The 76th Golden Globes: Shaking Things Up (Not Stirred)


Sunday, January 6th, will showcase the 76th Golden Globes: the start of the mainstream side of awards season for cinema (the independent and critics awards of all sorts are more than underway), and the victory lap for television (the Emmys take place the autumn before every year). Since I am not quite a television connoisseur, I will stick to critiquing the film side of things here. Every year, and on whatever platform I have written for, the Golden Globes have almost always had three key aspects to them that never change. Firstly, it is a much less serious affair for those doing well in the awards race (even nomination wise), and is most likely just a party with some co workers. Secondly, the nominations tend to jump the gun when it comes to timing, and you often get many head scratchers; this gets all the more befuddling when the “drama” and “comedy” nominees confuse the identities of nominated works (remember when The Tourist was so bad that it was labeled a comedy?).

Before I continue my ranting about the Golden Globes, I want to give it a tiny bit of kudos. That is the third aspect that was not mentioned in the tirade above. The Golden Globes can shake up an awards race (even a tiny bit, but it’s effective) when it comes to its actual wins. In a year with clear-cut favourites, it can cause quite a stir (I’m thinking 2016, when Spotlight was the favourite to win, but The Revenant swooped in, and suddenly the Best Picture Oscar almost went to the latter film). Why does this year matter? Well, there aren’t any specific, clear-cut favourites. Best Actress (Drama) can go to Lady Gaga or Glenn Close or even Melissa McCarthy; the Comedy group seems to be a head-to-head between Olivia Coleman (critics favourite) and Emily Blunt (last-minute dark horse).

Frances McDormand, last year winner for Best Actress-Drama for  Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri .

Frances McDormand, last year winner for Best Actress-Drama for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Last year, there was a tight race for which actress would win the top prize at the Academy Awards. Even before nominations for this ceremony come out, you’re usually looking at one-to-three favourites that will likely get chosen (and not be that much of a shock when it does happen). Frances McDormand (for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) won over Sally Hawkins (for The Shape of Water) in the Best Actress-Drama category. These two were a part of a race between each other, and Saoirse Ronan (for Lady Bird), who was untouchable in the Best Actress-Comedy category. With Ronan’s fate chosen, the Drama category similarly settled the score with who would go up against her that year once McDormand won. It seems silly that the Golden Globes can have such an effect on the Oscar race, but you can see this kind of cause-and-effect occur in many scenarios. Isabelle Huppert’s win for Elle concluded Natalie Portman’s run for Jackie back in the 2017 ceremony (though no one was taking that trophy away from Emma Stone for La La Land, let’s face it). George Clooney’s win for The Descendants (and the promotion of said film to get him his win) may have had a huge impact on Michael Fassbender being forgotten about at the Academy Awards altogether.

And yet, depending on the year, sometimes these kinds of wins don’t matter at all. The Martian winning Best Picture-Comedy (that one never gets old) had absolutely zero impact on the film’s fate at the Academy Awards (but at least it got recognized in some sort of capacity, I suppose). This can happen in a disappointing way as well. To bring up Sally Hawkins again, her win for the criminally under-appreciated Happy-Go-Lucky in 2009 had absolutely no impact on her being given any sort of Academy Awards love that year (she would have to wait until 2013’s Blue Jasmine). Each year, it depends on how much the Academy Awards, BAFTAS, SAG awards (and such) have to rely on the Golden Globes to either shake things up, or just reconfirm what they already knew. No one was going to beat Kate Winslet for The Reader that year, so the Academy had no concern for who won the Comedy title that year (sadly).

This year, with so many up-in-the-air categories and nominations, we could have a very unpredictable Golden Globes. Depending on how things go, the Academy Awards could end up becoming the easiest check list as a result. That’s because this year’s Golden Globes can determine the future for the entire awards race (more than it has in many years). Roma is a likely Best Picture candidate, yet it couldn’t even qualify for that category at the Golden Globes, which causes a rift in which 10 possible nominees will take place once the Oscar nominees are announced in the near future. Once again, the Globes have jumped too early, and have picked a decent Vice and a just-okay Bohemian Rhapsody for top honours (plus, no disrespect to the great Mary Poppins, but getting nominated for Best Picture is kind of a big deal). You have critical darlings like The Favourite, A Star is Born, and BlacKkKlansman being shown some love for the top prize (in their respective categories, of course), as well as fan favourites Black Panther and Green Book.

