The Golden Globes kicked off a two-month march into trophy season this morning, announcing the contenders for its film and television awards and anointing films including The Irishman, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Joker, and Marriage Story as presumed favorites for the upcoming Oscar race. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a small and inscrutable group that has supremely outsized importance in the movie business for one out of every 12 months, tends to nominate films that are also on their way to Academy Awards success. By that yardstick, Netflix is due for a big year as it strives to establish legitimacy as a prestige powerhouse, while conversations about the lack of racial and gender diversity among the major players will likely rear up again in the coming weeks.
Netflix has three significant releases—The Irishman, Marriage Story, and The Two Popes—in contention this year, while most large Hollywood studios have only one. The Globes’ list reflects that disparity. On the cinema side, Netflix netted 17 nominations, far more than the runner-up (Sony, with eight); meanwhile, traditional trophy magnets such as Focus Features and Fox Searchlight could scrounge up only a couple of nominations apiece. With 2018’s Roma, the streaming studio came close to collecting its first Best Picture trophy, only a few years after it released its first original film. Its alliances with respected directors such as Martin Scorsese and Noah Baumbach might help it reach that milestone this year, despite tensions over the company’s limited approach to theatrical releases.
The three most recognized films were Marriage Story (six nominations), The Irishman (five), and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (five)—all significant works from established auteurs featuring big-name (and mostly male) movie stars. As the debates over franchise fever, sequel glut, and the future of the cinema experience continue, it looks like the Oscar race will gravitate toward films with that old-fashioned, marquee-idol appeal, even if some of them are mostly viewed on streaming services. But that also indicates that rising female filmmakers such as Greta Gerwig, Marielle Heller, and Lulu Wang are being overlooked, with their films Little Women, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, and The Farewell, respectively, ignored in the directing and screenwriting categories and earning just one or two other nominations apiece.
Movies from outside of Hollywood received some welcome attention: Bong Joon Ho’s acclaimed Korean film Parasite had a strong showing, including directing and writing nominations, and Antonio Banderas followed up a week of success among critics’ circles with a Best Actor nomination for the Pedro Almodóvar film Pain and Glory. Even so, of the 30 film-acting nominees, only two are black (Eddie Murphy, for Dolemite Is My Name, and Cynthia Erivo for Harriet); in total, five actors of color were shortlisted, with only Jennifer Lopez (for Hustlers) seeming like a sure bet for Oscar attention. The #OscarsSoWhite conversation, which pushed the Academy to make dramatic changes to its membership, was sparked in 2016 after two years of all-white acting nominees. The issues raised by that discussion should remain on voters’ minds as they weigh this year’s selections.
On the television side, the Globes spread the wealth among HBO, Netflix, and Amazon, showering nominations on Fleabag, Barry, Succession, Unbelievable, The Politician, The Kominsky Method, and Chernobyl. The HFPA is always drawn to movie stars who appear in television roles; true to form, Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon were both highlighted for their work on The Morning Show, and Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep got nominations for Big Little Lies despite the second season being less admired than the first. The awards will be handed out Sunday, January 5, at a ceremony hosted by Ricky Gervais and airing on NBC.
The full list of nominees:
Best Picture, Drama
Best Actor, Drama
Best Actress, Drama
Best Picture, Musical or Comedy
Best Actor, Musical or Comedy
Best Actress, Musical or Comedy
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best Original Score
Best Original Song
Best Foreign Language Film
Best Animated Film
Best TV Drama
Best Actor, TV Drama
Best Actress, TV Drama
Best TV Musical or Comedy
Best Actor, TV Musical or Comedy
Best Actress, TV Musical or Comedy
Best TV Miniseries/Movie
Best Actor, TV Miniseries/Movie
Best Actress, TV Miniseries/Movie
Best Supporting Actor, TV
Best Supporting Actress, TV