentle cheeriness. Her 15-year-old son Daniel (do not call him Danny) is as irritated by her cheeriness as he is by his situation. His parents are divorced and he was supposed to visit his father in Florida for summer vacation. But his father’s new wife is expecting a baby and they have canceled the visit. Daniel is stuck in his house in an English suburb, expressing his extreme dissatisfaction with the world by wearing Metallica t-shirts and ignoring, blaming, or insulting his mother. How dare she be cheerful? How dare she expect him to do stuff? How dare she keep offering him food? And how dare she go on a date with his history teacher?

Those of us of a certain age will identify with both characters. Anyone who has survived adolescence has experienced the crushing combination of superiority (these feelings are new to me so no one else has ever felt them, and I am uniquely aware of the hypocrisy and meaninglessness of the world) and constant humiliation (why is it so hard to connect to people?). Daniel (Earl Cave) is at that stage, almost as excruciating for him as for those around him, when expressing disdain for just about everything seems like it will make him feel better, or at least stronger. And Sue (Monica Dolan) is at that stage when she Googles “sad boy parents divorced” and keeps hoping to find a glimpse of the sweet boy she once knew.

All of this is presented with great charm in “Days of the Bagnold Summer,” and I found myself smiling through it all. This is not a movie about confrontations or revelations. It is about small moments, tenderly observed, and it gives full attention and understanding to all of the characters, even the one whose behavior is most inexcusable.

Those moments include Sue’s first date since her divorce. The man who asks Sue out, is played with just the right oily charm by Rob Brydon (“The Trip” movies). And there is a well-intentioned day trip to the seaside, with the kind of activities young Danny would have loved, but Daniel finds boring and pointless.    Daniel has just one friend, Ky (Elliot Speller-Gillott), and their falling out is the essence of 15-year-old awkward communication failure. Ky’s mother Astrid (the divine Tamsin Grieg having a very fine time) is something of a flower child, all about energies and auras and Reiki. 

I liked the subtlety of the characters’ growth, and the way that even experiences that seem painful or frustrating at the time bring Sue and Daniel together. Each finds an unexpected way to express feelings too long kept concealed, and find that connections with other help them reconnect in a way that may not be as uncomplicated as before but for that reason is more satisfying and even sweeter. Even when Sue and Daniel do not like spending time with each other, we like spending time with them, and it is satisfying for us to see them find their way forward.

Parents should know that this film includes teen drinking and references to marijuana. Themes include family struggles and divorce.

Family discussion: How should Sue have treated Daniel? What do we learn from her visit to Astrid? Why do Sue and Astrid have different ideas about their sons?

If you like this, try: The graphic novel by Joff Winterhart and “Sing Street”

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Nomadland and Movies With Complicated Older Women

Posted on February 21, 2021 at 1:54 pm

Copyright 2020 Searchlight
Daniel Arkin writes about Frances McDormand in “Nomadland” and the increase in movies about older women characters.

The film industry routinely casts “men of a certain age” as romantic leads or action heroes. But women over 50 tend to be relegated to supporting or one-dimensional parts, and major stars such as Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman might be exceptions that prove the rule, Malone said.

“When we see older women, they’re in sideline roles with a lot of stereotypes around them and a lot of jokes being made at their expense,” Malone said. “They’re rarely shown to be at the center of stories as viable, complex characters.”

My thanks to Arkin for including me in the story:

Nell Minow, a film critic and expert in corporate governance, said she believes there has been more cultural oxygen available to small-scale and women-led projects during the coronavirus pandemic because leading studios were forced to postpone the release of many male-driven blockbusters.

“It’s been a bonanza for more intimate films like ‘Nomadland’ in many ways,” said Minow, pointing to Channing Godfrey Peoples’ “Miss Juneteenth” and Radha Blank’s “The 40-Year-Old Version” as examples of women-anchored projects that received welcome attention last year.

“I have realized that so much of the media I consume requires me to translate from the male point of view into something that speaks more directly to me,” Minow said. “When I see these movies, I can relax. I don’t have to translate anything.”

“It’s a cliché at this point to say ‘representation matters,’ but it makes me feel connected and listened to because I have something in common with these characters,” she added.

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Mark Harris’ Mike Nichols Book, Best Road Movies, Closing of Mazza Theater and More on At the Movies

Posted on February 18, 2021 at 3:41 pm

Thanks as always to Arch Campbell, Jen Chaney, and Loo Katz for inviting me on the At the Movies podcast.

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Black Reel Awards Nominees: One Night in Miami, 40-Year-Old Version, Ma Rainey, and More

Posted on February 18, 2021 at 12:17 pm

Copyright Participant Media 2021
he Black Reel Awards (BRAs) announced today the film nominees for the 21st Annual Black Reel Awards. The winners will be revealed on Sunday, April 11, 2021 from 8-10pm, virtually across several media platforms.

