As I’ve made abundantly clear on this blog, I am not a fan of the Golden Globe Awards or the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, due to the methods they use, substituting bribery for critical thought, and acting as a marketing tool for films no one gets to see before the nominees are announced.
That said, the Globes are highly influential, and their results could portend the winners on Oscar night next month, and therefore cannot be ignored. While the Critics’ Choice Awards are essentially the first ones handed out each year, the Globes are the highest profile awards of the early process, the unofficial opening salvo to Awards Season. As such, tonight’s results should be known and scrutinized.
As with the nominations, I’m only concerned with the film side of the proceedings. Out of all the TV nominees and winners, the only show I watch is Westworld, and there’s so much stuff on various streaming services that I don’t have that it is impossible for me to care, even though I work in television myself.
So here are your film winners for the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards, with accompanying commentary. If nothing else, chuckle at the fact that this is probably the show hated most by Donald Trump, as it’s run by the two entities he despises more than any other: Foreigners and Journalists.
Best Foreign Language Film – Roma (Mexico)
Alfonso Cuarón is Hollywood royalty at this point, and of the five nominees, his film is the most accessible because it’s available on Netflix. As previously mentioned in my review for Never Look Away, the screening I went to, which was coordinated for the HFPA voters, only had reserved seating to accommodate about 2/3 of its membership. Even then, before the film they showed a trailer for Roma, ostensibly because it was the last of the five they were screening, but if I were Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, I’d be kind of pissed that they were leading into my movie by advertising the competition.
Best Animated Feature Film – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse
This is a legitimate surprise, as I figured the vote would be down to Isle of Dogs and Incredibles 2. While Isle of Dogs was the best animated film I saw last year, Spider-verse had the best animation put to film, so I certainly understand the result. I know for me it’ll be a toss-up right until the end, with no real “right” answer.
Best Original Score – Justin Hurwitz – First Man
After La La Land, the man can basically do no wrong. I haven’t really done an in-depth comparison of the nominated scores yet; I’ll wait until the Oscar nominations come out. Given the field he was against here, the only other score that stuck out to me was Isle of Dogs because Alexandre Desplat and Wes Anderson are quite the dynamic duo. Their relationship is almost symbiotic at this point. I’m guessing the vote was down to those two with Hurwitz edging it out.
Best Original Song – “Shallow” – A Star is Born
This category was a foregone conclusion from the moment the film was announced with Lady Gaga in the lead role. She’s been nominated for the Oscar before, and she’ll likely win it this year. The rest of the nominees are there to fill space, nothing more. I wouldn’t be surprised if this list was repeated for the Oscars, just to ensure that Dolly Parton, Kendrick Lamar, and Annie Lennox all perform at the ceremony.
Best Screenplay – Brian Hayes Curry, Peter Farrelly, and Nick Vallelonga – Green Book
This is an interesting result, because while the Globes separate drama and comedy for the top honors, they combine writing into one category. Of the five nominees, you had three original screenplays (Roma, The Favourite, and Vice) one pure adaptation (If Beale Street Could Talk), and this one, which sort of bridges the two. Much of the prestige has gone to Barry Jenkins so far, because he was adapting some very difficult material in James Baldwin’s novel. It’s hard to categorize Green Book, as it could be considered original or adapted, depending on how you view the source material, which was mostly interviews, rather than a published memoir. If it’s considered an adaptation, this sets up a very interesting contest for Oscar Night. If it’s considered original, then we can basically call both writing categories now because this will win one side and Jenkins will get the other.
Best Director – Alfonso Cuarón – Roma
Again, he’s royalty. Also, Roma is a deeply personal story to him. And further, he’s foreign, and the HFPA almost always takes a stand for at least one non-US creative force each year. Obviously it depends on who he’s up against, but this may or may not portend the results from the Academy. As I’ve said before, if you’re up for Best Director and Best Screenplay, the Academy tends to give the double-nominee the writing award as consolation (assuming they get anything at all; sorry Greta Gerwig, I still love you!), and as a way to narrow the field. If this exact list is repeated for the Oscars, that all but eliminates Peter Farrelly and Adam McKay, leaving Cuarón, Bradley Cooper (please God no), and Spike Lee (please God yes!). One in three is pretty good odds, especially given the aggressive For Your Consideration campaign Roma‘s had.