That last point is mainly why this kind of situation exists. 2018 was a great divide between what general audiences loved, and what critics loved. Green Book was given decent reviews and questioned by critics, yet fans dictated it as one of the best of the year (even winning popular votes, including the Toronto International Film Festival). The Favourite was given major praise by critics, but its audience reviews (on Rotten Tomatoes, for instance). There isn’t a direct-sole winner this year. Fans have been pushing for Black Panther to be the first Marvel film to be up for Best Picture since the start of last year, and it looks like their attempts have been working. Critics have been urging movie lovers to go see Roma in theatres, and have showered it in accolades. You’re looking at a blockbuster film vs. an art house opus, and these aren’t the only two horses in the race.

There currently isn’t a definitive film in the lead. If you look at which films have currently won the most awards, you’re looking at Roma and The Favourite. Looking at the screenshots below, Roma has six “best film” related wins; this is actually considerably low by this time of year, especially for the film that’s currently in the lead with said win. The Favourite has also won many awards, but mostly for its production and performances: two wins for anything film related. If Beale Street Could Talk is just behind The Favourite, but, once again, there are only two film related wins. Keep in mind for The Favourite and Beale Street, that one of these wins for both of these works is a “top 10” of the year list by AFI, and isn’t a conclusive “best picture” win.

As of January 3rd, 2019.

As of January 3rd, 2019.

As of January 3rd, 2019.

As of January 3rd, 2019.

As of January 3rd, 2019.

As of January 3rd, 2019.

This doesn’t even cover other Best Picture nominees that will likely happen, including A Star is Born, Green Book, BlacKkKlansman, Black Panther, and Can You Ever Forgive Me?. Roma is clearly in the lead, but the Golden Globes not selecting it for Best Picture will give any of these other films a huge chance. The Favourite can begin its major push for the first absurd period piece to win Best Picture since Tom Jones. If Beale Street Could Talk can try and swoop in to become Barry Jenkins’ second consecutive film to win Best Picture. All of these other films can try and take the lead after trailing so far behind. Anything can happen. With the performances, whoever wins on Sunday will likely take charge of the next few months to take Oscar gold (unless upsets happen, of course). The Best Picture race, however, is going to be chaos. As someone that loves to predict Academy Award winners every year, this is actually exciting. At this point in time, it’s anyone’s game for the top honour. For once, thank you Golden Globes for being a greater impact than usual.

  1. Best Motion Picture – Drama
    “Black Panther”
    “Bohemian Rhapsody”
    “If Beale Street Could Talk”
    “A Star Is Born”

  2. Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
    Glenn Close (“The Wife”)
    Lady Gaga (“A Star Is Born”)
    Nicole Kidman (“Destroyer”)
    Melissa McCarthy (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”)
    Rosamund Pike (“A Private War”)

  3. Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
    Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”)
    Willem Dafoe (“At Eternity’s Gate”)
    Lucas Hedges (“Boy Erased”)
    Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”)
    John David Washington (“BlacKkKlansman”)

  4. Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
    “Crazy Rich Asians”
    “The Favourite”
    “Green Book”
    “Mary Poppins Returns”

  5. Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
    Emily Blunt (“Mary Poppins Returns”)
    Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”)
    Elsie Fisher (“Eighth Grade”)
    Charlize Theron (“Tully”)
    Constance Wu (“Crazy Rich Asians”)

    Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
    Christian Bale (“Vice”)
    Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Mary Poppins Returns”)
    Viggo Mortensen (“Green Book”)
    Robert Redford (“The Old Man & the Gun”)
    John C. Reilly (“Stan & Ollie”)

  6. Best Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture
    Amy Adams (“Vice”)
    Claire Foy (“First Man”)
    Regina King (“If Beale Street Could Talk”)
    Emma Stone (“The Favourite”)
    Rachel Weisz (“The Favourite”)

