Golden Globe nom­i­na­tions are de­light­ful

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By Alyssa Rosen­berg

Awards sea­son can be aw­fully fraught for crit­ics and fans of pop cul­ture. But in talk­ing to my critic friends, I found that a lot of us share the sense that these squab­bles feel less weighty this year, in the con­text of a highly fraught pres­i­den­tial tran­si­tion.

Re­mov­ing some of the freight we place on the awards sys­tem feels free­ing, in a way, es­pe­cially since the Golden Globe nom­i­na­tions an­nounced Mon­day in­cluded a num­ber

Eof nice sur­prises. Here are some nom­i­na­tions the Hol­ly­wood For­eign Press As­so­ci­a­tion doled out that made me happy:

1. Best Pic­ture nom­i­na­tions for “Hell or High Wa­ter” and “Dead­pool”: David Macken­zie and Tay­lor Sheri­dan’s “Hell or High Wa­ter” is an out­stand­ing mod­ern Western that I wor­ried would be for­got­ten by awards-sea­son vot­ers due to its sum­mer re­lease. For­tu­nately, that’s not the case. And the HFPA’s recog­ni­tion of “Dead­pool,” a wholly filthy, highly orig­i­nal su­per­hero

Emovie, shows a nice sense of breadth and sense of hu­mor.

2. Best Ac­tress, Drama nom­i­na­tion for Ruth Negga: Negga might have the most ar­rest­ing set of eyes in the act­ing busi­ness right now, and watch­ing her evo­lu­tion from shy coun­try girl to un­shak­ably dig­ni­fied civil rights pi­o­neer in “Lov­ing” was one of the more ex­traor­di­nary ex­pe­ri­ences I had at the movies this year.

3. Best Sup­port­ing Ac­tor nom­i­na­tions for Ma­her­shala Ali in “Moon­light” and Oc­tavia Spencer in “Hid­den Fig­ures”: I tend to find it sat­is­fy­ing to see peo­ple win awards for do­ing things that type­cast­ing or stereo­type would sug­gest they couldn’t do. So it’s par­tic­u­larly nice to see Ali be rec­og­nized for one of the two roles he had this year that al­low him to be in­fin­itely ten­der, and to see Spencer, of­ten cast as a black for­giver to white peo­ple, get nom­i­nated for a part where she res­o­lutely re­fuses to cod­dle white co-work­ers.

4. Best Ac­tress, Com­edy nom­i­na­tion for Issa Rae: “In­se­cure” is a truly ter­rific com­edy about that pe­riod of life when you’re sup­posed to know what you want and how to get it, but both of those tasks feel more out of reach than ever.

5. The Best Sup­port­ing Ac­tress nom­i­na­tion for Thandie New­ton: As usual, it’s awk­ward and an­noy­ing watch­ing awards bod­ies try to fit ac­tors from ensem­bles into lead and sup­port­ing act­ing cat­e­gories. Even if I think New­ton might have de­served to be nom­i­nated as a lead­ing player for her work in “West­world,” that’s a mi­nor quib­ble. As Maeve Mil­lay, a robot who comes to re­al­ize that she could live a dif­fer­ent kind of life, New­ton was al­ter­nately ten­der and piti­less. That we saw her as a per­son rather than her body is a tes­ta­ment to both New­ton’s act­ing skills and to the “West­world” di­rec­tors who worked with her.

6. Best An­i­mated Fea­ture Film nom­i­na­tion for “Zootopia”: I am mostly just bog­gled that “Zootopia,” a movie that mashed up “God­fa­ther” homages with sexy tigers and a cri­tique of polic­ing, ex­isted at all.

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