For the second year in a row, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has nominated an all-white group of acting nominees, passing over popular, well-reviewed performances and failing to nominate prominent actors of color.
In the new film, Rocky still ascends those steps. But he walks, he needs help. He has to take a breather. It is a soulful juxtaposition to his run up those same stairs when he was young, a moment of almost unbearable tenderness that reminds you just how long — and how short — is 39 years.
Creed, the latest installment in the Rocky saga, is like that aging fighter on the undercard who you hope can just hold his own and escape the ring with his life but you fear will get his lights knocked out. After all, this is the seventh film in a franchise that seemed to have run its course.