The GG nominations are still for some reason considered a bellwether for the Oscars, but all these nominations ever do is confirm what everyone was already thinking, and in the rare cases where the Hollywood Foreign Press Association throws in a curveball, that ball goes way foul of Oscar boundaries (Pia Zadora, anyone? Anyone?)
The Irishman and Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood were big nominees this year, with five each. The HFPA loves a master director and big name Hollywood actors in top form as much as Oscar does, so this head nod to the expected isn’t surprising.
It’s Marriage Story that gets the real traction from these nominations. With six total, it’s the most recognized film in the pack, and the names involved are much newer to big awards than Scorsese, Pacino, Hopkins, etc. So while we figure the nominations for Marriage Story– Best Picture, Baumbach’s screenplay, Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, Laura Dern – will be repeated by Oscar, the fact that the film topped the other prestige names for GG’s love bumps it up the Oscar Best Picture list ahead of other films that didn’t see their buzz reflected by the Globes.
The Globes do often pass over films that Oscar ends up loving, so expect Little Women to be much more prominent with Oscar, especially in the craft categories that the Globes don’t have. Though it has to be noted that of the three prestige films yet to be wide released that are expected to feature significantly at the Oscars, only Sam Mendes’ 1917 got any attention from the Globes. Both Greta Gerwig’s Little Women and Clint Eastwood’s Richard Jewell were ignored other than one acting nod each and a score mention for LW. Methinks the Globes got this one right…
What else did they get right? In this year of violent jokers and somber Irishmen and painful marriage stories, the Globes showed plenty love for the film that probably put more smiles on faces than any other in 2019 – Knives Out. The HFPA is an organization of journalists from 2nd tier EU countries like Croatia and Malta, places you’d never know of if they weren’t exotic locations in Bond movies, so they love Daniel Craig and his coterie, hence nominations for Craig and Ana de Armas, who really wasn’t anything much in Knives Out, but happens to be a Bond girl opposite Craig in the upcoming 007.
They also appear to have their finger a bit more on the pulse of Hollywood tastes this go-round, as most of the other nominees reflect the best aspects of their respective films. The audaciousness of Joker deserves a Best Picture, Director and Actor nod, but its pointless screenplay was rightfully ignored (and hopefully will be by Oscar as well). Jennifer Lopez, Rene Zellwegger, Tom Hanks and Awkwafina all anchored films that would have been too flat or meandering without them. And though the more conservative The Two Popes kept Parasite from the Globes’ Best Picture list, Bong Joon Ho’s fantastically original writing and direction could not be ignored. Parasite will get a Best Picture nom from Oscar, or I’ll bash my head in with a money stone.
One last tip of the hat to the HFPA for recognizing Dolomite Is My Name and Eddie Murphy. The Globes’ Best Actor (Drama) list was an odd one, with a couple names that few expect to see on Oscar’s final five (Christian Bale, whose role was more supporting in Ford v Ferrari, and Antonio Banderas, who, though good in Pain&Glory, is getting love more because he’s playing GG-favorite Pedro Almodovar.) Eddie Murphy deserves to be on Oscar’s list more than either of those two.
Bringing up the rear are always a couple talented veterans who show up on Globe lists even though the films they were in were crap. This year it’s Emma Thompson for Late Night and Cate Blanchett for Where’d You Go, Bernadette?
The idea that the Globes steal thunder from the Oscars is still valid, which you can tell by the cat-and-mouse game the two award shows play. The Oscars are ‘experimenting’ with moving their show a month earlier in 2020 (February 9), so the Globes decided to happen ASAP after the holidays – January 5 – before most have even had a chance to see the end-of-year big releases like Little Women and 1917, which is kind of silly. The Globe winners will still be hung over when only a week after that show the Oscars announce their nominations. It’s enough to twist Joaquin Phoenix into contortions!
Good luck to all, and it’s an honor just to be nominated, right?