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Golden Globes Nominations Are Here: Should We Care?

Ahh yes, the Golden Globes. One of the most overhyped and silly award shows that has been billed as the unofficial beginning of awards season. Various critics groups have been announcing their winners for the past few weeks so we’ve started to see the beginning of awards season take shape though the Globes are commonly viewed within the industry as assurance for who the current front runners are. Despite this, it’s tough to put too much stock in these nominations as the Hollywood Foreign Press historically has a tendency to load up on bigger names to help draw viewers to the broadcast. After NBC canceled the broadcast of last year’s show due to various operating procedures of the HFPA they are back this year and based on the nominees they seem to be more legitimate than previous years with no egregious snubs or surprises (okay, one BIG one) and no controversies as to what’s considered a drama vs. a comedy. So to answer the question ‘should we care?” I would say not yet. Again, these are helpful to help solidify favorites and it many fields its more obvious who the locks for nominations are now than they were yesterday.

Here are some notes and observations about the film awards:

‘Avatar’ & ‘Elvis’ The Big Winners

Two dramas took significant steps forward in getting the attention of the Academy this weekend. Both Avatar: The Way of Water and Elvis received nominations for both Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Director for James Cameron and Baz Luhrmann respectively. I initially had neither of these in my Best Picture field but both have performed well on the critics circuits. At this point I’d say that Elvis is practically a lock for a Best Picture nomination and Baz Luhrmann is becoming a safer and safer bet. The jury is still out on Avatar as this could be an example of The Hollywood Foreign Press trying to bring some eyes to the broadcast. The original won Best Drama only to lose to The Hurt Locker at the Oscars.

Tough Morning for ‘Women Talking’

The only nomination for one of the most well reviewed films of the year came for Sarah Polley in Best Screenplay. Jesse Buckley, Claire Foy, and Ben Wishaw have all been popping up among the various critics groups and I had Foy and Wishaw in my predictions but I can’t say it’s too surprising to see them left out. Simply put, Foy and Buckley are probably cannibalizing each other in a wide open Best Supporting Actress field. Wishaw not being included is a bit more surprising, having won a Globe previously for A Very English Scandal, though he’s certainly not a favorite to win his category so it doesn’t feel like a big miss. One person losing steam though is Sarah Polley in the Best Director race. At this point I think it’s safe to say Martin McDonagh, The Daniels, and Steven Spielberg are all locks. Todd Field still feels like a safe bet, Baz Luhrmann is gaining momentum, and several international directors such as S.S. Rajamouli (RRR) and Park Chan-wook (Decision to Leave) have done well with critics. Polley’s only significant nomination to date was at the Independent Spirit Awards so don’t be surprised if Best Adapted Screenplay is the only nomination we see for her.

Best Supporting Actress Is A Total Toss Up

Seemingly the only consistent nominee in this field throughout the field is Kerry Condon in The Banshees of Inisherin but yet it oddly doesn’t feel like she’s a heavy favorite. Angela Bassett’s milestone nomination for MCU movies is a solid step for her, Carey Mulligan (my original winner pick) cleared a big hurdle after missing out on several critics nominations, and Jamie Lee Curtis (Everything Everywhere All At Once) and Dolly De Leon (Triangle of Sadness) both have been gaining momentum. Curtis seems to be grabbing more nominations than her co-star Stephanie Hsu which many have been pushing against but Curtis does have the benefit of nearly 50 years of work without an Oscar nomination working in her favor. Buckley, Foy, Janelle Monae (Glass Onion: A Knives Out Story), Sadie Sink (The Whale), Hong Chau (The Whale), and many more are still in this race though. My guess is that we probably won’t be able to start whittling down the list of contenders until the SAG nominees come out.

Aside From One Glaring Omission The Other Acting Fields Are Pretty Straight Forward

Again, the Golden Globes are more so a chance to get a look into who the locks and true contenders are for Academy Award nominations. Unlike the Oscars, the Globes break their lead acting fields into Drama and Comedy. While its safe to say Cate Blanchett and Michelle Yeoh are going to be among those nominated this year, the fact that they’re favored in different fields here means you shouldn’t put too much stock in whether or not they win. Speaking of Best Actress, it looks like Yeoh, Blanchett, and Michelle Williams are all going to punch their ticket for the Academy Awards, but one glaring omission from Best Actress – Drama is Danielle Dedwyler in Till. She hasn’t performed that well in the critics circuit but her performance is still one of the most revered of the year so seeing the HFPA give out a nomination to bigger names like Viola Davis and Olivia Colman is understandable but omitting her for Ana De Armas in Blonde is downright laughable.

