Updated: Jun 19
In a historic year, three of the five director nominees are women. Unfortunately, only one of them is any good, and the woman who should have been nominated, wasn’t.
I always dread this moment. The critics in New York and LA and the National Society of Film Critics make good and sensible choices in the films and performances they honor. Then the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press (HFPA) come along and ruin everything by giving the majority of their nominations to “stars“ - they love “stars”, but we are all guilty of that - and leave the smaller indie films and the deserving but relatively unknown actors to take comfort in their Independent Spirit Award nominations. The SAG awards, which also come out this week, can also swing this way and so it's often a double whammy. If the HFPA is composed of a few journalists who write for the most ignominious of foreign publications, the SAGs are voted on by legions of actors many of whom have neither the time not the energy to see movies. But more on that later.
To this year’s Golden Globe nominations. Keep in mind that they have these ridiculous “Drama” and “Musical or Comedy” (let’s call it the M/C dustbin) designations so they can squeeze an extra 10 “stars” into the laughable (maybe the pun is intended) latter category. This guarantees that someone like James Corden will be nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy for what was the Worst Performance by an Actor in (the Worst) Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy, the almost unfathomably awful “The Prom”. But let’s take a closer look at some of the categories:
Actress Drama: Sophia Loren was NOT nominated for “The Life Ahead”, a nasty surprise for the Ponti family. She had a good shot at this one but was shut by Andra Day in “The United States vs Billie Holiday”, a performance that they would normally have slotted into their M/C dustbin so it's a double insult. Whether this will give a boost to Lee Daniels troubled movie or miss Day’s chance of an Oscar nomination is anyone’s guess. The four other actresses in this category Viola Davis, Frances McDormand, Vanessa Kirby and. Carey Mulligan will go on to almost certain Best Actress Oscar Nominations.
Best Supporting Actress: No division of category here and yes a surprise or two:
Hurray on two counts: Ellen Burstyn did NOT get nominated for her widely overpraised performance in “Pieces of a Woman”. This may affect her Oscar nomination chances which were seen as a sure thing following her gratuitous Holocaust speech. And the wonderful Helena Zengel got noticed for her startling performance in "News of the World". Good for you! Unfortunately Glenn Close’s scenery chewing in the syrup that was “Hillbilly Elegy” got noticed and they obviously liked the the almost unwatchable “The Mauritanian” although I have to admit that the nominated Jodie Foster towers above her material and she’s fun to watch. The remaining two actresses, Olivia Coleman and Amanda Seyfried are the two certain Oscar nominees from this group with Foster gaining in momentum.
Best Director: No splitting here, just a single category and three out of five nominees are women. A historic moment. Unfortunately only Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland” is any good. The other two have a bit of an attention-getting feel about them. Emerald Fennell’s “Promising Young Woman” is a mess of uncertain tones and attitudes while Regina King contributes very little to the filmed play that is “One Night in Miami”. There was some masterful direction last year and, if we’re talking female directors, it should have been Eliza Hittman for the superb “Never Rarely Sometimes Always but, as forecast, she’s not a “name”. The movie didn't get a single note of recognition.
This is also the case with Paul Raci’s omission in the Best Supporting Actor category for his superb work in “The Sound of Metal”. However, I am still keeping my fingers crossed for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nod. At least his costar Riz Ahmed got nominated Best Actor (Drama) category.
And the film with the most nominations; David Fincher’s less than stellar “Mank”. However, all the awards in the world can do nothing to revive this dead horse.
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