Written by Brooks Barnes
Golden Globes voters pulled the contentious comedy Green Book and the still-to-be-released Dick Cheney biopic Vice deeper into the Oscar race, while also embracing the critically acclaimed A Star Is Born and The Favourite.
But there were also prominent snubs. Damien Chazelle’s cerebral space race drama First Man was virtually ignored, drawing one acting nod, for Claire Foy’s supporting work, and a nomination for Justin Hurwitz’s score. Among the surprises, the tepidly reviewed blockbuster Bohemian Rhapsody was recognized in the best drama category.
The largest number of movie nominations — six — went to Adam McKay’s Vice, including ones for best musical or comedy, director, actor (Christian Bale), supporting actress (Amy Adams), supporting actor (Sam Rockwell) and screenplay. Bradley Cooper’s hit romance A Star Is Born, the cutting period comedy The Favourite and Green Book each received five nominations.
The group behind the Globes, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, supported a notable number of films with diverse casts and racial themes. Vying against A Star Is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody as best drama contenders will be the superhero smash Black Panther, the melancholy If Beale Street Could Talk and Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman.
Crazy Rich Asians drew two nominations, for Constance Wu’s acting and best musical or comedy, a category that also included The Favourite, Green Book, Mary Poppins Returns and Vice.
The Globes are seen as the most unserious stop on the road to the Oscars, which will take place February 24. Only 88 people vote on the Globe nominees and winners. And the top Globes are split into dramatic and comedic categories, often in nonsensical ways.
In a head-scratching policy for an awards program adjudicated by reporters from overseas, foreign-language films are ineligible for the marquee best picture categories. So the nominations did not offer much guidance on the Oscar fortunes of Roma, Alfonso Cuarón’s blissfully reviewed epic that has become a lightning rod in Hollywood because it comes from Netflix, which only gives films token theatrical releases. Roma was among the best foreign film nominees, as expected, while Cuarón was recognized for best screenplay and best director.
Movie fans may also be confused by the inclusion of A Star Is Born in the best drama category. The romantic remake is plenty dramatic, but the Globes has a whole category specifically for musicals and comedies. A Star Is Born has lots of singing, and the 1976 version starring Barbra Streisand won the Globe for best musical. What’s the deal this time around? It boils down to category shopping: A Star Is Born consultants asked the press association to not consider it a musical, since the dramatic category is seen as having more heft.
A Green Light on Green Book
A parade of films (Beautiful Boy, Eighth Grade, A Quiet Place, The Old Man & the Gun) ended up with a lone nomination. That’s how Globes voters roll: Spread the love.
But Green Book, adored by some for its feel-good depiction of interracial friendship while leaving others appalled for its reliance on racial clichés, emerged as a factor in five categories, including Viggo Mortensen’s lead acting, Mahershala Ali’s supporting work, best screenplay and Peter Farrelly’s direction. The strong showing for Green Book could give the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences cover to embrace it as well.
Tracking the Disney Scorecard
Walt Disney Studios, despite its box-office brawn, has never been much of an awards force outside of animation. (Unless you count the years it owned Miramax, which functioned as a rogue planet.) This year, however, Disney has Mary Poppins Returns, which has not yet been reviewed by critics — it doesn’t arrive in theaters until December 19 — but has been generating glowing advance buzz and received a nod for best musical or comedy, along with acting nominations for Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda. In addition to best drama, Black Panther received attention in the song and score categories.
By the time the Globes ceremony arrives, Disney may also have closed its $71.3 billion acquisition of most of Twenty-First Century Fox. That would make Disney the owner of Fox Searchlight, which received 10 nominations in total, including nods for Richard E. Grant and Melissa McCarthy in Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Another Fox studio going to Disney is behind Bohemian Rhapsody, starring Rami Malek, who received a best actor nomination for his toothy performance as Freddie Mercury. In the final totals, Disney had nine nominations and the Fox companies had 25, including those for FX in the television races.
Vice Makes Its Move
This Dick Cheney biopic, directed and written by McKay (The Big Short), has been hanging back. It won’t arrive in theaters until Christmas Day. But Vice has now made its break.
The inclusion of McKay in the directors category came as a surprise to most awards handicappers. Squeezed out of the directors race was Yorgos Lanthimos, the force behind The Favourite.
The TV Contingent Is Strong
Because the press association’s nominations arrive as Oscar voters are gearing up for their own selection process, the movie-related Globe categories receive most of the attention. But the truth is that the Globes ceremony draws much of its power from TV stars — and the desire by voters to be tastemakers by throwing their weight behind fledgling series. In recent years, the Globes have helped put streaming-service shows like Transparent and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on the map.
In the best television drama category, newcomers receiving nominations included the thriller Killing Eve, starring Sandra Oh as a security services operative; the boisterous Pose, the latest FX hit from Ryan Murphy; and Homecoming, a cerebral thriller starring Julia Roberts.
Also Read | 2019 Golden Globe nominations: The complete list
One reminder: Two stalwarts, Game of Thrones and Stranger Things, were not eligible this time around because no new episodes of either series aired in 2018.
Among comedies, awards handicappers predict that it is going to be hard to unseat the reigning winner, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Newcomers among the nominees include Barry, the off-kilter HBO series starring the also-nominated Bill Hader and Henry Winkler, and The Kominsky Method from Amazon, which also snagged nominations for its stars, Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin.