Cheney biopic tops Golden Globe nom­i­na­tions

SUP­PORT A SUR­PRISE

Lethbridge Herald - - GAMING | ENTERTAINMENT - Jake Coyle

Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic “Vice” seized control of the 76th an­nual Golden Globe Awards with a lead­ing six nom­i­na­tions, nar­rowly edg­ing Bradley Cooper’s tear-jerk­ing re­vival “A Star Is Born,” the in­ter­ra­cial road-trip drama “Green Book” and the pe­riod romp “The Favourite.”

“Vice” topped all con­tenders Thurs­day in nom­i­na­tions an­nounced at the Bev­erly Hil­ton Ho­tel in Bev­erly Hills, Calif., in­clud­ing best pic­ture, com­edy and best ac­tor nom­i­na­tions for Chris­tian Bale’s nearly un­rec­og­niz­able per­for­mance as the for­mer vi­cepres­i­dent.

It also earned nom­i­na­tions for Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney, Sam Rock­well’s Ge­orge W. Bush and both the screen­play and di­rec­tion by McKay, the vet­eran com­edy film­maker who once skew­ered politi­cians as a “Satur­day Night Live” writer.

For even the of­ten-quirky se­lec­tions of the Hol­ly­wood For­eign Press As­so­ci­a­tion, a col­lec­tion of 88 mostly less­known free­lance film jour­nal­ists, the strong sup­port for “Vice” (which ar­rives in the­atres on Dec. 25) was a sur­prise. Even its cat­e­go­riza­tion of the film — a highly crit­i­cal por­trait of Cheney as a pow­er­hun­gry, be­hind-the-scenes tyrant — as a com­edy raised some eye­brows, just as Globes re­cent com­edy se­lec­tions “Get Out” and “The Mar­tian” did.

“It’s a movie that’s a lot like the times we live in. there’s part of it that’s ab­sur­dist and comedic and then there’s an­other part of it that’s darkly tragic and dra­matic, but they are def­i­nitely both there,” said McKay by phone from Lon­don. “But I do know I’m glad we’re in that cat­e­gory be­cause we will take ‘Mary Pop­pins’ out. I’m not com­pet­i­tive with the other movies but I am com­pet­i­tive with ‘Mary Pop­pins.’ Dick Cheney is go­ing for her.”

But it was far from a run­away win for “Vice” since the press as­so­ci­a­tion typ­i­cally spread its awards around. Os­car fron­trun­ners “A Star Is Born,” “Green Book” and “The Favourite” trailed close be­hind with five nom­i­na­tions each.

On the tele­vi­sion side, awards were even more widely dis­persed among the likes of “The Amer­i­cans,” “Barry,” “Home­com­ing,” “The Komin­sky Method” and “The Mar­velous Mrs. Maisel.”

Lead­ing all small-screen nom­i­nees was the FX an­thol­ogy se­ries “The As­sas­si­na­tion of Gianni Ver­sace: Amer­i­can Crime Story” with four nods.

For the first time, FX bested heavy­weights like HBO, Net­flix and Ama­zon with a net­workbest 10 nods, even though the ex­alted sec­ond sea­son of its “At­lanta” re­ceived only a sin­gle nod for Don­ald Glover’s act­ing.

Cu­ri­ously, the Hol­ly­wood For­eign Press doesn’t con­sider for­eign-lan­guage films for best film, so Al­fonso Cuaron’s ac­claimed Net­flix drama “Roma” was left out of the Globes’ top cat­e­gory.

It was still nom­i­nated for best screen­play, best di­rec­tor and best for­eign lan­guage film.

For the first time, the Globes nom­i­nated three films di­rected by African-Amer­i­can film­mak­ers for best pic­ture, drama: Ryan Coogler’s su­per­hero sen­sa­tion “Black Pan­ther,” Spike Lee’s ur­gent white na­tion­al­ist drama “BlacKkKlans­man” and Barry Jenk­ins’ James Bald­win adap­ta­tion “If Beale Street Could Talk.” The other nom­i­nees are “A Star Is Born” and the Fred­die Mer­cury biopic.

