Golden Globes sur­prises shake up Os­car fore­cast

Play-it-safe awards show was short on barbs but there were some in­ter­est­ing re­sults

StarMetro Calgary - - DAILY LIFE - Peter How­ellMOVIE CRITIC

Heaven knows we should never take the Golden Globes too se­ri­ously.

The Hol­ly­wood For­eign Press As­so­ci­a­tion is more in­ter­ested in glit­ter than art. Many of the group’s 88 mem­bers have a ten­u­ous link to jour­nal­ism and film crit­i­cism.

The group’s golden choices are of­ten ig­nored by the nearly 8,200 Os­car vot­ers, the mem­bers of the Academy of Mo­tion Pic­ture Arts and Sci­ences who last year gave their Best Pic­ture prize to The Shape of Wa­ter rather than ei­ther of the HFPA’s top win­ners: Lady Bird (mu­si­cal/com­edy) and Three Bill­boards Out­side Eb­bing, Mis­souri (drama).

Sun­day’s play-it-safe awards show, hosted by Andy Sam­berg and San­dra Oh, was short on the quotable barbs that of­ten make the Globes a bet­ter watch than the Os­cars — even U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump was left with noth­ing to tweet in anger about. The event was more light­weight than usual.

Still, the Golden Globes help set the agenda for what Os­car vot­ers are talk­ing about, and whom and what they’ll nom­i­nate for their own prizes as awards sea­sons switches into high gear.

Bal­lot­ing started Mon­day for Os­car nom­i­na­tions, which will be an­nounced Jan. 22 for the 91st Academy Awards cer­e­mony on Feb. 24.

The tim­ing couldn’t be bet­ter for Globes cham­pi­ons Bo­hemian Rhap­sody (and its lead star Rami Malek), Green Book and Roma, all of which gained awards mo­men­tum, as did Glenn Close of The Wife, whose heart­felt ac­cep­tance speech for Best Ac­tress in a Mo­tion Pic­ture — Drama sealed the deal for an Os­car nod and also in­cluded the night’s best #TimesUp zinger: “You know, it was called The Wife. I think that’s why it took 14 years to get made.”

Here are some take-aways for awards sea­son from the 76th Golden Globes:

This was sup­posed to be a vic­tory party for A Star Is Born, the Bradley Cooper re­make of the clas­sic Hol­ly­wood ro­man­tic tragedy that marked pop star Lady Gaga’s big bid for movie star­dom. It had five nom­i­na­tions go­ing into the cer­e­mony and was widely ex­pected by pun­dits to be a lock to win at least Best Mo­tion Pic­ture — Drama and also to crown Lady Gaga as Best Ac­tress in a Mo­tion Pic­ture — Drama. In­stead th­ese two prizes went to the Queen/Fred­die Mer­cury mu­si­cal biopic Bo­hemian Rhap­sody and to Glenn Close for The Wife. This doesn’t mean A Star Is Born won’t still tri­umph at the Os­cars, es­pe­cially if the academy is in­tent on go­ing its own way. But the film’s mo­men­tum is clearly stalled.

More than a year af­ter the sex-preda­tor al­le­ga­tions against Har­vey We­in­stein sparked a Hol­ly­wood soulsearch­ing with the #MeToo and #TimesUp move­ments, there are now in­di­ca­tions that some ac­cused will bounce back and oth­ers will not. Ac­tor Michael Dou­glas was among the many celebri­ties ac­cused of sex­ual im­pro­pri­ety — in his case, an al­le­ga­tion from the 1980s he has vig­or­ously de­nied — and it seems that Hol­ly­wood, or least HFPA mem­bers, take him at his word. He won Best Ac­tor in a TV Se­ries — Mu­si­cal/Com­edy for the Net­flix se­ries The Komin­sky Method, which also scored for Best TV Se­ries — Mu­si­cal/Com­edy. Mean­while, dis­graced Bo­hemian Rhap­sody di­rec­tor Bryan Singer went com­pletely un­ac­knowl­edged by Malek and other GG win­ners, who have good rea­son to keep their dis­tance. The claims against Singer — in­clud­ing the al­leged rape of a 17-yearold boy in 2003 — are much more se­ri­ous than those against Dou­glas.

Peter Far­relly’s feel-good road com­edy about a racist white chauf­feur and his snobby Black pas­sen­ger who learn to find and re­spect their com­mon hu­man­ity needed a big night on Sun­day and got it. The film took three awards, the most for any movie this year at the Globes: Best Mo­tion Pic­ture — Mu­si­cal/Com­edy, Best Sup­port­ing Ac­tor (Ma­her­shala Ali) and Best Screen­play. The film be­gan awards sea­son with the huge boost of win­ning the au­di­ence award at TIFF 2018, but it’s been run­ning out of steam since then.

Lady Gaga was con­sid­ered a cinch to win that Best Ac­tress prize for A Star Is Born since she knows how to work a room bet­ter than any­body. But star-lov­ing HFPA vot­ers sur­prised every­body by look­ing past Gaga’s glam to choose Close for her lower key but much more pas­sion­ate work in The Wife, a drama that pre­miered at TIFF 2017 and which has strug­gled for au­di­ences and awards sea­son at­ten­tion ever since. It’s a vic­tory for Close and also for the movies, and ap­pro­pri­ate for a story about how the wives of fa­mous men are of­ten un­justly forced to re­main in the shad­ows. Close noted in her ac­cep­tance speech that her own mother felt sub­or­di­nate to her fa­ther’s ca­reer. She urged women to fol­low their own paths: “We have to fol­low our dreams. We have to say, ‘I can do that and I should be al­lowed to do that.’ ”

Get Peter How­ell’s full col­umn at thes­­ter­tain­ment

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