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This Year's Oscars Nominees, Heard On NPR

Mar 3, 2018
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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Just a few more words about the Academy Awards tomorrow night. Looking over archives, as one does, we realize that we have actually spoken with a number of people who may be taking home a statue tomorrow night.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "GET OUT")

LAKEITH STANFIELD: (As Andre/Logan King) Get out.

DANIEL KALUUYA: (As Chris Washington) Sorry, man.

STANFIELD: (As Andre/Logan King) Get out.

KALUUYA: (As Chris Washington) Yo.

MARTIN: That's from "Get Out." I spoke with filmmaker Jordan Peele. He's nominated for three Academy Awards - best director, best picture and best original screenplay for the film, which some called the wokest thriller of 2017.

(SOUNDBITE OF ACHIVED BROADCAST)

JORDAN PEELE: I wanted to represent the fact that what many people may not understand is the fear that a black man has walking in a white suburb at night. It is real. And I wanted to put the audience in that position so they could see it and feel it.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MIGHTY RIVER")

MARY J BLIGE: (Singing) Life is a teacher...

MARTIN: For "Mudbound," we spoke with singer Mary J. Blige, who wowed critics with her transformation into the matriarch of a sharecropping family.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

BLIGE: I had to take away these things, you know, like wigs and weaves and lashes and nails. And these are little things I was hanging onto and that made me be like, wait a minute. Are you really, really deep or not? (Laughter) It just really opened me up, and it freed me.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MIGHTY RIVER")

BLIGE: (Singing) Like a river...

MARTIN: She is up for best supporting actress and best original song. She's the first to be nominated in both categories for the same movie.

And speaking of female characters, the film "Molly's Game" is based on the life of Olympic skier-turned-poker queen Molly Bloom. Writer Aaron Sorkin chose her story to make his directing debut.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

AARON SORKIN: What I discovered was that Molly is an honest to God, real-life movie heroine found in an unlikely place, that this was a morality tale.

MARTIN: Sorkin is nominated for best adapted screenplay for the film.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

SORKIN: In the times that we're living in now, when you come face to face with decency, it's like a cool glass of water in the middle of a desert.

MARTIN: And finally, tomorrow you'll hear my conversation with director Yance Ford about his film "Strong Island." It describes how the murder of his brother, for which no one was ever charged, affected him and his family. It's nominated for best documentary.

YANCE FORD: These shootings changed lives permanently. They create - in the black community, for example - a public health crisis.

MARTIN: Good luck to all the nominees.

(SOUNDBITE OF TUKUYA KURODA'S "EVERYBODY LOVES THE SUNSHINE") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.