All earned nods in other cat­e­gories, too, in­clud­ing Rami Malek’s pros­thetic tooth-aided per­for­mance as Mer­cury, and the lead­ing turn by John David Wash­ing­ton in “BlacKkKlans­man,” who said his fa­ther, Den­zel, woke him up for the nom­i­na­tions an­nounce­ment.

“I had flash­backs when I was watch­ing the (NFL) draft when they never called my name,” said Wash­ing­ton, a for­mer foot­ball player. “When I heard them say my name, it hap­pened in slow mo­tion.”

While Sam El­liott’s sup­port­ing per­for­mance in “A Star Is Born” was un­ex­pect­edly over­looked, the Warner Bros. hit (which elected to com­pete on the more hefty drama side of the Globes de­spite its many songs) earned the ex­pected nods for Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, as both ac­tor and di­rec­tor, and the song “The Shal­low.”

Up for best pic­ture com­edy along­side “Vice” are Yor­gas Lan­thi­mos’ wild palace power strug­gle “The Favourite,” Peter Far­relly’s di­vi­sive crowd-pleaser “Green Book,” the up­com­ing Dis­ney se­quel “Mary Pop­pins Re­turns” and the rom-com hit “Crazy Rich Asians.”

The Os­car path for both “Green Book” and “The Favourite” ap­peared to be so­lid­i­fied, with nods for all of the leads for each: Viggo Mortensen and Ma­her­shala Ali for “Green Book”; and Olivia Col­man, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone for “The Favourite.”

While some crit­ics have taken is­sue with “Green Book” for re­ly­ing on out­dated racial tropes, the up­lift­ing drama’s once flag­ging Os­car cam­paign has lately re­ceived a boost with both bet­ter ticket sales and ac­cru­ing awards love. Far­relly, best-known for broader come­dies with his brother, Bobby, like “There’s Some­thing About Mary,” also re­ceived a best di­rec­tor nod for his first dra­matic film.

Per­form­ers like Con­stance Wu (“Crazy Rich Asians”), Regina King (“Beale Street”), Ali and Wash­ing­ton, en­sured a some­what di­verse field of nom­i­nees.

Spike Lee was nom­i­nated for direct­ing “BlacKkKlans­man,” three decades af­ter last be­ing in­cluded in the cat­e­gory for “Do the Right Thing.”

“The first word that came to mind was ‘BOOM SHAKALAKA,’” Lee said in a state­ment. But the Globes also didn’t nom­i­nate any of the year’s ac­claimed fe­male film­mak­ers for best di­rec­tor, and none of the 10 best pic­ture nom­i­nees were helmed by a woman.

At the pre­vi­ous Globes, pre­sen­ter Natalie Port­man point­edly in­tro­duced the “all­male” direct­ing nom­i­nees.

Damien Chazelle’s Neil Arm­strong biopic “First Man,” which has seen its awards hope wane in re­cent weeks, failed to liftoff, scor­ing nei­ther a best film nod, nor one for Ryan Gosling’s lead­ing per­for­mance. (It did land nom­i­na­tions for Claire Foy and its score.)

The news was worse for Steve McQueen’s heist thriller “Widows,” which was shut out en­tirely.

Also left out, to gasps heard across so­cial me­dia, was Ethan Hawke’s per­for­mance as an an­guished pas­tor in “First Re­formed” and Pawel Paw­likowski’s Pol­ish stun­ner “Cold War,” his fol­low-up to the Os­car-win­ning “Ida.” (The nom­i­nees for best for­eign lan­guage film along­side “Roma” were “Caper­naum,” “Girl,” “Never Look Away” and “Sho­plifters.”) Some of the TV snubs — “At­lanta,” “This Is Us,” “Bet­ter Call Saul” — were even more sur­pris­ing.

But the Globes also handed nom­i­na­tions to some up-and-com­ers, in­clud­ing Lu­cas Hedges (“Boy Erased”), Ti­mothee Cha­la­met (“Beau­ti­ful Boy”) and Elsie Fisher, the 15-year-old star of the com­ing-of-age tale “Eighth Grade.” “What,” said Fisher on Twit­ter. When reached by phone Thurs­day morn­ing and told she was trend­ing, Fisher — whose char­ac­ter is a lit­tle-liked YouTu­ber — replied “Hell yea!”

