Saturday, December 3, 2022

2020 Golden Globe Film Drama Contenders

By Michael Schwartz 

As we rapidly approach the announcement of the Golden Globe nominations, the film categories begin to tell us a story of what we can expect from Oscar contenders further down the line. Below are top tier contenders in the drama categories.


While Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” may not have lit critics groups on fire, it seems to be the type of traditional Hollywood fare that more mainstream bodies have responded to more positively. What also helps is the presence of Aaron Sorkin, a perennial favorite of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. In fact, Sorkin just won in 2016 for “Steve Jobs,” while he was subsequently snubbed at the Oscars. He also received one of the five screenplay nominations in 2018 for “Molly’s Game.” Suffice it to say, Aaron Sorkin is always a shoo-in for the Golden Globes and his excellent historical drama should be considered the frontrunner heading into the ceremony.

While the Hollywood Foreign Press Association may lean into the international fare, they do respond to traditionally American stories, such as former winners “Boyhood” and “Moonlight.” That may bode well for Chloe Zhao’s “Nomadland,” which has been the season’s critical darling thus far. If the on-the-road drama prospers at the Globes, watch out for further success down the line.

August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” was a tour de force on stage and can sustain much of that sustained magic in George C. Wolfe and Ruben Santiago Hudson’s adaptation. Of course, much of that can be attributed to Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis’s dynamic performances. But the film itself is equally vibrant and poignant. Like all of Wilson’s work, it manages to capture an era through the lens of characters striving for more. It’s a story that resonates in any medium, which should be enough to power it to a Best Picture nomination at the Globes.

While David Fincher’s “Mank” has yet to make a real splash this season, all signs point to a nice resurgence beginning with televised awards. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association loves films about Hollywood as much as they do films by Aaron Sorkin. The Herman Mankiewicz drama leans into tropes through meticulous production design and lively performances from Gary Oldman and Amanda Seyfried. Even if the public reception was somewhat muted, the industry support is where it counts.

Another title desperately in need of a resurgence is Sony Pictures Classics’ “The Father,” an adaptation of Florian Zeller’s Tony-winning play. The film features Anthony Hopkins in a tour de force leading performance as a man struggling to make sense of the world around him as his dementia worsens. While certainly not easy fare, it seems to be the type of film that benefits from exposure. The uphill climb will be in convincing voters to see it in the first place, but those who witness the acting and artistry on display will likely be sold on its place among the best dramas of the year.

Other fringe contenders include Regina King’s “One Night in Miami,” Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods,” Shaka King’s “Judas and the Black Messiah,” Darius Marder’s “Sound of Metal,” and Emerald Fennell’s “Promising Young Woman.” Obviously, this is still a fluid race with many possibilities to consider. But whatever happens, when nominations are revealed will set the trajectory for the remainder of the season ahead.

​Who are you predicting to be nominated tomorrow for the Golden Globes? Check out my previous post on Golden Globe contenders for Best TV Drama here. Let us know in the comments section below or on our Twitter account.

You can follow Michael and hear more of his thoughts on the Oscars and Film on Twitter at @mschwartz95

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