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Although only one person votes for both the Golden Globe Awards and the Academy Awards — Lisa Lu, a Chinese actress-turned-journalist — it’s still reasonable to assume that the results of the 75th Globes, which took place on Sunday evening, will have some impact on the nominations for the 90th Oscars, voting for which began on Jan. 5 and will continue through Jan. 12. That’s because Academy members are still sorting out which films to check out and, of the films they have checked out, which are worthy of their support. And they, like everyone else, will certainly hear about what the Hollywood Foreign Press Association backed at the Globes.
The big winner on Sunday night was Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, the Fox Searchlight dramedy that bagged statuettes for best dramatic picture and actress (Frances McDormand) and best supporting actor (Sam Rockwell, edging The Florida Project‘s Willem Dafoe, who had swept the critics’ awards) and screenplay (Martin McDonagh). Going in to the night, McDormand, Rockwell and the screenplay seemed like fairly safe bets, but picture remained up in the air, with many expecting things to break for another Searchlight title, The Shape of Water. In the end, the HFPA did what I increasingly suspect the Academy may also do: it awarded Shape‘s Guillermo del Toro with best director, in recognition of his passion and technical achievement, but then gave best picture to something else, since a water monster movie is a bit too genre for some.
On the musical/comedy side of the equation, Greta Gerwig‘s Lady Bird was the big winner, claiming best picture and best actress (Saoirse Ronan) — which prompted many to ask how Gerwig could be behind both best picture and best actress winners but not have received even a best director nom herself. Members of the Academy’s directors branch, who solely determine the best director Oscar nominees, know that the eyes of the world are upon them as they decide how to fill out their category, and that, particularly in the current climate, there will be a major backlash if Gerwig is not recognized with at least a nom for her solo directorial debut.
It must be noted that Lady Bird‘s chief rival for the best picture (musical/comedy) Globe, Get Out, wasn’t helped at the Globes by writer/director Jordan Peele‘s recent comments questioning the HFPA’s categorization of his film — but it seems poised to rebound with the Academy, which is a more demographically diverse group than the HFPA.
Other winners included Darkest Hour‘s Gary Oldman for best actor (drama), finally putting a stop to the surge by Call Me By Your Name‘s Timothee Chalamet (a loss for Oldman at the Globes would have been devastating); The Disaster Artist‘s James Franco for best actor (musical/comedy), resulting in one of the more memorable acceptance speeches of the night, which should drive more people to check out his weird little film; I, Tonya‘s Allison Janney for best supporting actress, remarkably the first-ever Globe win for the former star of The West Wing; The Shape of Water‘s Alexandre Desplat for best original score, his second win in that category, 11 years after The Painted Veil; The Greatest Showman‘s Benj Pasek and Justin Paul for best original song, which they also won last year for La La Land‘s “City of Stars”; Coco for best animated feature; and Germany’s In the Fade, which stars Diane Kruger, for best foreign language film — the film, which is also shortlisted for the equivalent Oscar, certainly wasn’t hurt by the heavy presence of Germans among the HFPA’s membership.
Going home empty-handed were The Post, which came in with six noms, second only to The Shape of Water‘s seven; All the Money in the World, Call Me By Your Name and Dunkirk, which had three each; and Battle of the Sexes, Ferdinand, Get Out, Molly’s Game, Mudbound and Phantom Thread, all of which had two. Their backers shouldn’t despair as they look ahead to the Oscar noms — it seems likely that all will be included there to one extent or another, with the possible exception of Battle of the Sexes, and then there’s another month-plus before final balloting closes, so a lot can still happen.
Meanwhile, over on the TV side, the HFPA once again demonstrated its affinity for rookie shows, awarding its best series (drama) prize to Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale and best series (musical/comedy) to Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, the leading ladies of which — Elisabeth Moss and Rachel Brosnahan — also won in their respective categories. Interestingly, in the year of #MeToo and #TimesUp, all four female acting winners were from shows about women mistreated by men, with Moss, who plays a sex slave in a dystopian future, and Brosnahan, who gets into comedy after being abandoned by her husband, joined by Big Little Lies‘ Nicole Kidman (best actress in a miniseries or TV film), who plays a victim of spousal abuse, and Laura Dern (best supporting actress in a series, miniseries or TV film), who plays a woman in a complicated marriage of her own. Appropriately enough, Big Little Lies also won best miniseries or TV film.
The biggest surprises of the night came in the male acting categories on the TV side. For the first season of This Is Us, Sterling K. Brown may have won an Emmy a few months ago, but he wasn’t even nominated for the best actor (drama) Golden Globe, so the fact that he won it for the show’s second season is striking — perhaps the HFPA just took a little while to catch up on the episode-heavy program? Meanwhile, in the best actor (musical/comedy) category, Master of None‘s Aziz Ansari snapped a streak of six straight wins by people from rookie shows when he won for his show’s strong second season, something that was far from a foregone conclusion. And, in the best actor in a miniseries or TV film category, veteran Ewan McGregor won his first-ever Globe for playing multiple characters on Fargo, topping the likes of Twin Peaks‘ Kyle MacLachlan and The Wizard of Lies‘ Robert De Niro.
The one non-surprising result was Big Little Lies‘ Alexander Skarsgard winning best supporting actor in a series, miniseries or TV film), completing a sweep of all four awards that Big Little Lies could have won.
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