Spike Lee received the Career Achievement Award in Palm Springs last night, presented to him by “the Stallworth Brothers”, John David Washington and Adam Driver. We’ll be seeing a lot of these three in the next couple of weeks. But…will we see them at the Oscars? 

BlackkKlansman is one of the most critically acclaimed films of 2018. It has been nominated for several Golden Globe Awards including Best Motion Picture Drama and Best Director for Spike. It has been nominated for several Critics’ Choice Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for Spike. It has been nominated for several Screen Actors Guild Awards, including Best Ensemble, the SAG Equivalent of Best Picture. Spike, however, has never been nominated for Best Director at the Oscars. Spike Lee! Do The Right Thing! Malcolm X! He couldn’t even get funding to make a sequel to one of the best heist movies in the history of heist movies, Inside Man! WHY ISN’T THERE A SEQUEL TO INSIDE MAN?!? There’s a sequel to Grown Ups and there’s no sequel to Inside Man, how is this possible?!

Is it because Spike Lee has never played the game the way they wanted him to play it? 

The game now is whether or not BlackkKlansman will be recognised by the Academy and whether or not Spike’s name will one of the 5 names called on January 22 when the Oscar nominations are announced. Bradley Cooper directed his first movie and will FOR SURE be nominated. Spike Lee’s been at this over 30 years and…he’s a maybe. That’s why it’s a popularity contest. I don’t know what’s going to be more weird – Spike not getting nominated or Spike getting nominated and having to remain seated if Bradley Cooper gets up on stage to collect his first directing Oscar for the first film he’s ever directed. Perhaps he’ll ask Martin Scorsese what that feels like. On March 25, 1991, Kevin Costner won the Best Director Oscar for Dances With Wolves. Martin Scorsese was nominated too and, obviously, lost. You know what the movie was? Goodfellas. 

Speaking of Spike and Marty though – they’re very good friends, and Marty just did a Q&A with Spike for BlackkKlansman at the Lincoln Centre in New York last month. Marty’s seen the film three times. So if we’re talking about campaigns and who has whose support, Spike can likely count on Marty’s within the Director’s Guild, at least for the nomination. You know how for some people, the nomination itself is the win? That…doesn’t apply to the Spike Lee situation. Pretty sure he wouldn’t see it that way.