Although the Academy Award buzz begins to ring true during the summer’s biggest film festivals, the Golden Globes are often the first launchpad for Oscar frontrunners. Much of the chatter has centered around A Star Is Born, Roma, and The Favourite but the Golden Globes nominations have thrust forward an outsider in Adam McKay’s latest satirical dramedy, Vice. The film, which portrays American vice president Dick Cheney as the spin doctor of George W. Bush’s time in office, leads the pack with six nominations. Just behind on five nominations apiece are the aforementioned A Star Is Born, Roma, and The Favourite.
But who were the biggest winners and losers of the film nominee announcements?
Winners in film: Vice, Green Room, and Mary Poppins Returns
Vice is the obvious big winner with the most nominations, including best motion picture, best director, and best actor, but Green Room and Mary Poppins Returns will be quietly happy with their unexpectedly big sweep. Green Room, the first foray into more serious filmmaking for grossout comedy director Peter Farrelly, has landed him a best director and best screenplay nods as well as nominations for the film’s leads, Viggo Mortensen (best actor) and Mahershala Ali (best supporting actor) among its five.
Mary Poppins Returns, despite its hype amongst audiences, is a big surprise this awards season with four nominations. Lead actress Emily Blunt’s Oscar buzz seems to be growing louder by the day and a Golden Globe nom will only help her cause. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ascent continues with a best actor nomination and his company in this category – Christian Bale, Viggo Mortensen, Robert Redford, and John C Reilly – echoes the magnitude of such an achievement.
Elsewhere, its been a much more favourable year for minorities in film. Black Panther, Black Klansman, and If Beale Street Could Talk picked up nods for best motion picture – though many will probably still be questioning the omission of Michael B. Jordan’s terrific turn as semi-villain Erik Killmonger in Black Panther. The brilliantly fun Crazy Rich Asians, which picked up a best motion picture nod and a best actress nomination for Constance Wu also deserves a special mention, ending the drought for Asian ensemble films during awards season. And of course we can’t forget Elsie Fisher – the 15-year old picked up a best actress nomination for her role in Eighth Grade.
Losers in film: First Man, Widows, and, rather oddly, Alfonso Cuaron
Whilst the HFPA have been quick to reward some new, diverse talent this year, they’ve also been ruthless with past winners and awards season pedigree. First Man, the slow-burning sci-fi drama from Damien Chazelle of La La Land and Whiplash fame, found itself limited to two nominations for best supporting actress and best original score. Two nominations is nothing to be sniffed at but considering Chazelle’s La La Land broke the record for most wins (7) at the 2016 Golden Globes, it’s odd to see Chazelle receiving the cold shoulder for its follow up.
Another awards season stalwart, Steve McQueen, found his latest effort completely shut out this year. Widows was expected to gain nominations for best motion picture and best director, as well as acting nominations for Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, and Daniel Kaluuya, the latter of whom had been a major frontrunner for the best supporting actor Oscar up until now. But instead, Widows was snubbed completely in favour of lighter, less gritty dramas such as Black Panther and A Star Is Born (which somehow didn’t fall into the best motion picture musical/comedy category).
And perhaps the oddest snub (hear me out) comes in the form of Alfonso Cuaron and his wonderful new film, Roma – despite the film gaining three nominations. Cuaron has been nominated for best director and best screenplay and the film itself is nominated for best foreign language film. However, Cuaron, who won the Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Oscar for best director for 2013’s Gravity, may feel a bit hard done by with Roma’s snub in the best motion picture category. Roma has been universally adored by critics, winning the Golden Lion at Venice earlier this year, and considering the notice it has gained in the best director and best screenplay categories it seems a little odd that Roma has been limited to best foreign language film. Roma is the outlier in this sense; every other nominee in the best director and best screenplay category was nominated in the best motion picture categories.
Snubs: special mentions
Toni Collette – Hereditary
Joaquin Phoenix – You Were Never Really Here
Ethan Hawke – First Reformed
Yorgos Lanthimos – The Favourite
Ryan Coogler – Black Panther
Ryan Gosling – First Man
Natalie Portman – Vox Lux
The snub of the female race – the best director category