The nominees are:

OUTSTANDING MOTION PICTURE
(award given to the producer)

DA 5 BLOODS (NETFLIX)
Jon Kilik, Spike Lee, Beatriz Levin & Lloyd Levin, producers

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH (WARNER BROS.)
Charles D. King, Ryan Cooler & Shaka King, producers

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (NETFLIX)
Denzel Washington, Todd Black & Dany Wolf, producers

ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (AMAZON STUDIOS)
Jess Wu Calder, Keith Calder & Jody Klein, producers

SOUL (WALT DISNEY MOTION PICTURES)
Dana Murray, producers

OUTSTANDING ACTOR

KINGSLEY BEN-ADIR
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (AMAZON STUDIOS)

CHADWICK BOSEMAN
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (NETFLIX)

DELROY LINDO
DA 5 BLOODS (NETFLIX)

ROB MORGAN
BULL (SONY PICTURES WORLDWIDE)

LAKEITH STANFIELD
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH (WARNER BROS.)

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS

NICOLE BEHARIE
MISS JUNETEENTH (VERTICAL ENTERTAINMENT)

VIOLA DAVIS
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (NETFLIX)

ANDRA DAY
THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY (HULU)

TESSA THOMPSON
SYLVIE’S LOVE (AMAZON STUDIOS)

ZENDAYA
MALCOLM & MARIE (NETFLIX)

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR

RADHA BLANK
THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION (NETFLIX)

REGINA KING
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (AMAZON STUDIOS)

SHAKA KING
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH (WARNER BROS.)

SPIKE LEE
DA 5 BLOODS (NETFLIX)

CHANNING GODFREY PEOPLES
MISS JUNETEENTH (VERTICAL ENTERTAINMENT)

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR

CHADWICK BOSEMAN
DA 5 BLOODS (NETFLIX)

COLMAN DOMINGO
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (NETFLIX)

ALDIS HODGE
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (AMAZON STUDIOS)

DANIEL KALUUYA
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH (WARNER BROS.)

LESLIE ODOM JR.
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (AMAZON STUDIOS)

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS

ALEXIS CHIKAEZE
MISS JUNETEENTH (VERTICAL ENTERTAINMENT)

DOMINIQUE FISHBACK
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH (WARNER BROS.)

KIKI LAYNE
THE OLD GUARD (NETFLIX)

TRACEE ELLIS ROSS
THE HIGH NOTE (FOCUS FEATURES)

GABOUREY SIDIBE
ANTEBELLUM (LIONSGATE)

OUTSTANDING SCREENPLAY

THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION
RADHA BLANK (NETFLIX)

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
WILL BERSON & SHAKA KING (WARNER BROS.)

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
RUBEN SANTIAGO-HUDSON (NETFLIX)

ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
KEMP POWERS (AMAZON STUDIOS)

SOUL
PETE DOCTER, MIKE JONES & KEMP POWERS (WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES)

OUTSTANDING DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
(award given to the director)

ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY (AMAZON STUDIOS)
LIZ GARBUS & LISA CORTES, DIRECTORS

JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE (MAGNOLIA PICTURES / PARTICIPANT)
DAWN PORTER, DIRECTOR

MLK/FBI (IFC FILMS)
SAM POLLARD, DIRECTOR

TIME (AMAZON STUDIOS)
GARRETT BRADLEY, DIRECTOR

THE WAY I SEE IT (FOCUS FEATURES)
DAWN PORTER, DIRECTOR

OUTSTANDING FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
(award given to the director)

HIS HOUSE | UNITED KINGDOM
REMI WEEKES, DIRECTOR (NETFLIX)

NIGHT OF THE KINGS | SENEGAL
PHILIPPE LACOTE, DIRECTOR (NEON)

THE LIFE AHEAD | ITALY
EDOARDO PONTI, DIRECTOR (NETFLIX)

OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE
(award given to the casting director)

DA 5 BLOODS (NETFLIX)
KIM COLEMAN, CASTING DIRECTOR

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH (WARNER BROS.)
ALEXA L. FOGEL, CASTING DIRECTOR

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (NETFLIX)
AVY KAUFMAN, CASTING DIRECTOR

MISS JUNETEENTH (VERTICAL ENTERTAINMENT)
TISHA BLOOD, CHELSEA ELLIS BLOCH, MATTHEW WEST TAYLOR, CASTING DIRECTORS

ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
KIMBERLY HARDIN, CASTING DIRECTOR

OUTSTANDING VOICE PERFORMANCE

ANGELA BASSETT
SOUL (WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES)

JAMIE FOXX
SOUL (WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES)

