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Image Awards Love "Creed"

Some of the nominees and omissions from the NAACP Image Awards over the years have been truly bizarre. We chalk that up to it not being a film based organization and far more concerned with representation than the movies themselves. Though they are not an Oscar precursor in the traditional way, they do add another insight into which films people are thinking about at this time of year. We expect that Oscar will share their love of Creed. It led the nominations for movies and Michael B Jordan is even up for "Entertainer of the Year".

That's a distinction worth noting because he's the only one of the "Entertainer" nominees that's associatedly directly with the movies for this awards cycle. The rest (Pharell, Shonda & Viola, Misty Copeland) are clearly nominated for their contributions to music, television, and performing arts. 

The film nominees are...

Outstanding Motion Picture

Beasts of No Nation is also nominated in their "indie film" category, the non-marquee category that Spike Lee's Chi-Raq (discussed on the podcast) was shoved into instead of this one. The other nominees for that category were Infinitely Polar Bear (reviewed), Brotherly Love and Secret in Their Eyes

Dope and Compton both have misogyny problems despite their other merits so it's a pity there were no celebrated African American films this year starring ladies which is what you'll see reflected in the acting categories.


Outstanding Director of a Motion Picture (Film)


  • Alfonso Gomez-Rejon - "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" (Fox Searchlight Pictures / Rhode Island Ave)
  • Charles Stone, III - "Lila and Eve" (Samuel Goldwyn Films)
  • F. Gary Gray - "Straight Outta Compton" (Universal Pictures)
  • Rick Famuyiwa - "Dope" (Open Road Films)
  • Ryan Coogler - "Creed" (Warner Bros. Pictures/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures)


No Spike Lee in here either? What gives. 

Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture (Film)

  •  Andrea Berloff, Jonathan Herman - "Straight Outta Compton" (Universal Pictures)
  • Christopher Cleveland & Bettina Gilois, Grant Thompson - "McFarland USA" (Walt Disney Pictures)
  • Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley - "Inside Out" (Disney/Pixar)
  • Rick Famuyiwa - "Dope" (Open Road Films)
  • Ryan Coogler, Aaron Covington - "Creed" (Warner Bros. Pictures/Metro-Goldwyn- Mayer Pictures)

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture

  • Abraham Attah - "Beasts of No Nation" (Netflix)
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor - "Secret in Their Eyes" (STX Entertainment)
  • Michael B. Jordan - "Creed" (Warner Bros. Pictures/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures)
  • Michael Ealy - "The Perfect Guy" (Screen Gems)
  • Will Smith - "Concussion" (Sony Pictures Entertainment)

It will be tough for Jordan to lose this one since he's probably headed to the Oscar shortlist... (and yes I need to update that chart already. Things change so quickly in December)  

Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture

  • Lauren 'Keke' Palmer - Brotherly Love (Flavor Unit)
  • Sanaa Lathan - The Perfect Guy (Screen Gems)
  • Teyonah Parris - Chi-Raq (Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions)
  • Viola Davis - Lila and Eve (Samuel Goldwyn Films)
  • Zoe Saldana - Infinitely Polar Bear (Sony Pictures Classics)

Apart from the thriller Perfect Guy (reviewed) most of these films haven't seen much of a release in theaters but there's still hope for Chi-Raq as it had a solid opening weekend in limited release.

Hey, when did Keke Palmer change her name to a 'Keke' with a different first name? No fair. Actors stop changing your names after you're already famous. It's no good!

Creed wasn't the only boxing movie this year. See also: Southpaw

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

  • Chiwetel Ejiofor - The Martian (20th Century Fox)
  • Corey Hawkins - Straight Outta Compton (Universal Pictures)
  • Forest Whitaker - Southpaw (The Weinstein Company)
  • Idris Elba - Beasts of No Nation (Netflix)
  • O'Shea Jackson, Jr. - Straight Outta Compton (Universal Pictures)

Though I wasnt as impressed as some critics by Jason Mitchell's Eazy-E in Straight Outta Compton it's strange to see him excluded since he won the film's best reviews (from my understanding). I can't vouch for O'Shea Jackson Jr's performance because I spent the whole movie gawking at him going "he looks exactly like Ice Cube !?! How'd they find him?" only to then realize like an idiot that he was Ice Cube's actual son, hence the doppelganger effect.

