By Daniel Howat
The nominations for the 75th Golden Globe Awards were announced yesterday morning, and as expected, they were full of snubs and surprises. Thanks to their high profile, the Globes can impact the public perception of the awards race in a lot of ways. Run by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the Globes have zero overlaps with Oscar voters, so they don’t necessarily give us a picture of how the Academy will vote. Still, this year the Academy Award nominations open only two days before the Globes, meaning the winners could affect the minds of the voters. So let’s take a look at how the Golden Globe nominations could impact the Oscar race.
THE SHAPE OF WATER SCORES
After a pretty unsure start with the critic’s awards, “The Shape of Water” has rebounded in a big way. Its seven nominations were the most of this year’s Globes: Best Film (Drama), Best Actress (Drama) for Sally Hawkins, Best Supporting Actress for Octavia Spencer, Best Supporting Actor for Richard Jenkins, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Score. It didn’t miss in any category it needed to.
Jenkins and Spencer’s nominations will certainly help keep them in the conversation, as they’re on shaky ground for the Oscar nomination. Still, both have heavy competition. Spencer has been nominated twice before, including just last year, for playing a very similar role. Best Supporting Actress is far from solidified, so Spencer has a great chance of being nominated, but will have a fight on her hands. As will Jenkins, who will have a strong fight with his co-star, Michael Shannon. This is reminiscent of last year’s Best Supporting Actor race when Shannon was battling with his “Nocturnal Animals” co-star Aaron Taylor-Johnson for a nomination. The Golden Globes nominated Taylor-Johnson, while Shannon eventually got the Oscar nomination. Taylor-Johnson even won the Globe, becoming the first person to win Supporting Actor without being nominated for the Oscar since 1975. Can Shannon do it two years in a row and push out Jenkins? A SAG Nomination for either one of them will clarify things a bit.
“The Shape of Water” is looking good all around as we get draw closer to the Oscar. Guild nominations (and wins) will help bolster it even more. With its technically spectacular visuals, good story, and strong performances, there’s a strong chance it could be our nomination leader on Oscar nomination morning as well.
ALL THE NOMINATIONS IN THE WORLD
Let me state the obvious: “All The Money In The World” is one gigantic question mark. Very few people have seen the film, so there’s not much to go on in the way of reviews. Ridley Scott has always been hit or miss with the Oscars, so it’s been an unknown entity all season long, even before Kevin Spacey’s controversy. Wisely, instead of letting the movie die, Scott replaced Spacey with Plummer. Shockingly the film was completed less than three weeks after casting Plummer.
The Globes went almost all in on “All The Money In The World.” Christopher Plummer and Michelle Williams scored nominations, as did Ridley Scott for Best Director. It was almost a surprise that the film missed a Best Film (Drama) nomination after hearing those other picks. This raises so many questions. Did the Globes do this because they genuinely loved the movie, or because they wanted to get ahead of the game for publicity?
For the Oscars, it’s safe to call Christopher Plummer a dark horse in Best Supporting Actor. The category has no shortage of potential nominees, but it’s a category that’s very much in flux. Willem Dafoe and Sam Rockwell seem to be the only true locks, with Armie Hammer pretty close behind. In this fall that’s been dominated by the stories of sexual harassment in Hollywood, Plummer replacing Spacey has been seen almost as a beacon of light. Plummer could make it in the Oscar lineup by riding that goodwill. This is likely the best shot that “All The Money In The World” has this year.
Michelle Williams making it into Best Actress (Drama) was impressive but will be far more challenging at the Oscars. Our Best Actress lineup feels very solidified: Sally Hawkins, Meryl Streep, Frances McDormand, Saoirse Ronan, and Margot Robbie. All of these women scored nominations at the Globes. With Ronan and Robbie moved to Best Actress (Comedy/Musical), the Drama lineup had more wiggle room. Unless Williams is truly remarkable in “All The Money In The World”, don’t expect her to be a spoiler. Still, every time Williams scored a Globe nomination, she went on to an Oscar nomination.
As far as Director goes, Scott scoring a nomination doesn’t seem too likely, unless the Academy feels bad for snubbing him for “The Martian.” Again, without seeing reviews for “All The Money In The World” yet, it’s tough to handicap its Best Picture chances, but it could surprise if the movie gets raves. There are lots of eyes on the film because of all of the reshooting, and consequently many people rooting for it.
GET OUT & CALL ME BY YOUR NAME UNDERPERFORM
Two of the biggest contenders this season, “Get Out” and “Call Me By Your Name”, didn’t have their name read too many times during the Golden Globe nominations. Each was predicted for a good deal of nominations but missed in a few key places.
“Get Out” competed in the Comedy/Musical category and scored two big nominations: Best Film, and Best Actor for Daniel Kaluuya. Though these are definitely worth celebrating, Jordan Peele missed out on Best Director and Screenplay, two awards that were not split between drama and comedy. Best Director wasn’t a sure bet, but he was certainly more expected than Ridley Scott. Peele missing Screenplay is a much more hurtful snub. He has a great chance of not only scoring the Oscar nomination but winning. Missing here certainly doesn’t help.
“Call Me By Your Name” only scored three nominations: Best Film (Drama), Best Actor (Drama) for Timothée Chalamet, and Best Supporting Actor for Armie Hammer. Like “Get Out”, the movie missed out on Director and Screenplay. This is a film that should have been right up the HFPA’s alley. Still, with Luca Guadagnino already on the bubble for Director at the Oscars, even more so than Peele, a nomination would have really kept him in the conversation. James Ivory’s screenplay should have an easier time still getting the Oscar nomination, considering how weak Adapted Screenplay is. In fact, Aaron Sorkin’s nomination for “Molly’s Game” was the only adapted screenplay that scored a nomination at the Globes. This solidifies the HFPA’s love of Sorkin; he’s been nominated for every film he’s written except for “Malice.”
