The Golden Globes, whose nominations were announced today, have, improbably enough, become a big deal unto themselves, but they’re also a good barometer of how the Oscar race is shaping up—to a point. Since the Golden Globes dole out two sets of movie awards—Best Drama and Best Comedy or Musical—it’s always a little tricky to separate the contenders from the pretenders. To further complicate matters, the Best Actor and Actress categories are subdivided into “Drama” and “Musical or Comedy” while the Best Supporting categories are across all genres. Here are some initial observations.
1. It was a great morning for A Star Is Born—but we saw that coming.
A Star is Born is exactly the kind of film the Globes have traditionally loved—sweeping, melodramatic, with glamorous A-list talent. But the film really cleaned up, gaining nods for Best Picture, Drama; Best Actor, Drama (Bradley Cooper); Best Actress, Drama (Lady Gaga); as well as Best Director for Cooper and Best Song for “Shallow.” The only surprise? No supporting nod for Sam Elliott, who played Cooper’s big brother in the film.(Elliott was great, but I’m not too sad about it. It just makes it all the more likely that my fave, Richard Grant from Can You Ever Forgive Me? will take home his rightful award.)
It’s a bit early to say for sure, but I do see the film cleaning up all of its awards, with the biggest competition coming from Alfonso Cuarón in the Best Director category.
2. Roma fans (like me) shouldn’t freak out.
Because the film is in a foreign language, it’s not eligible for Best Picture, Drama. (It was, however, nominated for Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language.) Its rightful status as a major Oscar contender is still intact.
3. The Favourite has established its acting categories.
Olivia Colman for Best Actress. Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone duking it out for Best Supporting Actress. Honestly, they’re all co-leads (and all brilliant). But I’m okay with this distribution. However, if Weisz and Stone cancel each other out, always a danger, it could be good news for either Regina King, Amy Adams, or Claire Foy, who were also Supporting Actress nominees.
4. Bohemian Rhapsody defied the critics.
Critics, including me, were lukewarm on Bohemian Rhapsody, but audiences loved it. The Hollywood Foreign Press did too, giving the film nods for Best Picture, Drama, and Best Actor, Drama to star Rami Malek.
5. Musicals apparently aren’t musicals anymore?
If A Star is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody aren’t musicals, I don’t know what films are. And yet, both films were nominated for Best Picture, Drama instead of Best Picture, Musical or Comedy. So weird.
6. BlacKkKlansman is in solid shape.
Nods for Best Drama and Best Director (Spike Lee) weren’t unexpected. But the film also picked up a Best Supporting Actor nom for Adam Driver and, even more surprisingly, a Best Actor, Drama bid for star John David Washington (Denzel’s kid). An Oscar nomination for the film and Lee are locks. Drivers’ nod in particular is looking pretty likely, as well.
7. Green Book, too.
I wasn’t mad about Green Book, which I found pandering and overly simplified (albeit entertaining), but the Globes freaking loved it. It got nods for Best Picture, Musical or Comedy; Best Director (Peter Farrelly) (!); Best Screenplay; and for both of its leads (with Viggo Mortensen as “lead” and Mahershala Ali as “supporting.”) A pretty tidy haul. Maybe now it’ll find a pulse at the box office, where it’s been surprisingly DOA.
8. Barry Jenkins was robbed!
I don’t know how anyone can see the ravishing If Beale Street Could Talk and not nominate its brilliant director, Barry Jenkins (who did get a nod for Best Screenplay). I am vexed. (While I’m complaining, I’m also a little salty about The Favourite’s Yorgos Lanthimos getting passed over.)
9. Christian Bale didn’t gain all that weight for nothing.
I haven’t seen it yet, but the Golden Globes sure loved the darkly comic Dick Cheney biopic. It got nods for Best Picture, Musical or Comedy; Best Actor, Musical or Comedy (Christian Bale); Best Supporting Actor (Sam Rockwell); Best Supporting Actress (Amy Adams); and even Best Director (Adam McKay).
10. Who’s Going to Get an Oscar Best Picture nomination? Who knows?
At this point I’d say the locks are:
A Star is Born
The Globes certainly gave Vice a boost, so we can pencil them in, too.
I think the quality of If Beale Street Could Talk will be impossible to ignore and it will get nominated, as well.
That leaves question marks for Bohemian Rhapsody, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (fingers crossed!), Black Panther (which got a Globe drama nod), Crazy Rich Asians (nothing would make me happier), and Mary Poppins Returns.
Here are some dates to watch:
The Golden Globe ceremonies are on January 6.
The Oscar nominations come out on January 22.
Buckle up, kids, we’re just getting started!