First aired in 1953, The Academy Awards are an excellent showcase of quality films aired throughout the year prior, which blew both audiences and critics away for reasons such as groundbreaking cinematography, incredible acting performances, heart wrenching and relatable plots. It’s a night where top “A list” celebrities all: don the most expensive couture outfit, either willingly laugh or awkwardly chuckle at the host’s monologue, hobnob over current events, make some sort of obvious political statement, and celebrate their exceptional work, (whether nominated for any awards or not).


Whenever a film wins or even has the privilege of being nominated for one of the most coveted awards in film-making, The Academy Awards or “Oscars” as it’s more colloquially known, it is nothing short of an honor for the stars, directors, producers, stagehands and supporting cast.


In recent years however, diversity of the award nominations, was lacking. So much so that a trending hashtag was produced in January of 2015 when the Academy Award nomination of that year were announced. According to Know Your Meme, #OscarsSoWhite was “used to protest the underrepresentation of people of color” and to its point, the Oscar nominated films of 2016 were starring predominately white actors. Films nominated such as “The Martian” starring Matt Damon, “Room” starring Brie Larson and “Mad Max” starring both Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, all featured white actors.


An image of photoshopped parodies of promotional posters for all-white cast films that have been nominated for the 2016 Academy Awards.

Parodies of of posters for all-white cast films nominated for the 2016 Academy Awards(knowyourmeme)

One year later, several films helped make the public veer away from the buzz caused by #OscarsSoWhite. “Moonlight,” a film with African American actors in a lead role won Best Picture; other movies celebrating black excellence such as “Fences,” and “Hidden Figures” received several notable nominations as well — “Fences” received an Academy for Best Supporting Actress.


In 2018, The Oscars has once again shed themselves of that hashtag with substantial diversity in their nominations.


The most obvious example of this is the Jordan Peele‘s “Get Out,” a psychological horror with wonderful hints of comedy. Directly addressing themes and misconceptions of interracial relationships and the very concept of race, the film went far beyond the cliched archetype of a man meeting his girlfriend’s peculiar family and almost had the same level of psychological horror that “Gone Girl” had in my opinion. Along with Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay for Peele, protagonist Daniel Kaluuya has also been nominated for Best Actor.


“Call Me By Your Name,” a movie that illustrates a romance between a teenager and his father’s personal assistant during a summer in the beautiful Italian countryside, received four Academy nods for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Song.


An image of the promotional poster for "The Shape of Water"

The Shape of Water (Fox)

Although I am not certain that this counts as an accurate display of diversity, but Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” tells the story of a lone custodian at a high profile government facility who befriends an amphibian creature.


Lastly, with the coming-of-age tale of “Lady Bird” which stars Irish actress Saoirse Ronan, there is no shortage of quality and diverse films nominated for The 90th Academy Awards. I am  excited to see which of these films will be victorious.


Which was your favorite Oscars 2018 nominated film? Tell me on Twitter at @CaptainKasoff.