Despite cultivating a legacy and body of work spanning over three decades, Spike Lee has now earned his first-ever nomination for Best Director in the year 2019. He has also been nominated for the first time in the Best Picture category.
On Tuesday (Jan. 22), following the televised announcement sharing this year's Oscars nominee list, a video clip was posted on social media and it soon went viral. The clip perfectly captures the acclaimed filmmaker's genuinely excited reaction to learning he had finally garnered a long overdue nod from the Academy.
Lee, who has over 30 films to his name since making his debut in 1983, also earned his second writing nomination for the film BlacKkKlansman. In the writing category, Lee was previously nominated for his original screenplay for 1989's Do the Right Thing and for the documentary 4 Little Girls.
In total, BlacKkKlansman is up for six awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Editing and Best Supporting Actor (Adam Driver).
While Lee was presented with an Honorary Academy Award in 2015, he has not yet won a competitive Oscar. Given his influence and wide-ranging body of work, many cited Lee's lack of recognition by the Academy as an inexcusable oversight. Cultural criticism surrounding the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite made reference to this fact, as well.
"After what happened with 'Do the Right Thing,' I just had to let it go and just be at peace with knowing that the great work is going to outlast awards," Lee told Variety's "Playback" podcast back in October 2018, while reflecting on losing to Driving Miss Daisy nearly 30 years ago. "People are still shocked to this day that 'Driving Miss Daisy' won best picture. Who's watching that film now? So, I'm at peace with it."
In the directing category this year, Lee will go up against Paweł Pawlikowski (Cold War), Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite), Alfonso Cuarón (Roma) and Adam McKay (Vice).
In the best picture category, BlacKkKlansman was nominated alongside Black Panther, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, Green Book, Roma, A Star Is Born and Vice.
The 2019 Oscars will take place on Sunday Feb. 24. Congrats to Spike Lee on his nominations this year!