MCN Commentary & Analysis


Another magically weird morning thanks to the HFPA and their Globes of Gold. It’s like a flower that you have never seen in nature and will never see again, blooming in your hand before wilting and dying as trucks run over it on their way to the real awards.

Did they know when they decided that Hamilton would be qualified as a “motion picture” that it would be the only such qualifier with a lead or top three cast members of color? Hamilton fills two specific HFPA holes, also allowing for the appearance of the magnificently famous Lin-Manuel Miranda. The only other acting nominations among the five Musical/Comedy Picture nominees came from Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.

Best Motion Picture – Drama 
“The Father” (Sony Pictures Classics) 
“Mank” (Netflix) 
“Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures) 
“Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features) 
“The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix) 

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy 
“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” (Amazon Studios) 
“Hamilton” (Walt Disney Pictures) 
“Palm Springs” (Neon) 
“Music” (Vertical Entertainment)
“The Prom” (Netflix) 

In this season of small pictures, they almost had to dance through the racial raindrops to not get wet. Thank goodness for Small Axe and Lovecraft Country in the TV nominations.

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television 
“Normal People” (Hulu/BBC) 
“The Queen’s Gambit” (Netflix) 
“Small Axe” (Amazon Studios/BBC) 
“The Undoing” (HBO) 
“Unorthodox” (Netflix)

Best Television Series – Drama 
“The Crown” (Netflix)
“Lovecraft Country” (HBO Max) 
“The Mandalorian” (Disney Plus) 
“Ozark” (Netflix)
“Ratched” (Netflix)

Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy
“Emily in Paris” (Netflix)
“The Flight Attendant” (HBO Max)
“The Great” (Hulu) 
“Schitt’s Creek” (CBC) 
“Ted Lasso” (Apple TV Plus)

When people, like me, continue to poke at HFPA on the issue of racial eyesight and general weirdness, this is why. Ratched (62% Tomatometer) is why. Music, which has not yet been released, apparently seen only by HFPA members, is why. And yes, a list of five “movie” dramas that somehow wasn’t interested in any of the unusually large number of films and strong work by people of color… except for the taped theater long since marked as “not a film” by The Academy.

On the flip side, there is a familiarity with the list that has been The List since August.

Same old Golden Globes.

Some things may seem surprising… but are also likely to “surprise” on the morning of *Oscar nominations. Like Mank having a big footprint. The trend line on that title has not been great from the release on Netflix… on the other hand, it is a more muscular piece of filmmaking, with a major-league director, and it’s about Hollywood.

Best Drama to Best Director here is a straight line, except that they subbed in the relentlessly promoted Regina King in for French playwright/director of The Father, Florian Zeller.

Best Director – Motion Picture
Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features)
David Fincher, “Mank” (Netflix) 
Regina King, “One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios) 
Aaron Sorkin, “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix) 
Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures) 

This is classic HFPA. King is so high-profile right now that she could end up shocking the world… plus, they like her, they really really like her. They didn’t like the movie enough to give it a screenplay nod.

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture 
“Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features) 
“Mank” (Netflix) 
“The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix) 
“The Father” (Sony Pictures Classics) 
“Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures) 

And the only actor in the film they embraced was the one they knew best, from Hamilton… who was also the only Supporting Actor choice who hasn’t won a Globe or Oscar. On the other hand, he also has a nomination for Best Song, so did that unique proposition propel him ahead of his three co-stars and others?

Best Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture
Sacha Baron Cohen (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”) 
Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”) 
Jared Leto (“The Little Things”)
Bill Murray (“On the Rocks”) 
Leslie Odom, Jr. (“One Night in Miami”)

I am not a big “category fraud” guy, but how exactly is Daniel Kaluuya a Supporting Actor in Judas & The Black Messiah? And for that matter, is Bill Murray really a supporting actor in On The Rocks?

As ever, my analysis of this is not a reflection of how I feel about the work. I don’t mean to bring doubt onto the work of the incredibly talented Odom, Jr. or the legitimacy of him being honored. The context here is HFPA, not the honorees. (Yes, it’s tricky.)

Also… I never refer to the “they” that no organization, even one of fewer than a hundred members, is. It is not a conspiracy. HFPA is not a racist group. But they have odd biases as a collective that show up every year. Part of it is how they are embedded in the industry. Part of it is the membership, both in age and race. (They are relatively decent in terms of gender representation.) Part of it is the power of celebrity and the distributors pushing them in this direction of that. Outsiders with influence don’t get everything they want. But they control the heart rate in many cases.

And then you get categories where HFPA seems to twist the other way.

Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”) 
Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) 
Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”) 
Gary Oldman (“Mank”) 
Tahar Rahim (“The Mauritanian”)

Three men of color who have never been Globes- or Oscar-nominated before and two Oscar winners. Did Tahar Rahim get brought to the party by Globes favorite Jodie Foster being in The Mauritanian? Did HFPA members go with Riz Ahmed because of critics groups? Who the hell knows? Rahim and Ahmed are both significant actors and have been for years.

