Yes, the 82nd Academy Awards are still a few months away--March 7, 2010 on ABC--but the talk now is that, besides co-hosts Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, we'll witness the most diverse telecast in the venerable Hollywood trophy show's history.
Morgan Freeman may earn his second Oscar (he won a Supporting Actor award for 'Million Dollar Baby') for his spot-on portrayal of Nelson Mandela in Clint Eastwood's feel-good-film 'Invictus.' Anthony Mackie is appearing on several Supporting Actor shortlists for his work in 'The Hurt Locker,' and 'The Princess & The Frog,' Disney's first animated series featuring and African-American lead female character, Anika Noni Rose, is expected to gain a Best Animated Film nod.
'Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire,' is expected to clean up in Oscar nominations leading with a Best Actress nod for newcomer Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe, who plays the title role; and Mo'Nique, the odds-on early favorite for a Best Supporting Actress nom and win. Mo'Nique may have company in the Supporting Actress category, with co-stars Mariah Carey's for her surprising glammed down turn as a social worker and Paula Patton for her sensitive portrayal of Miss Blu Rain. In addition, Geoffrey Fletcher is all but certain to get a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, and Lee Daniels, who helmed the film, along with producers Oprah and Tyler Perry will get noms for Best Picture. If nominated for Best Director, the Daniels, will become only the second African-American nominated for Best Director, with John Singleton the first for 'Boyz n the Hood.'
Folks will be watching the National Board of Review's announcements of the year's best in film on December 3, 2009 for an early indication of who's walking a number of red carpets.