“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” is the front-runner to win three Oscars, including Best Makeup and Hairstyling, for which Mia Neal, Jamika Wilson, and Sergio Lopez-Rivera are all first-time contenders. Their candidacy is also historic since Neal and Wilson are the first Black nominees in the history of the category.
Neal, Wilson, and Lopez-Rivera are nominated in no small part for transforming Viola Davis into legendary blues singer Ma Rainey, in addition to the 1920s styles for the rest of the cast. Leading up to the Oscars, the film won for its makeup and hair at the BAFTA Awards, the Critics Choice Awards, and the Hollywood Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild Awards, not to mention our very own Gold Derby Awards.
So the film seems like a safe bet for the Oscar, according to the combined predictions of thousands of Gold Derby users. It’s forecast by the vast majority of the Expert journalists we’ve surveyed from major media outlets, the Gold Derby Editors who cover awards year-round, the Top 24 Users who had the best predictions at last year’s Oscars, and the All-Star Top 24 who had the highest scores when you combine the last couple of years’ predictions results.
This wouldn’t be the first breakthrough for Black women in recent years. Two years ago “Black Panther” won Best Costume Design (Ruth E. Carter) and Best Production Design (Hannah Beachler), which were the first wins in both of those categories for Black artists. Last year Karen Rupert Toliver (“Hair Love”) became the first Black woman to win Best Animated Short. And this year Garrett Bradley (“Time”) could become the first Black female director to win Best Documentary Feature. How much history do you think will be made on Sunday night, April 25?
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