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Black Panther cannot be nominated for any Academy Awards until next January and yet it was the talk of last night’s Oscars® ceremony. Host Jimmy Kimmel hilighted the film in his opening monologue and later joked that it had made another $48 million since the broadcast started. Black Panther was also featured alongside Wonder Woman in a montage about the power of representation on screen.

Two of the film’s stars, Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa) and Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia), presented during the show while Danai Gurira (Okoye) and Winston Duke (M’Baku) were also in attendance. Daniel Kaluuya (W’Kabi) was there for his Best Actor nomination for Get Out, but also joined his Black Panther castmates on the red carpet.

As wonderful as it was to see Black Panther celebrated last night, the film deserves more than an honorary place at the Oscars®. The Ryan Coogler-directed film warrants strong consideration in several categories for next year’s ceremony. It should remain on the minds of Academy voters all year long, as they watch and evaluate the rest of 2018’s releases.

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