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July 18, 2024

Ava DuVernay’s ‘Origin’ Lauded for Its Powerful Storytelling, but Snubbed by Major Awards

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Jan 20, 2024

Ava DuVernay’s latest film “Origin,” based on Isabel Wilkerson’s book “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents,” has received widespread critical acclaim since its release last week. However, despite the praise, the film has so far been ignored by major awards shows.

‘Origin’ Provides Emotional Look at America’s History of Racism

“Origin” explores the little-known history of how the racist caste system in America developed over the centuries. It stars Aunjanue Ellis Taylor as an enslaved woman named Mary, and follows her experiences across multiple generations to show how the ideology of white supremacy has persisted in American society.

Reviews for the film have been overwhelmingly positive, with critics praising DuVernay’s direction and the powerful performances she draws out:

“DuVernay is in peak form, crafting evocative images and drawing remarkable work from her ensemble cast.” – Rolling Stone

“It’s an emotional powerhouse that will leave you thinking for years.” – ABC News

Many reviews highlighted that the film brings to life a neglected part of history that all Americans should understand:

“The story provides vital historical connections that most viewers, unfortunately, will be learning for the first time.” – NPR

DuVernay herself has said she hopes the film sparks difficult but necessary conversations: “People shouldn’t be scared to watch Origin. They should lean into the discomfort it creates.” (The Daily Beast)

Snubs from Golden Globes and SAG Awards Spark Criticism

Despite the acclaim for “Origin,” DuVernay’s film was not nominated for any Golden Globes. And just this week, the prestigious SAG Awards also failed to nominate the film in any category.

The snubs have led to criticism that the film is being overlooked because of racial bias in Hollywood’s awards process:

“We award the white guys who do the same thing over and over. But a woman like Ava comes in and gives us humanity, gives us something we’ve never seen before? We ignore it.” – Aunjanue Ellis Taylor, People

DuVernay herself has suggested the film may be too challenging for some awards voters:

“I’ve had many well-meaning industry folks say, ‘It’s just so heavy,’ or ‘It’s so much,’ or ‘Do I have to feel all that?’ … And I say, ‘It’s two hours to sit there and feel something.’” – The Hollywood Reporter

Regardless of the reasons, many feel the film deserves more recognition during awards season:

“Origin succeeds magnificently in bringing to life the centuries-long through-line that connects slavery to the racial hierarchies that still exist in America today.” – The Washington Post

What’s Next for ‘Origin’ and Ava DuVernay

The box office performance for “Origin” has been modest so far, but is expected to grow as word-of-mouth continues spreading.

As for DuVernay, she already has several high-profile projects lined up:

  • An HBO series based on Isabel Wilkerson’s next book Caste: The Lies That Divide Us
  • A Netflix limited series about the Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts
  • A musical film for Warner Bros set in New Orleans

DuVernay is also using her production company ARRAY to spotlight diverse voices in Hollywood and tackle inequity in the industry.

So while “Origin” may not take home any statues this awards season, DuVernay appears unaffected and ready to keep pushing boundaries with her bold, socially-conscious filmmaking.

Key People Involved with ‘Origin’

Name Role Notable Projects
Ava DuVernay Director, Producer, Co-Writer “Selma,” “13th,” “When They See Us”
Aunjanue Ellis Taylor Lead Actress “King Richard,” “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Isabel Wilkerson Author of source material “Caste” Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author
Jon Bernthal Supporting Actor “The Punisher,” “Baby Driver”
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By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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