Outside of that the Best Actor field is looking like the big three of Austin Butler, Brendan Fraser, and Colin Farrell, whose been sweeping through the critics circuit, are all locked in at this point. Fraser surprisingly hasn’t been winning a ton (whale pun) and seeing the race between him and Butler could be telling in Best Actor – Drama. Outside of that trio it’s still a bit of a guess. Bill Nighy seems to be settling in as the fourth nominee for Living and Jeremy Pope has fared well with the critics. Hugh Jackman picked up some needed momentum after The Son has been performing poorly outside of his performance, Diego Calva in Babylon has to be in contention for that last spot, and Ralph Fiennes continues to make noise with The Menu which is a big step in getting his first nomination in 25 years.

For Best Supporting Actor, the five nominees here could very well end up being the five at the Oscars. Ke Huy Quan is officially the favorite and is probably the safest bet in the four acting races at this point, Branden Gleeson and Barry Keoghan doubled up for The Banshees of Inisherin, Brad Pitt (Babylon) and Eddie Redmayne (The Good Nurse) are both worthy nominees though one of them could get booted to make room for Wishaw or Paul Dano and/or Judd Hirsch from The Fabelmans, though the former has been popping up more amongst the critics.

International Films Still Need To Be Considered

While both picked up nominations for Best Motion Picture – Non-English Language, RRR and Decision to Leave could very well find themselves in the Best Picture and Best Director race as well as several other categories. While technical awards aren’t really the focus of the HPFA, All Quiet On The Western Front needs to be considered a contender in things like editing and production design. The Globes treatment of non-English films has been the subject of controversy in the past. Think back to just two years ago when Minari, an American film with plenty of English dialogue, was placed in Best Motion Picture – Non-English and nothing else. Even Youn Yuh-jung was left out before going on to win an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. I’m not sure if I see anyone from international field crashing the acting races this year but it can’t be ruled out with so many openings outside of the favorites and the Academy’s recent push to include more diverse nominations.

And Finally Some TV Thoughts

The TV awards season isn’t nearly as enjoyable to me for a number of reasons. One, it is almost impossible to see everything thus it’s tough to complain about snubs and surprises when I haven’t seen a good chunk of the content. Two, it feels like winners always go to either the same person many years in a row or to the new kid on the block, rarely anything in between. This applies to both the Globes and the Emmys. I will say that I appreciate how the Globes have a tight five nominees for everything as opposed to Emmys which can fluctuate and be hard to keep track of. Anywho, here are my takeaways from the TV noms:

  • Not including Atlanta in the Best Comedy race is a joke. I haven’t seen Wednesday yet but it just aired and feels very much like the broadcast is just trying to draw in viewers. Plus having Donald Glover as the show’s only acting nomination is just lazy voting. Brian Tyree Henry and Lakeith Stanfield both gave us more than someone like John Turturro for Best Supporting Actor.
  • I’m not surprised to see Andor receive so little love but it’s still sucks. It’s great that Diego Lunda picked up a Best Actor nod but there are three or four supporting performances that feel like they acted circles around him. As much as I love Ozark they didn’t quite stick the landing with their final season to see it get recognized over this feels like a miss. I’m sure this will do better at the Emmys next year.
  • The fact that Rhea Seehorn received zero Golden Globes nominations and only one Emmy nomination for her work over six seasons of Better Call Saul is absolutely ridiculous. In my opinion she was the best performer on the best show out there so it feels a little rotten to have Bob Odenkirk, who is also incredible, get all the attention.
  • One of my favorite things the Globes do every year is they always have a handful of nominees that make you go “what the hell is that?” This year that honor goes to Julia Roberts in Gaslit, which was apparently a mini series about Watergate released on Starz and co-starred Sean Penn. I like to think I follow films and TV pretty closely but I have never heard of this in my life and I kind of need to see it now.
  • Black Bird picked up three nominations for Best Limited Series, Taron Egerton, and Paul Walter Hauser. This was one of the best under the radar shows from this past year and anyone interested in true crime should give it a watch. It’s six, hour-long episodes and can be found on Apple TV. Egerton and Hauser are both phenomenal in this and the cast also includes Greg Kinnear, Sepideh Moafi, and Ray Liotta.
  • I’m too lazy to look this up but Domhnall and Branden Gleeson have to be the, if not one of the, first father and son have been nominated in the same year, right? Irrelevant trivia fact but still a cool tidbit for two great actors.

Welp, that’s all I got. The Golden Globes air on January 10th, roughly two weeks before the Oscar nominations come out. Again, don’t put any stock into the winners but today felt like one of the first major milestones of award season.

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