And the press as­so­ci­a­tion made room for one old favourite: Robert Red­ford, in what he has said may (or may not) be his fi­nal act­ing per­for­mance, re­ceived his 10th Globe nom­i­na­tion for “The Old Man & the Gun.” He was given the group’s Ce­cil B. De­Mille achieve­ment award in 1994.

Glenn Close, nom­i­nated for her per­for­mance in “The Wife,” said Thurs­day morn­ing she had done two per­for­mances of the off-Broad­way play “Mother of the Maid” the day be­fore and said her voice was “gone.”

“Maybe to­day it’ll be te­quila,” she said of her cel­e­bra­tion plans. Or maybe not. “I have a show tonight. And I’ll prob­a­bly have to go back to sleep at some point to­day.”

In film and tele­vi­sion, the nom­i­na­tions guar­an­teed the Globes what it most craves for its fa­mously frothy broad­cast: stars. Among them: Ju­lia Roberts (“Home­com­ing”), Amy Adams (“Sharp Ob­jects”), Ni­cole Kid­man (“De­stroyer”), Hugh Grant (“A Very English Scan­dal”), Melissa McCarthy (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”), Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch (“Pa­trick Mel­rose”), Emily Blunt (“Mary Pop­pins Re­turns”), Char­l­ize Theron (“Tully”) and Lin-Manuel Mi­randa (“Mary Pop­pins Re­turns”).

The nom­i­nees for best an­i­mated film were: “In­cred­i­bles 2,” “Isle of Dogs,” “Mirai,” “Ralph Breaks the In­ter­net” and “Spi­der-Man: Into the Spi­der-Verse.”

Though the ma­jor stu­dios like Dis­ney (“Black Pan­ther,” “Mary Pop­pins Re­turns,” “In­cred­i­bles 2”), Warner Bros. (“A Star Is Born”) and Uni­ver­sal (“Green Book”) are more in thick of awards sea­son than usual, indies car­ried the day. An­na­purna Pic­tures (“Vice,” “Beale Street”) and Fox Searchlight (“The Favourite,” “Can You Ever Forgive Me?) led the stu­dios with 10 nods apiece, es­pe­cially wel­come news for bil­lion­aire heiress Me­gan El­li­son’s An­na­purna, which strug­gled through fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties this fall.

Still, Dis­ney could in, a way, claim supremacy. Its soon-to-be-fi­nal­ized ac­qui­si­tion of Fox would make its nom­i­na­tions tally 21. The nod for its “Black Pan­ther” marked Marvel Stu­dios’ first best pic­ture nom­i­na­tion at the Globes, a feat it is hop­ing to re­peat at the Acad­emy Awards.

The rat­ings for last Jan­uary’s broad­cast, hosted by Seth Mey­ers and graced with an im­pas­sioned speech by Oprah Win­frey, dipped 5 per cent with ap­prox­i­mately 19 mil­lion view­ers. As the first ma­jor award show fol­low­ing the Har­vey We­in­stein rev­e­la­tions and sub­se­quent launch of the #MeToo move­ment, the usu­ally more friv­o­lous cer­e­mony had an atyp­i­cal edge of se­ri­ous­ness. In a demon­stra­tion or­ga­nized by the then-just-founded Time’s Up, many women wore black on the red car­pet.

Whether this year will re­turn the Globes to their more light­hearted cel­e­bra­tions will rest partly with its un­ex­pected pair­ing of Andy Sam­berg and “Killing Eve” star San­dra Oh, who on Thurs­day was nom­i­nated for best ac­tress in a TV se­ries drama. They were an­nounced as hosts to the Jan. 6 cer­e­mony, to be broad­cast live on NBC.

As­so­ci­ated Press photo

This im­age re­leased by An­na­purna Pic­tures shows Chris­tian Bale as Dick Cheney, left, and Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney in a scene from “Vice.”

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