Golden Globes Nominations mark the official start of Awards Season

Yes, they forgot May I Destroy You in their TV nominations but in general, the Golden Globes released an intriguing set of nominees this week, one that sets a tone for the next couple of months of what’s being called, I think officially, “an awards season like no other”.

There’ll be no red carpets and a distinct lack of glamour, all of which suits the ‘at home’ values of Netflix who have forged ahead with 42 nominations across the film and TV categories, prompting everyone to ask: is this the death of cinema?

It is understandable, given that hardly anybody has seen the nominated films this year in an actual cinema. But I still feel we’ll be rushing out of our sofas as soon as possible to experience a different screen, a different window to the one we’ve all been watching the news and the footy and the Bridgertons on. 

Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman

There are some big performances that deserve a large canvas – Anthony Hopkins in The Father (featured image) is brilliant, vulnerable in a way he hasn’t been for ages; Carey Mulligan is career-changingly good in Promising Young Woman; Riz Ahmed superb in Sound of Metal; and Daniel Kaluuyah practically blows the screen to bits in the stunningly charismatic in Judas and the Black Messiah. All of these performances are supported by the films they’re in being daring and fresh, visually and thematically and technically, taking the sort of imaginative leaps cinema badly needed. I can’t wait for you to see them.

Daniel Kaluuyah in Judas and the Black Messiah

And then there’s Andra Day, as Lady Day, Billie Holiday. Could she go all the way and win Best Actress with her debut performance? I’d like to think so. Awards voters love a tortured singer, such as Renee Zellweger’s Judy, or Marion Cotillard’s Edith Piaf and Andra’s work is up there with the best, both in the acting and, perhaps hardest of all, in the singing, with which she brings a touch of jazzy, sassy, bruised modernity to the familiar sound of Billie’s voice.

For me, the best films are The Father, Promising Young Woman and the incendiary Judas and the Black Messiah, although I’ve said for months now that Nomadland feels like it’s long been destined for the top prize. Even before it arrived for one of its rare big screen showings at the Venice Film Festival, it was like: here’s the winner, everyone.

Thing is, I didn’t like it much. I can see why many people do, but it is rather dreary, depressed and, I’m going to say it, inauthentic and I couldn’t stand Frances McDormand’s performance in it. 

Phew. Feels like a bit of a weight off confessing that.

You can’t love ‘em all. But I can, and I will, vigorously champion the ones I love this year. Judas and the Black Messiah in particular – damn, what a film. The Globes have missed nominating that one, apart from Daniel K, and they’ve gone safe with the boorish Mank and the solid-enough Trial of the Chicago 7, but it’s the Globes and I’m not sure they always know best, even if, with all the TV nominations mixed in with the film ones, they might appear more in tune with where we’re at as a public right now, all watching everything on the same screen, on the same sofa.

Anyway, I expect things to change by the time the Oscars swing round on April 25th.

The Globes ceremony is on Feb 28th, and I’ll be commenting on the awards season throughout here on the site, and reviewing them as soon as you’re able to see them. Maybe I’ll do a handy guide to the buzzed-about titles so you know what people are talking about at all these ceremonies, because it doesn’t look like many of them will be out soon enough.

And, of course, I’ll get as much talent and flavour of them all on the Seen Any Good Films Lately? podcast.

There may not be red carpets but we can keep the thrill of good movies going, part of that being debating them, cheering them and recommending them.