Michael Stuhlbarg missing out on the Best Supporting Actor nomination here isn’t as much of a killer either, considering how in flux that category is. It’s been all over the place this season, and Stuhlbarg has still racked up plenty of nominations. It’ll be an uphill battle all season as he’s competing against his co-star Hammer, who has a much bigger role. A SAG nomination will go a long way toward securing him a first Oscar nomination.
The last film to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards without either a Best Director or Best Screenplay nomination at the Golden Globes was “Driving Miss Daisy” in 1989. While stats can also be broken, it’ll be an uphill battle if either “Get Out” or “Call Me By Your Name” is going to win Best Picture.
THE BIG SHUTOUT
Possibly the biggest surprise of the Golden Globe nominations this year was the complete shut out of “The Big Sick.” It didn’t score a single nomination. The film was expected to be a contender in many of the Comedy/Musical categories, including Best Film, Actor, Supporting Actress, and maybe even Screenplay. This a huge blow. It’s especially rough considering the controversy around “Get Out” being labeled a comedy. It’s hard to see one of the best-reviewed comedies of the year get shut out of the Comedy/Musical category when other films will have a better shot at showing up in the combined categories at the Academy Awards.
A Best Picture nomination was already a long shot for “The Big Sick,” and it now feels even more distant. Best Actor for Kumail Nanjiani was even further away and remains so. Best Screenplay could still happen since there are more available slots at the Oscars, but Original Screenplay is so incredibly packed. It will be tough for this screenplay to get in over films that will be across the board contenders. Holly Hunter, on the other hand, has been the film’s greatest hope. Her snub is perhaps the biggest of them all. Though this isn’t helpful, Hunter has remained a major contender, placing on most critics lists, and should (hopefully?) score a SAG nomination on Wednesday. If she makes it there, she’ll remain secure.
OTHER CONTENDERS KEEP THINGS INTERESTING
“The Post,” “Dunkirk,” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” remained steady as predicted, each receiving Best Film (Drama) and Best Director nominations. “Lady Bird” also picked up the last Best Film (Comedy/Musical) nomination, though it missed Best Director. All of those films, except for “Dunkirk”, also scored Best Screenplay and multiple acting nominations. Although it’s a very crowded and contentious season, these films should feel most secure on Oscar nomination morning.
With both Greta Gerwig and Jordan Peele missing Best Director, their prospects remain slightly unclear. These two have been battling it out all season both here and in screenplay. There’s a lot of love and goodwill coming their way. It’s likely at least one of them will make it into the final Best Director lineup at the Oscars. Unfortunately, the Globes don’t give us much clarity on which one (or if both of them) can make it. Still, keep an eye on these two to keep racking up critics’ awards. The DGA will obviously clarify this race much more.
Laurie Metcalf and Allison Janney in Supporting Actress, Gary Oldman and Chalamet in Actor, Dafoe, and Rockwell in Supporting Actor, and Hawkins, Meryl Streep, and Frances McDormand in Actress all received nominations, leaving their prospects as the Oscar frontrunners unchanged. Denzel Washington showed up in Best Actor (Drama), but given the lukewarm reception to the film, don’t expect him to get a nomination at the Oscars.
“The Florida Project” didn’t score any nominations outside of Willem Dafoe, as expected. Still, given fewer slots in Best Film (Drama), it’s not too much of a surprise that it didn’t land there. The Globes didn’t give it any boost, but it doesn’t harm the film’s chances of scoring a Best Picture (or even a surprise Best Director) nod, given how it’s been overperforming among the critic’s awards.
The showing for “Mudbound” was pretty weak, as it has been most of the season. Mary J. Blige scored the only two nominations for the film: Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Song. Both will help reinforce her as a serious contender, but without only a few nods from critics groups, she’ll need a SAG nomination before she’s even close to a lock for a nomination. “Mudbound” remains a low-level contender. A Best Picture nomination wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility, but it’s far from guaranteed.
Along with Blige, Hong Chau made a surprising comeback here, scoring a Best Supporting Actress nomination for “Downsizing.” The film hasn’t had the best reception, especially compared to Alexander Payne’s previous work. Still, Chau can’t be completely written off as a contender for a nomination.
James Franco and Margot Robbie scored nominations for their respective Comedy/Musical acting categories. Their films, “The Disaster Artist” and “I, Tonya”, also scored Best Film (Comedy/Musical) nominations. Franco and Robbie remain strong contenders for Oscar nominations. Both should feel confident, and SAG nominations should solidify that.
Yesterday’s Golden Globes nominations came with a lot of surprises, but essentially all of our frontrunners remain intact. Again, the HFPA has no voting overlap with the Academy, so some of the surprises could just be the different preferences of the different audience rather than a weakness of the film itself. We’ll continue to get a clearer picture in the coming days. The Screen Actors Guild nominations come out this Wednesday and will greatly clear up our acting race. As more critics awards are announced, along with the rest of the guilds, the Oscar race will continue to develop. Keep your eyes on Next Best Picture as we keep you updated on the impact of every win and nomination.
You can follow Daniel and hear more of his thoughts on the Oscars and Film on Twitter at @howatdk