MAYA RUDOLPH
THE WILLOUGHBYS (NETFLIX)

OCTAVIA SPENCER
ONWARD (WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES)

PHYLICIA RASHAD
SOUL (WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES)

OUTSTANDING SCORE
(award given to the composer)

THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION (NETFLIX)
GUY C. ROUTTE, COMPOSER

JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY (NETFLIX)
JOHN DEBNEY, COMPOSER

THE PHOTOGRAPH (UNIVERSAL PICTURES)
ROBERT GLASPER, COMPOSER

SOUL (WALT DISNEY STUDIOS MOTION PICTURES)
TRENT REZNOR, ATTICUS ROSS & JON BATISTE, COMPOSERS

SYLVIE’S LOVE (AMAZON STUDIOS)
FABRICE LECOMTE, COMPOSER

OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL SONG
(award given to the performer and songwriters)

“FIGHT FOR YOU” (JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH)
H.E.R, PERFORMER ; H.E.R, DERNST EMILE II & TIARA THOMAS, WRITERS

“MAKE IT WORK” (JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY)
ANIKA NONI ROSE & FOREST WHITAKER, PERFORMERS; JOHN LEGEND; WRITER

“POVERTY PORN” (THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION)
RADHAMUSPRIME, PERFORMER; RADHA BLANK, WRITER

“SPEAK NOW” (ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI)
LESLIE ODOM JR., PERFORMER; LESLIE ODOM JR. & SAM ASHWORTH, WRITERS

“TIGRESS & TWEED” (THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY)
ANDRA DAY, PERFORMER; ANDRA DAY & RAPHAEL SAADIQ, WRITERS

OUTSTANDING INDEPENDENT FEATURE
(award given to the director)

AMERICAN SKIN (VERTICAL ENTERTAINMENT)
NATE PARKER, DIRECTOR

FAREWELL AMOR (IFC MIDNIGHT)
EKWA MSANGI, DIRECTOR

THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION (NETFLIX)
RADHA BLANK, DIRECTOR

MISS JUNETEENTH (VERTICAL ENTERTAINMENT)
CHANNING GODFREY PEOPLES, DIRECTOR

SYLVIE’S LOVE (AMAZON STUDIOS)
EUGENE ASHE, DIRECTOR

OUTSTANDING SHORT FILM
(award given to the director)

BROTHER
YA’KE SMITH, DIRECTOR

CANVAS (NETFLIX)
FRANK E. ABNEY III, DIRECTOR

THE CYPHER
LETIA SOLOMON, DIRECTOR

GRAB MY HAND: A LETTER TO MY DAD
CAMRUS JOHNSON, DIRECTOR

THE PANDEMIC CHRONICLES
YA’KE SMITH, DIRECTOR

OUTSTANDING INDEPENDENT DOCUMENTARY
(award given to the director)

MR. SOUL! (SHOES IN THE BED PRODUCTIONS)
MELISSA HAIZLIP, DIRECTOR

THE SIT-IN: HARRY BELAFONTE HOSTS THE TONIGHT SHOW (PEACOCK)
YORUBA RICHEN, DIRECTOR

WITH DRAWN ARMS (STARZ!)
GLENN KAINO & AFSHIN SHAHIDI, DIRECTORS

OUTSTANDING EMERGING DIRECTOR

EUGENE ASHE
SYLVIE’S LOVE (AMAZON STUDIOS)

RADHA BLANK
THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION (NETFLIX)

REGINA KING
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (AMAZON STUDIOS)

SHAKA KING
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH (WARNER BROS.)

CHANNING GODFREY PEOPLES
MISS JUNETEENTH (VERTICAL ENTERTAINMENT)

OUTSTANDING BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE, MALE

Copyright Netflix 2020

YAHYA ABDUL-MANTEEN II
THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 (NETFLIX)

KINGSLEY BEN-ADIR
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (AMAZON STUDIOS)

DUSAN BROWN
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (NETFLIX)

ELI GOREE
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (AMAZON STUDIOS)

NTARE MWINE
FAREWELL AMOR (IFC MIDNIGHT)

OUTSTANDING BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE, FEMALE

RADHA BLANK
THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION (NETFLIX)

ALEXIS CHIKAEZE
MISS JUNETEENTH (VERTICAL ENTERTAINMENT)

ANDRA DAY
THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY (HULU)

DOMINIQUE FISHBACK
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH (WARNER BROS.)

