I didn't want to let this little awards factoid get lost in the hubbub surrounding this year's Oscar nominees but here this: Viola Davis, last year's shouldawon Oscar casualty who handed Daniel Day Lewis his SAG trophy for Lincoln last weekend, just won her second consecutive Best Actress prize at the NAACP Image Awards. She was, of course, the big winner last season for The Help which also took the Picture and Supporting Actress trophies. This year her prize is for the far less heralded Won't Back Down. Residual affection from The Help or just another PSA that Viola is among the world's great screen actors and deserves those leading roles? (It's a surprising win when you realize that she beat both Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis from Beasts of the Southern Wild and breakthrough player Emayatzy Corinealdi from Middle of Nowhere to take that trophy again. (The other nominees were Halle Berry in Cloud Atlas -and Loretta DeVine in In The Hive)
While the NAACP often goes in odd directions that make their awards a little hard to take very seriously (Red Tails over Beasts for Best Picture? Middle of Nowhere not even nominated? What the what now?) they can grab attention nonetheless. Away from the glare of the SAG/GLOBE/OSCAR spotlight odd detours abound: Viola Davis didn't show so Samuel L Jackson invited Quvenzhané Wallis (who lost) to accept the award on Viola's behalf!
Could you imagine that happening at the Oscars? 'I'm sorry you lost to this person but come on up and give a speech anyway!' ...the mind boggles considering the possibilities of acceptance speeches that coulda been any time Katharine Hepburn or Woody Allen won. (In fact, I wouldn't mind at all if they bring Quvenzhané up to accept on Jennifer Lawrence's behalf on Oscar night.)
Django Unchained lost Best Picture but was the defacto champ oanyway with an Entertainer of the Year prize for Jamie Foxx and both supporting acting trophies. Kerry Washington, the true queen of the event, tripled the win factor with additional prizes for her public service and for Best TV Drama Actress for "Scandal".
Curiously the NAACP doesn't update their site well so they only have this year's prizes as the nomination list still and the only photos are from other years. So I've had to scour the web for photos but the LA Times comes through with the complete winners list. (Don't they have interns at the NAACP to update their site immediately following the ceremonies?)