Over the course of his long career, Spike Lee has enjoyed a number of accolades but being recognized by the voting members of The Oscars as a top director and for delivering a great film has eluded him. That changed on Tuesday (Jan. 22) after the announcement for the 2019 Academy Awards, giving Lee his first Best Picture and Best Director nods.
After more than three decades of making films that have collectively established an undeniable cultural legacy, 61-year-old auteur Spike Lee is finally an Academy Award nominee for best picture and director.
It’s as noteworthy a headline as Tuesday’s Oscar nominations announcement is bound to produce. In fact, Lee’s original screenplay notice for the 1989 lightning rod “Do the Right Thing,” which will celebrate its 30th anniversary this summer, and a bid for the 1997 documentary “4 Little Girls,” remained his only Oscar nominations to date until this morning, when he picked up three for “BlacKkKlansman.”
The Academy somewhat rectified the years of oversight for landmark achievements like “Malcolm X” and “25th Hour” (considered by some to be one of the very best films of its decade) with an Honorary Oscar in 2015, but Lee’s bids for directing and producing his latest are obviously a long time coming.
Salute to the OG Spike Lee.