The Golden Globes have always been a strange ritual. The statues are awarded by a secret group of foreign journalists, of whom only 89 vote. The grand prizes are divided into dramatic and comedic categories, often in a confusing way. Oddly enough, foreign language films are not allowed to compete for the most prestigious awards.
That year, however, the surreal nature of the affair was heightened by a question from the pandemic era: Are the globes actually happening?
The five nominees for best drama could easily have zero ticket sales. Almost every controversial film has been released online or is still waiting to be released. Many cinemas have now been closed for 11 months.
Small golden trophies are difficult to care for for many people, including some in Hollywood, when the coronavirus is still killing more than 1,000 Americans a day. Others will no doubt hail the Golden Globes as a goofy distraction – a dependable balm of celebrity deductibles and the malicious glee you’ve seen.
Amy Poehler and Tina Fey will return as hostesses. The ceremony is scheduled for February 28th and will air on NBC.
The globes supposedly exist to honor outstanding achievements in film and television. But the real reason this show has to go on is money. NBC pays the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and its production partner Dick Clark Productions an estimated $ 65 million per year for broadcast rights. About 18 million people turned up last year.
Globe nominations are sought-after marketing tools. Studios and streaming services will quickly launch expensive advertising campaigns based on the numbers. For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, moviedom will have a national platform that can be used as a lift-up rally: “I’m still here!”
The globes can also help steer a driving Oscar race on some kind of course. (The Oscars are slated for April 25th.) David Fincher’s fading “flaw” about Old Hollywood could use a Globe nomination or five right now. While “Hillbilly Elegy” was widely ridiculed, Globes voters may have been able to take Glenn Close away by recognizing their scene-eating mamaw. (It would be her 15th nomination.)
In truth the globes do not predict much. Over the past 20 years, the Globes and the Oscars have agreed on the best picture winners 50 percent of the time. Last year, Globe voters voted “Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood” and the war drama “1917” as best in class. Neither won the Academy Awards, which recognized the genre busting “Parasite”.
In accordance with their rules, the group did not nominate Parasite, a foreign language film, for Best Picture Globe.
What crazy specials await you this time around when the nominations are announced starting at 8:35 a.m. Eastern on Wednesday:
Streaming services, including Netflix and Amazon, will lead the way.
Netflix, only a competitor on the film side of the Globes since 2016, will dominate to a staggering extent. There are domestic films in the competition – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “Mank,” “Da 5 Bloods,” “The Prom” – as well as films it bought in pandemic-stricken traditional studios, particularly Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of “the Chicago 7.” Among the television categories, the streaming service has established crowd-pleasers (“The Crown”, “Ozark”) and brilliant new hits (“Bridgerton”, “The Queen’s Gambit”).
Amazon is also going to get a ton of nominations, with Regina King’s “One Night in Miami,” a fact-based drama about a meeting of four black luminaries that is positioned to nod for best drama, best director, and best screenplay Picking Best Supporting Actor (for Leslie), Odom Jr., who plays Sam Cooke). And Globe voters will surely honor “Borat Subsequent Movie”, which appeared on Amazon Prime Video in October, among others in the categories “Best Comedy” and “Music”.
Some forecasters are also betting that the disrespectful superhero series “The Boys” will receive a nomination for Best Television Drama from Amazon, which would be a big deal given that the popular show, now in season two, has been largely overlooked by award groups.
Expect a wide variety of directors to be nominated.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has been attacked in recent years for neglecting inclusion and diversity. At the latest ceremony, for example, the group once again presented an all-male list of directors who did not nominate women like Greta Gerwig (“Little Women”) and Olivia Wilde (“Bookmaker”).
Expect a correction this year. It looks like both King and Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”) will be recognized. To this mix Spike Lee is likely to be added for “Da 5 Bloods”. The war drama sparked a strong critical reaction, and Lee has been nominated three times by the group (most recently for directing “BlacKkKlansman”).
And this year, his children Satchel and Jackson will serve as Golden Globe Ambassadors, a job that traditionally takes winners off the stage. It wouldn’t be a family matter if Spike wasn’t there too.
Sophia Loren and Zendaya could compete in the categories of actresses.
The best actor in a drama category can also reflect a wide range of talents, including Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Butt”), Steven Yeun (“Minari”), Delroy Lindo (“Da 5 Bloods”) and Riz Ahmed ( “Sound of Metal”) and Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”) all in the mix for nominations. Tom Hanks could rise up for his cross-border commuter “News of the World”.
But the actresses’ nominations are likely to make the noise.
Globus voters might include a legend, Sophia Loren, for her role as a Holocaust survivor who runs a daycare for children of local prostitutes on Netflix’s The Life Ahead. Or they could give this slot to an actress who represents the future, Zendaya, who received praise for her performance in Malcolm & Marie, a romantic black and white drama (Netflix again).
Meryl Streep, a 25-time Globe nominee and eight-time winner, has received two nominations for best actress in a comedy or musical, one for her exaggerated “prom” performance and one for playing a writer trying to stand out reconnect with her friends in “Let Them All Talk.” Streep would likely compete against Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova for her ultra-raw but surprisingly sweet twist in “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”.
The TV Supporting Actress category, as usual, has a variety of candidates that add a little suspense. Will voters give way to both Gillian Anderson and Helena Bonham Carter of The Crown? Also competing are Uzo Aduba (“Mrs. America”), Letitia Wright (“Small Ax”), Annie Murphy (“Schitt’s Creek”), Jessie Buckley (“Fargo”), Marielle Heller (“The Queen’s Gambit”) and Julia Garner (“Ozark”). Garner and Aduba won Emmys for their accomplishments last year.
‘Minari’ is not allowed to fight for the main prize.
Without a foreign-language film kerfuffle, the globes would not be. This time the group has an egg in the face because Lee Isaac Chung’s “Minari” has to make a foreign language contribution – although Mr. Chung is an American director, the film was shot in the US and funded by American companies and it focuses on an immigrant family, who pursues the American dream.
But the characters in “Minari” mostly speak Korean. As a result, the Globe rules require that they be relegated to the best foreign language film race. It cannot be considered for the grand prize.
“Hamilton”, on the other hand, will likely benefit from the group’s rules. As a recorded stage performance, “Hamilton” does not qualify for the Oscars. But the HFPA has no such hang-up. So expect Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical to show up for Best Comedy or Musical Nominee.