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Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ is the best picture of 2019, says African American Film Critics Assn.

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Lupita Nyong’o as Red in Jordan Peele’s “Us.”
(Claudette Barius / Universal Pictures)

Jordan Peele’s horror movie “Us” swept the top categories at the African American Film Critics Assn. awards, taking best picture, director and actress for Lupita Nyong’o. The Eddie Murphy comedy “Dolemite Is My Name” and A24’s “Waves” also were recognized.

Jordan Peele’s “Us” cleaned up at the African American Film Critics Assn. Awards, earning top honors in three of the most coveted categories.

The horror thriller about a family of four who come face to face with the worst versions of themselves took home three of the organization’s top honors including best film, director and actress for Lupita Nyong’o, the organization announced Tuesday.

“Jordan Peele continues to raise the bar in horror specifically and film overall,” said AAFCA president and co-founder Gil Robertson in a statement. “With ‘Us,’ he once again upended the horror genre. His centering of a black nuclear family determined to survive in a genre where black family units have historically been unseen is extraordinary.”

The win echoes Peele’s domination of the AAFCA awards two years ago when “Get Out” took home statues for best picture, director, screenplay and actor for star Daniel Kaluuya. Nyong’o also won an acting award from the New York Film Critics Circle and was runner-up for best actress from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

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Netflix’s “Dolemite Is My Name” also was shown love by the AAFCA, winning trophies for actor Eddie Murphy and supporting actress Da’Vine Joy Randolph.

The film, which illustrates comedian Rudy Ray Moore’s ascent from struggling comic to successful film star, also was nominated in the best picture and actor, musical or comedy, categories at the Golden Globes yesterday.

"[Murphy] is an icon whose genius has often gone unrewarded by ‘traditional’ [voting bodies] and we couldn’t be more pleased that he receives this honor while paying homage to Rudy Ray Moore, another icon,” Robertson said in a statement.

Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” won awards for foreign-language film and screenplay. A24’s “Waves” scored recognition for stars Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Taylor Russell in the breakout performance and We See You categories, respectively.

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Jamie Foxx won a trophy for his supporting role in the upcoming drama “Just Mercy.” Melina Matsoukas’ “Queen & Slim” won the organization’s Impact award, Netflix’s “The Black Godfather” won for documentary, Disney’s “Abominable” won in the animation category and “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” won in the independent film category.

Additionally, AAFCA also named its top 10 films of the year, which included “Just Mercy,” “Clemency,” “The Irishman,” “The Farewell” and “Harriet.” The list in order follows:

1. “Us” (Universal Pictures)
2. “Dolemite Is My Name” (Netflix)
3. “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros.)
4. “Clemency” (Neon)
5. “The Irishman” (Netflix)
6. “Queen & Slim” (Universal)
7. “Waves” (A24)
Tie for 8. “Parasite” (Neon) and “Atlantics” (Netflix)
9. “The Farewell” (A24)
10. “Harriet” (Focus Features)

The AAFCA awards will be held on Jan. 22 at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood.


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