ZENDAYA
MALCOLM & MARIE (NETFLIX)

OUTSTANDING FIRST SCREENPLAY

Copyright Vertical Entertainment 2020

THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION (NETFLIX)
RADHA BLANK

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (NETFLIX)
RUBEN SANTIAGO-HUDSON

MISS JUNETEENTH (VERTICAL ENTERTAINMENT)
CHANNING PEOPLES GODFREY

ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (AMAZON STUDIOS)
KEMP POWERS

SYLVIE’S LOVE (AMAZON STUDIOS)
EUGENE ASHE

OUTSTANDING CINEMATOGRAPHY

DA 5 BLOODS (NETFLIX)
NEWTON THOMAS SIGEL, CINEMATOGRAPHER

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH (WARNER BROS.)
SEAN BOBBITT, CINEMATOGRAPHER

MALCOLM & MARIE (NETFLIX)
MARCELL REV, CINEMATOGRAPHER

ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (AMAZON STUDIOS)
TAMI REIKER, CINEMATOGRAPHER

TENET (WARNER BROS.)
HOYTE VAN HOYTEMA, CINEMATOGRAPHER

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN

JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY (NETFLIX)
MICHAEL WILKINSON, COSTUME DESIGN

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (NETFLIX)
ANN ROTH, COSTUME DESIGNER

ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (AMAZON STUDIOS)
FRANCINE JAMISON-TANCHUCK, COSTUME DESIGNER

SYLVIE’S LOVE (AMAZON STUDIOS)
PHOENIX MELLOW, COSTUME DESIGNER

THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY (HULU)
PAOLO NIEDDU, COSTUME DESIGNER

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION DESIGN

JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY (NETFLIX)
GAVIN BOCQUET, PRODUCTION DESIGNER

JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH (WARNER BROS.)
SAM LISENCO, PRODUCTION DESIGN

MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (NETFLIX)
MARK RICKER, PRODUCTION DESIGN

ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (AMAZON STUDIOS)
BARRY ROBISON, PRODUCTION DESIGNER

TENET (WARNER BROS.)
NATHAN CROWLEY, PRODUCTION DESIGNER

The story of a group of icons and friends who spend an evening together celebrating Cassius Clay’s heavyweight championship victory, One Night in Miami, led a crowded field of contenders receiving 15 nominations. Oscar and Black Reel Award winner Regina King’s debut film came within two nominations of matching Black Panther’s record of 17 nominations. The film received nominations for Outstanding Picture, Outstanding Actor (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Outstanding Supporting Actor (Leslie Odom, Jr. and Aldis Hodge), and Outstanding Screenplay (Kemp Powers). King, who received an Outstanding Director nomination, becomes the first actress honored with a Director nod.

Also receiving 12 nominations was Judas and the Messiah. The story that recreates the unfortunate conditions that led to Illinois Black Panther Chairman Fred Hampton assassination, was nominated for Outstanding Picture, Outstanding Actor (Lakeith Stanfield), Outstanding Supporting Actor (Daniel Kaluuya), Outstanding Supporting Actress (Dominique Fishback), Outstanding Screenplay (Will Berson and Shaka King), and Outstanding Director (King).

The final on-screen performance of the late Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom took home ten nominations. The film garnered Outstanding Picture, Outstanding Actor for Boseman, Outstanding Actress for Viola Davis; Outstanding Supporting nods Colman Domingo, Outstanding Screenplay (Ruben Santiago-Hudson) as well as an Outstanding Ensemble nomination. Boseman becomes the first Male Actor and the second actor to receive acting nominations posthumously.

This year was also notable for several record-setting individual achievements; most notably, it was the first year where the majority of the nominated directors were women. The essence of that change was writer/director/producer Radha Blanks who received seven nominations for her debut film, The Forty-Year-Old Version. Blank becomes the most nominated individual in Black Reel Awards history scoring nods for Outstanding Director, Outstanding Screenplay, and Outstanding Song, among her accolades. In addition, Dawn Porter becomes the first director to earn multiple nominations in the Outstanding Documentary category for both John Lewis: Good Trouble and The Way I See It. In addition, Pixar’s Soul becomes the first animated film to earn a Screenplay nomination and the second animated film (The Princess and the Frog) to earn an Outstanding Picture nom.

In the studio/network tally, Netflix leads with 36 nominations, followed by 23 nominations for Amazon, with 14 for Warner Bros.

“Last year was a historic year in film, if for no other reason that there were more films released than ever before by Black filmmakers, featuring a tremendous amount of quality performances by a group of tireless creatives, who overcame unique challenges to create a group of memorable and indelible images,” said Black Reel Awards founder Tim Gordon. “We look forward to creatives continuing to tell our stories and we congratulate all of this year’s talented nominees.

Black Reel Awards annually recognize excellence of African-Americans, as well as the cinematic achievements of the African diaspora, in the global film industry.

Follow the 21st Annual Black Reel Awards on Twitter and Instagram @BlackReelAwards and on Facebook/TheBlackReelAwards. Join the conversation using #BlackReelAwards.

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