  7. Best Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture
    Mahershala Ali (“Green Book”)
    Timothee Chalamet (“Beautiful Boy”)
    Adam Driver (“BlacKkKlansman”)
    Richard E. Grant (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”)
    Sam Rockwell (“Vice”)

  8. Best Motion Picture – Animated
    “Incredibles 2”
    “Isle of Dogs”
    “Ralph Breaks the Internet”
    “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

  9. Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language
    “Never Look Away”

  10. Best Director – Motion Picture
    Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”)
    Alfonso Cuaron (“Roma”)
    Peter Farrelly (“Green Book”)
    Spike Lee (“BlacKkKlansman”)
    Adam McKay (“Vice”)

  11. Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
    Alfonso Cuaron (“Roma”)
    Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara (“The Favourite”)
    Barry Jenkins (“If Beale Street Could Talk”)
    Adam McKay (“Vice”)
    Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie (“Green Book”)

  12. Best Original Score – Motion Picture
    Marco Beltrami (“A Quiet Place”)
    Alexandre Desplat (“Isle of Dogs”)
    Ludwig Göransson (“Black Panther”)
    Justin Hurwitz (“First Man”)
    Marc Shaiman (“Mary Poppins Returns”)

  13. Best Original Song – Motion Picture
    “All the Stars” (“Black Panther”)
    “Girl in the Movies” (“Dumplin’”)
    “Requiem For a Private War” (“A Private War”)
    “Revelation’ (“Boy Erased”)
    “Shallow” (“A Star Is Born”)

  14. Best Television Series – Drama
    “The Americans”
    “Killing Eve”

  15. Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama
    Caitriona Balfe (“Outlander”)
    Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)
    Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve”)
    Julia Roberts (“Homecoming”)
    Keri Russell (“The Americans”)

  16.  Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama
    Jason Bateman (“Ozark”)
    Stephan James (“Homecoming”)
    Richard Madden (“Bodyguard”)
    Billy Porter (“Pose”)
    Matthew Rhys (“The Americans”)

  17. Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy
    “Barry” (HBO)
    “The Good Place” (NBC)
    “Kidding” (Showtime)
    “The Kominsky Method” (Netflix)
    “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon)

  18. Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
    Kristen Bell (“The Good Place”)
    Candice Bergen (“Murphy Brown”)
    Alison Brie (“Glow”)
    Rachel Brosnahan (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)
    Debra Messing (“Will & Grace”)

  19. Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
    Sacha Baron Cohen (“Who Is America?”)
    Jim Carrey (“Kidding”)
    Michael Douglas (“The Kominsky Method”)
    Donald Glover (“Atlanta”)
    Bill Hader (“Barry”)

  20. Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
    “The Alienist” (TNT)
    “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” (FX)
    “Escape at Dannemora” (Showtime)
    “Sharp Objects” (HBO)
    “A Very English Scandal” (Amazon)

  21. Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
    Amy Adams (“Sharp Objects”)
    Patricia Arquette (“Escape at Dannemora”)
    Connie Britton (“Dirty John”)
    Laura Dern (“The Tale”)
    Regina King (“Seven Seconds”)

  22. Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
    Antonio Banderas (“Genius: Picasso”)
    Daniel Bruhl (“The Alienist”)
    Darren Criss (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”)
    Benedict Cumberbatch (“Patrick Melrose”)
    Hugh Grant (“A Very English Scandal”)

  23. Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
    Alex Borstein (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)
    Patricia Clarkson (“Sharp Objects”)
    Penelope Cruz (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”)
    Thandie Newton (“Westworld”)
    Yvonne Strahovski (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)

  24. Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
    Alan Arkin (“The Kominsky Method”)
    Kieran Culkin (“Succession”)
    Edgar Ramirez (“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”)
    Ben Whishaw (“A Very English Scandal”)
    Henry Winkler (“Barry”)

Andreas Babiolakis has a Masters degree in Film and Photography Preservation and Collections management from Ryerson University, as well as a Bachelors degree in Cinema Studies from York University. His favourite times of year are the Criterion Collection flash sales and the annual Toronto International Film Festival.