Other oddities include a set of nominations likely to be duplicated by The Academy.

Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) 
Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”) 
Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”) 
Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”) 
Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”) 

But isn’t it odd that two of these Drama performances are actresses playing singers?

And in Music/Comedy, it’s a big, warm HFPA hug.

Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy 
Maria Bakalova (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”) 
Kate Hudson (“Music”)
Michelle Pfeiffer (“French Exit”) 
Rosamund Pike (“I Care a Lot”)
Anya Taylor-Joy (“Emma”) 

One of this group of five has a legit shot at an *Oscar nod. And when it comes to Supporting Actress, again, a true HFPA party…

Best Actress in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture 
Glenn Close (“Hillbilly Elegy”) 
Olivia Colman (“The Father”) 
Jodie Foster (“The Mauritanian”)
Amanda Seyfried (“Mank”) 
Helena Zengel (“News of the World”)

With all due respect, the race here would seem to lean hard to Amanda Seyfried and the big footprint in their most-nominated movie. But she has to compete with the charm of Olivia Colman’s awards speeches. Seriously. Colman is never less than brilliant in any of her efforts. But so often, HFPA goes with the ones they love, with the work in second place. The other factor is Colman in “The Queen,” which could be their chance to embrace her on the night.

Likewise, Actor in a Musical/Comedy is a showdown between who the HFPA membership most wants to see on a Zoom call, Sacha Baron Cohen or Lin-Manuel Miranda. Both performances are epic. (Seriously.) But who they love best and, perhaps, the desire to give SBC something if they aren’t giving him Supporting Actor may influence the choice.

Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy 
Sacha Baron Cohen (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”) 
James Corden (“The Prom”)
Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Hamilton”) 
Dev Patel (“The Personal History of David Copperfield”) 
Andy Samberg (“Palm Springs”)

If you want old school from HFPA, you can find it.

Best Original Score – Motion Picture 
“The Midnight Sky” (Netflix) – Alexandre Desplat 
“Tenet” (Warner Bros.) – Ludwig Göransson 
“News of the World” (Universal Pictures) – James Newton Howard 
“Mank” (Netflix) – Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross 
“Soul” (Pixar) – Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste 

This could easily be the *Oscar line-up as well. Theatrical movie studios. Big music. Familiar composers.

I won’t get into Best Song. You’ve never listened to any of these songs, unless that is your specific interest.

Likewise, Animation. Everyone got theirs.

“Foreign Language” remains a weird ghetto for a group of kinda-international kinda-journalists.

Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language 
“Another Round” (Samuel Goldwyn Films) 
“La Llorona” (Shudder) 
“The Life Ahead” (Netflix) 
“Minari” (A24) 
“Two of Us” (Magnolia Pictures)

As expected, foreign language at The Globes meant no other nods for Minari. No nomination love for Sophia Loren or Mads Mikkelsen. Whoever wins will be happy, but I don’t put a lot of stock in the judgement of this group in this category.

They should have announced the Globe nominations yesterday… on Groundhog Day. There are so many moving pieces, even in this limited award season. So you still can’t be 100% sure of much. But you can always count on HFPA to embrace the popular, to follow great talent, and to twist itself up in knots fulfilling its desires and demands.

Same as it ever was.

6 Responses to “Globing…”

  1. Pete B. says:

    The Tenet soundtrack is outstanding. Well-deserved nomination.

  2. Glamourboy says:

    Strangest nomination…on the TV side…The Flight Attendant nominated for Best Comedy or Musical? It is a thriller about an alcoholic flight attendant who wakes up next to a one night stand who has been brutally murdered–now she must rush and find the killer before the police find her. Head scratcher.

  3. Bradley Laing says:

    —In the past 10 years, has the television ratings for the Golden Globes telecast ever surprised the tv industry, by finding a much larger, or much smaller audience than predicted before the show?

    —We have had a year of increased tv watching, and closed movie theaters, and disrupted rollouts of theater movies. Is there a benchmark of some sort to compare audience numbers in a non-COVID 19 year with this year, 2021?

  4. Bob Burns says:

    13 SAG noms for Netflix says everything.

  5. Bradley Laing says:

    —Back in December, I left on these comment postings a lot about the federal, and state bailout money for independent movie theaters, and the other types of independent entertainment venues. I also remember reading that it was three months worth of bail-out money, meaning that March 31st is the moment that more will be needed? Or is this idea of mine wrong?

  6. Bradley Laing says:

    “U.K. Virus Variant Is Probably Deadlier, Scientists Say

    LONDON — British government scientists are finding the coronavirus variant first detected in Britain to be deadlier than the original virus, a devastating trend that highlights the serious risks of this new phase of the pandemic.”

    —Is this evidence for my idea that another 3 month of bail out money will be needed for independent movie theaters and other independent venues?

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