Golden Globes surprises shake up Oscar forecast
Play-it-safe awards show was short on barbs but there were some interesting results
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. Queen band members Jim Beach, Roger Taylor and Brian May celebrate a Golden Globes win for “Bohemian Rhapsody” with star Rami Malek and producer Graham King.
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 Glenn Close accepts the Golden Globe Award for best actress in a drama film for her role in “The Wife” beating out a heavily favoured Lady Gaga.
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.’ ”