Best Supporting Actor – Mahershala Ali – Green Book
Given that this film is much more about Don Shirley than Tony Lipp, I’d argue Ali and Viggo Mortensen should be reversed on the ballot, but even so, Ali’s performance was transcendent, and it’s going to be hard for anyone else to top him. I’d have voted for Richard E. Grant, but that’s just me. More importantly, this is the first major acting result we’ve had, and now we have to watch and see what SAG and other outlets do, because last year all four Acting categories were a clean sweep, with the exception of the Comedy side of the Globes. Of those two winners, James Franco wasn’t even nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars, snubbed due to his #MeToo moment, and Saoirse Ronan got a token nomination for Best Actress that was always going to be won by Frances McDormand. Let us hope for some actual suspense this time around.
Best Supporting Actress – Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk
My guess is Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz split votes, and that the same will happen come Oscar night. I honestly don’t understand why people were falling head over heels for Claire Foy as “Concerned Astronaut Wife #402,” and while Amy Adams did a great job as Lynne Cheney, Vice is all about Christian Bale.
Best Actor: Comedy – Christian Bale – Vice
Even without the makeup I’d have believed him as Dick Cheney for every second of the film. Personally I would have voted for Robert Redford, but there’s really nothing to criticize here.
Best Actress: Comedy – Olivia Colman – The Favourite
If she’s not nominated by the Academy I will spit nails.
Best Actor: Drama – Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody
See above: Bale, Christian. It’ll be interesting to see them potentially compete with one another, as they both gave electric performances as real people, and had incredible makeup work done to further look the part. In this particular field, John David Washington was the only other nominee I saw who deserved serious consideration.
Best Actress: Drama – Glenn Close – The Wife
She’s basically the only good thing about the movie, and it’s the best performance of her career. I can certainly see a de facto “Career Achievement” win in this category for her, just like Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese, and countless others have gotten. Between the two Best Actress categories, you can safely assume that Close and Colman will be nominated, and likely Lady Gaga and Emily Blunt as well. That leaves Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy to fight over the last spot. Expect the bulk of the snub takes to fall in this category.
Best Picture – Comedy – Green Book
An interesting choice, but a curious one given the strength of the Musical/Comedy field this year. Forget Mary Poppins and Crazy Rich Asians, this won out over The Favourite and Vice, and that’s saying something. Part of me hopes there was a little bit of blowback against Poppins and Vice because of them getting the most nominations despite being unseen beforehand, but beating out The Favourite? If there was ever a movie that screamed “HFPA!” that was it.
Best Picture – Drama – Bohemian Rhapsody
This is very surprising, and basically comes out of nowhere, given that the HFPA bent over backwards to put A Star is Born into the Drama category despite very clearly being a Musical – you know, a movie that’s mostly songs, like literally the definition of the word? What disappoints me here is that the HFPA was clearly trying to appear more inclusive by nominating top grossing films like Black Panther and a litany of movies with primarily black casts. But in the end, they have to settle for the Supporting Acting awards, and that’s it. Let’s see if the Academy follows suit and gets more complaints of #OscarsSoWhite.
My overall impression? While I will continue to quibble with their process and their methods, I can’t hate on the result too much. Mary Poppins Returns was rightfully shut out, and A Star is Born got the only award it ever really deserved or should have been considered for. I think Roma gets more hype than is warranted, but within the system it’s understandable. I hope the Oscars will give Spike Lee his due. Most importantly, I hope against all hope that we haven’t just called half the ceremony because the Academy voters are too lazy to watch the actual movies!
Join the conversation in the comments below! Do you agree with the results? Have you met anyone from the HFPA? How easily are they bribed? Let me know!