Golden Globes 2019 — Limiting the field, or a shot in the dark?

globe

The Oscars-Golden Globes correlation isn’t what it used to be. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences spent decades trying to break the “Globes predict and thus make superfluous the Oscars” stranglehold, and they pretty much have succeeded.

But with all manner of early awards season honors going off on their own, critics groups picking this or that, not worrying about second-guessing the still-to-come Academy Awards nominations and in the case of virtually all of them, not honoring the films the Academy singles out, the Globes are as good a place to start as any.

So are “First Man,” “The Front Runner,” “Widows” and “First Reformed” and “Leave No Trace” out of contention? Some of them, sure. “Front Runner” almost certainly. The overheated hype for “Widows” has disappeared.

“Mary Queen of Scots?” Anyone? Anyone? I guess Margot Robbie-mania is over.

“Vice” has the most Globes nominations (6), with “Green Book” and “The Favourite” and “A Star is Born”right behind it (5).

Today’s Globes nominations  for strike a blow for several films that may not figure in the Oscar conversation, and if nothing else, have a diversity streak to them that is anything but “#Oscarsowhite.”

Best dramatic film, for instance —

“BlacKkKlansman”

“Black Panther”

“Bohemian Rhapsody”

If Beale Street Could Talk

“BlackKklansman” I can totally see. “Black Panther” is just an African variation on the comic book formula we’ve had shoved down our throats for a decade. Cultural phenomenon, yadda yadda yadda. Take that out of the equation, evaluate it as a movie with maybe Chadwick Boseman’s weakest performance (he’s never less than good, and he’s always been better than this) and it’s just not all that.
“If Beale Street Could Talk” may peak with this Golden Globes recognition. It’s sure to get lost in the Xmas release flood. “Best directors direct best pictures,” and there is little buzz for Barry Jenkins. Perhaps the Director’s Guild will change that. Otherwise…
“Bohemian” and “A Star is Born” ought to be considered musicals, no matter what their competing studios say. Are both in the Oscar “best picture” running? Other critics were harder on “Bohemian,” I was harder on “Star.”
But the best comedy or musical category is already jam packed, with “Vice,” which leads all films with six nominations, heading that category in all but alphabetical order.
If you’re going to nominate “Black Panther,” it’s easier to nominate the junky, obvious “Crazy Rich Asians,” a straight formula rom-com wallowing in Western-styled Eastern excess.
“Green Book,” “The Favourite” and “Vice” seem like certain Oscar nominees. Disney has embargoed reviews of “Mary Poppins Returns” (I’ve seen it), and while it is a natural Globes nominee and Emily Blunt dazzles, we’ll have to see if Oscar thinks it clears his bar.
The Globes don’t allow foreign language films in their Best Picture categories, oddly. So any buzz for Alfonso Cuaron’s long, meandering and flatly-shot “Roma” Netflix movie just goes right out the window. For now. I don’t see it as Oscar-worthy, but there’s all this “Shape of Water” sized support for it from the kiddie reviewing classes who don’t know the Fellini he’s paying homage to or what a sumptuous, contrast-filled black-and-white film is supposed to look like, so “Roma” will live to fight another day.
The acting categories seem to widen the field, a bit, too. Is this Glenn Close’s year for a Best Actress honor? Love that Rosamund Pike was recognized.

private1Glenn Close, “The Wife”

Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born”

Nicole Kidman, Destroyer

Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Rosamund Pike, “A Private War”

That’s a solid list, though personally I found Lady Gaga less than riveting in “A Star is Born.” Not a hater, just a bit more demanding of an actress than say, the lemmings who honored her “American Horror Story” TV work. Over-rated.

 

Breaking the acting honors into two categories means we’ll probably cull Oscar’s Best Five from that drama group and these five, nominated for best actress in a musical or comedy. Blunt seems like a sure thing, Colman is in a supporting role and could be honored there by Oscar. Fisher is an Indie Spirit winner, Theron? Not on your life. Same with Wu. Puhleeze.

popp2Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns

Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”

Elsie Fisher, “Eighth Grade”

Charlize Theron, “Tully”

Constance Wu, “Crazy Rich Asians

I’d love for this best dramatic actor list to be close to the Oscar mark. The Globes give Willem Dafoe a little overdue love.

