The nominations for the 2019 Golden Globe Awards have been announced, and it is certainly going to be a big year. Every year, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association gets together to honor the best of film and TV. Although the voting bodies are very different, the nominations can typically be an indicator of what may draw the attention of the AMPAS. There are typically plenty of snubs and surprises, and that is definitely the case this year, with lots of perceived awards contenders being left in the dust and new movies rising to take their place.
Perhaps the biggest snub of the batch, but one that was unavoidable, Roma was not nominated for Best Motion Picture – Drama. The film still got plenty of love, picking up nominations in the Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language, Best Director – Motion Picture, and Best Screenplay – Motion Picture categories, but it was left in the dust for the biggest honor of the night. This is because the eligibility rules do not allow foreign language films to be nominated in the top categories. The last time a film won Best Picture at the Oscars that was not nominated in either top category at the Globes was in 2005 for Crash. Will this break the streak again?
Surprise(-ish): A Star is Born
It comes at no surprise at all that Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born is racking up much love. However, it did come as a bit of a surprise that it was nominated in the Drama categories instead of the Comedy/Musical categories. It picked up five nominations: Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama (for Bradley Cooper), Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama (for Lady Gaga), Best Director – Motion Picture (for Cooper again), and for Best Original Song – Motion Picture (for “Shallows”). Its inclusion in the Drama category shakes things up, making it harder to predict the rest of the season based on the Globes.
Snub: First Man
First Man was at one time considered the frontrunner in the Oscar Best Picture race, but its buzz has fallen off recently. Although it was a big with most critics (88 Tomatometer, 84 Metacritic — it wowed one of our reviewers, but did not impress the other), it didn’t land with audiences, underperforming at the box office. Some may speculate that this is what got shut out by the miscategorization of some other films, but it could also signify that it won’t be gaining much awards traction. Also of note is that Ryan Gosling wasn’t even nominated for his lead performance.
Surprise: Bohemian Rhapsody
On one hand, everyone expected the HFPA to honor Bohemian Rhapsody. They have a history of nominating mainstream musicals that aren’t critically-acclaimed (The Greatest Showman, Nine). The curveball, though, is that it was recognized in the Drama categories instead of in Musical/Comedy. If it were in the Musical/Comedy category, it would have easily been dismissed, but now that it beat out other apparent frontrunners in the Drama category, it may very well be a serious contender for the rest of the season.
Unfortunately, it seems like Steve McQueen’s intelligent heist thriller Widows won’t be getting as much love as was expected this awards season. Despite prominent sociopolitical themes that would often scream awards bait, the film got absolutely no nominations. Not even Viola Davis, a typical awards darling, got a nod for what is likely one of her best performances. This can probably be attributed to competition.
Surprise: Crazy Rich Asians
The HFPA usually includes at least one mainstream studio comedy in their Best Motion Picture – Musical/Comedy category, and this year, it is Crazy Rich Asians. The film was very well-received, so it isn’t shocking that it was nominated there, but Constance Wu’s nod comes as a bit more of a surprise. That being said, the Drama portion of the race is much more competitive, so Wu probably won’t have a chance in the Oscars.
One of the highest-rated movies of the year and South Korea’s official submission to the Foreign Language Oscar race, it seems that Lee Chang-dong’s Burning may have to extinguish its awards hopes. The HFPA has much more straightforward voting procedures for Foreign Language films than the Academy’s notoriously convoluted process, so the film’s Oscar hopes are low.
Surprise: Black Panther
Black Panther is the highest grossing film at the box office this year, and it is extremely unlikely that it will be beaten by any other film. The HFPA nominated it for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Original Score – Motion Picture, and Best Original Song – Motion Picture (for “All the Stars”). Does this mean that the film is a serious contender for an Oscar nomination for Best Picture?
Snub: Toni Collette, Hereditary
Toni Collette’s acclaimed performance has been gaining some steam heading into awards season, gaining recognition from various awards groups. Unfortunately, being snubbed at the Golden Globes implies that she may not have been able to break out of niche love. The Academy has a notorious bias against horror films. It seems unlikely that will be broken by Collette.
Surprise: Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade
Comedian Bo Burnham’s directorial debut Eighth Grade became one of the most critically acclaimed films of the summer, but it never really gained much traction heading into awards season. However, the HFPA recognized Fisher (only 15) for her nuanced and funny leading performance. Again, the competition on the Drama side is stiff, so her Oscar hopes are minimal, but it’s nice to see her recognized.
Snub: Ethan Hawke, First Reformed
Another film that has been picking up steam out of the critics’ group awards, Paul Schrader’s First Reformed was entirely shut out. It’s not surprising that the film didn’t land, as it’s odd, slow, and contemplative, but Ethan Hawke’s widely acclaimed performance was expected to land him a nomination. Maybe voters weren’t too pleased by the A24 Whiskey/Pepto challenge?
Surprise: Lucas Hedges, Boy Erased
On the other hand, it was a bit of a surprise to see Lucas Hedges nominated for his turn in Boy Erased. His performance is definitely solid, but it is the general consensus that it pales in comparison to his best work in Manchester by the Sea. He also leapfrogged over such favorites as Gosling and Hawke to secure a nomination. Will he have the same success with the Academy?
Snub: The Songs from Mary Poppins Returns
Rob Marshall’s (excellent) sequel to the 1964 Disney classic got plenty of love from the HFPA, picking up four nominations: Best Motion Picture – Musical/Comedy, Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical/Comedy (for Emily Blunt), Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical/Comedy (for Lin-Manuel Miranda), and Best Original Score – Motion Picture. That being said, all of its original songs got left in the dust. The film made the daring (and wise) decision to not re-use any of the songs from the original. Maybe “The Place Where Lost Things Go” (which is beautiful and touching) or “Trip a Little Light Fantastic” (an absolute earworm) will get love from the Academy.
Surprise: “Revelation”, Boy Erased
The biggest surprise in the Best Original Song – Motion Picture category was “Revelation” from Boy Erased. It’s a beautiful, lyrical song, but it’s more subtle than those that the HFPA typically recognizes. That being said, its Oscar hopes are slim as Disney begins to push the music from Mary Poppins Returns harder and Warner Bros. continues to push the music from A Star is Born
What did you think of the Golden Globe nominations? Were your favorite films included? Was anything left out that you wanted to be recognized? Let us know in the comments!
The Golden Globe Awards air January 6 on NBC, hosted by Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg.