The 78th Golden Globe Awards nominations have been announced, and Marvel's Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman is being honored with a posthumous nomination. Boseman was nominated for the category "Best Performance By An Actor In A Motion Picture - Drama" for his performance as Jazz trumpet player Levee in Netflix's adaptation of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Boseman wasn't the only star of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom recognized by the Golden Globes: Viola Davis (The Suicide Squad) was also nominated for the category "Best Performance By An Actress In A Motion Picture - Drama" for playing the titular singer, Ma Rainey. Both Boseman and Davis have already been honored by the Gotham Awards for their word in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.
This nomination just helps to cement Chadwick Boseman's legacy as one of the most gifted actors of his era. The nomination is no frivolous handout due to Boseman's sudden passing; his performance in Ma Rainey's is gripping and powerful and deserves every bit of recognition.
In the film, Boseman plays Levee, a slick and talented Jazz trumpeter getting his big break with a gig playing in Ma Rainey's band. At the start of the day, Levee feels his dreams of starting his own band and getting a big recording contract becoming reality; however, due to the racial disparities of the music business, the talented young man finds himself in a place of frustration and rage that leads to tragic consequences. In one scene (worthy of all this awards talk), the devil-may-care facade Levee struts around with gets dropped to reveal a rage-filled truth, in a searing monologue, Boseman delivers about his character's horrific experiences with white supremacy and racial injustice. It was a deep and layered character study of the black experience that Boseman elevated with his charisma and passion.
As a final onscreen performance, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom was as timely and important (after the turbulent social upheavals of 2020) as any actor could've hoped for. It's good to see Boseman getting big awards recognition from the Golden Globes, and many fans hope it will roll right into an Academy Award nomination, as well.
Meanwhile, Marvel Studios has begun pushing ahead with work on Black Panther II, with the declaration that Chadwick Boseman's King T'Challa will not be recast for the sequel - thankfully, there are any number of Marvel Comics storylines that allow for such a change (like Shuri becoming Queen/Black Panther). Marvel has also announced Black Panther director Ryan Coogler will also be launching a Kingdom of Wakanda spinoff series for Disney+.