True Fact: Chiwetel Ejiofor is terrific in The Martian in the role previously played by Ed Harris in such movies and I hope he wins. 

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

  • Angela Bassett - "Chi-Raq" (Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions)
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw - "Concussion" (Sony Pictures Entertainment)
  • Jennifer Hudson - "Chi-Raq" (Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions)
  • Phylicia Rashad - "Creed" (Warner Bros. Pictures/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures)
  • Tessa Thompson - "Creed" (Warner Bros. Pictures/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures)

ANGELA BASSETT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

sorry. That's just our standard reaction to seeing her awesomeness anywhere. 

Outstanding Documentary - (Film)

  • Amy (A24)
  • Dreamcatcher (Rise Films, Green Acres Films & Vixen Films in association with Impact Partners and Artemis Rising Foundation)
  • In My Fathers House (Break Thru Films)
  • The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution" (PBS Distribution/Firelight Films)
  • What Happened, Miss Simone? (A Radical Media Production in Association with Moxie Firecracker for Netflix)

Amy and Miss Simone both made it to the Oscar finals. We'll see if they make the Oscar cut on January 14th.

to see their television nominees click here.


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Reader Comments (15)

What? No Tangerine?

(Yeah, who am I kidding?)

December 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

CREED is sooooooo overrated.

Nathaniel, are you going to post your SAG and GLOBE predictions???? :)

December 8, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterdiana

How are Inside Out and Amy eligible?

December 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLuiserghio

Inside Out: Mindy Kaling.

Amy: "I was born a poor black child..." Asif Kapadia.

December 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

N.W.A. is misogynist. For you to be unimpressed with Jason Mitchell means you had no significant reference nor interest in Eazy-E ever.

And for the record outside of latter-day PTA every movie I beg you to see has been black.

December 8, 2015 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

You can always wait to update the categories after the SAG and GG nominations are announced.

December 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

RE: "Tangerine": "Noah's Arc: Jumping the Broom" received three nominations, so it's not unprecedented for a GLBT movie to be nominated.

The NAACP nominates all people of color. "Amy" director Asif Kapadia is of Indian descent. As for "Inside Out", not sure what ethnicity Josh Cooley is.

December 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKirby

/3rtful -- it doesn't mean that at all. When have I ever been hugely impressed with an actor whose able to conjure another famous person? It's the magic trick that just doesn't work on me. Awards voters sure like it though.

December 8, 2015 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Kirby: It's a long way from (shudder) Noah's Arc to Tangerine...

PS. See Mindy Kaling mention above.

December 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Mindy Kaling had nothing to do with writing "Inside Out".

December 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKirby

No, but we can safely assume that those three (white) writers nominated wrote Kaling's dialogue, yes?

December 8, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw


The world fell in love with Angela Bassett for playing a recognizable public figure. And I believe you're apart of the initial consensus.

December 8, 2015 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

Re LGBT recognition: The NAACP also showered Pariah with seven nods (it won for Independent Film). But it does seem odd that Patrik Ian-Polk's Blackbird didn't receive a single mention, not even for perennial faves Mo'Nique and Isaiah Washington (they certainly would've been more deserving nominees than Sanaa Lathan and Michael Ealy).

December 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNewMoonSon

Even considering Mindy Kaling, the nomination for Inside Out is still a (very pleasant) major surprise.
1) We know the Image Awards only go with non-African Americans when they "run out" of prominent Black roles or if there are roles that have outside award tractions. Let's not argue about this. (And honestly, I don't see this as a big problem, especially when they produce a strong list like this year's.)
2) Kaling's character cannot really be considered an ethnic minority anyways?

But the writer branch of the Image awards is quite peculiar anyways. Last year's nominees include Richard Wenk (Equalizer) and Margaret Nagle (The Good Lie), so...

December 9, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterkin

Very happy for Tessa Thompson getting recognized. :)

December 9, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSanty C.

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