Bradley Cooper, “A Star is Born”

Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate

Lucas Hedges, “Boy Erased”

Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”

John David Washington, “BlacKkKlansman”

Malek, Hedges (maybe for “Ben is Back,” perhaps for “Boy Erased” or “Mid90s”) and Cooper are the names we’re hearing the most for this category. Washington? Why not? Same with Dafoe, playing Van Gogh (even though he is WAY too old to be playing Vincent).

Again, in breaking things down into two categories, the Globes give us a decent picture of the Oscar field, with some glaring blunders mixed in with the “Best Actor/Comedy” category. The beloved “Hamilton” star and creator Miranda is a supporting player, and is no Dick Van Dyke.

I don’t know if both Redford AND Dafoe will pull Oscar nominations. How much “Let’s reward a great one?” does Hollywood have in its dark, bottom-line loving heart?

Christian Bale, Vice

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mary Poppins Returns

Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”

Robert Redford “The Old Man and the Gun”

John C. Reilly, Stan & Ollie

So chances are, there’ll be no Awards Season Bounce for say, “The Front Runner” (poor Hugh Jackman).

“First Man” didn’t impress the Globes voters. No Ryan Gosling buzz extant for that one. Why? Maybe they “just didn’t get it,” get how good he and the film were and are. It’s better than 3/4 of the nominated “best picture” contenders. It just is.

Steve Carell got recognized for nothing, and “Welcome to Marwen” is not being parked in the “Oscar contender” field with its omissions here. “Beautiful Boy” is a last, lingering glimpse of Hollywood’s love affair with Timothee Chalamet. No other love for the film.

Where is Ethan Hawke from “First Reformed?” Paul Schrader’s “comeback” is worth noting.

Earlier films honored this fall such as “Leave No Trace” and “The Rider,” “Eighth Grade,” and the like, may have to accept Indie Spirit Awards as their consolation prizes.

Here are the best supporting actress Golden Globe nominees. Silly to put Oscar winners Weisz and Stone in this category. Co-leads.

Amy Adams, Vice

Claire Foy, “First Man” 

Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

Emma Stone, “The Favourite”

Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”

 

Supporting actor? Impressive list. Rockwell is almost certainly the favorite. He looks hilarious as “W.” Loved Richard E. Grant, nice bone to toss his way for supporting Melissa McCarthy. Ali is imperious and regal. Driver? OK.

Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”

Timothee Chalamet, “Beautiful Boy”

Adam Driver, “BlacKkKlansman

Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Sam Rockwell, Vice

Best director is where Alfonso Cuaron gets to compete with “Roma.” But was he better than Spike? McKay? And swooning fans have been calling this Bradley Cooper’s awards season to lose since September. So we will see about that. I’d give it to Spike if it was up to me.

Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”

Alfonso Cuaron, “Roma” 

Peter Farrelly, “Green Book”

Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”

Adam McKay, Vice

“Roma” looks like the best foreign language film to beat this year, and the Globes’ list (which won’t look anything like Oscar’s) underscores that. I LOVED “Shoplifters” (pictured below) and hope it has a shot, and I’ve seen most of these. But Oscar goes his own way in foreign language film lauding.

shop2Capernaum

Girl

Never Look Away

Roma

Shoplifters

Best screenplay? Let me say again, “Roma” isn’t in this league. “Favourite” and “Vice” seem like better bets.

Alfonso Cuaron, Roma

Deborah Davis & Tony McNamara, The Favourite

Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk

Adam McKay, Vice

Brian Hayes Currie, Peter Farrelly & Nick Vallelonga, Green Book

Best Animated film should go to “Isle of Dogs.”

“Incredibles 2”
“Isle of Dogs”
“Mirai”
“Ralph Breaks the Internet”
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

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