My Golden Globes Nomination Reaction

The only reason most people have heard of the Golden Globes is if they’ve won one, or because a few years ago, it was realised they’d become a decent indicator of the Oscar race.

Now, as my PM anchor Eddie Mair so brilliantly put it in his intro to the item on Radio 4 this week: “The Golden Globe nominations, often seen as an indicator of who will win a Golden Globe…” (Private Eye didn’t get the joke when he used it last year and put him in Colmanballs for it, so Eddie dared them again – but that’s so post-modern a gag, I hope it gets him Pseud’s Corner this time.)

Obviously the big story on the day was Christopher Plummer’s nomination for playing John Paul Getty in All The Money In the World, the role he was parachuted into by director Ridley Scott to re-shoot entirely in order to expunge all traces of Spacey from the film, and indeed Planet Hollywood.

Scott got a director nom for the swiftness of decision and action and Michelle Williams also got a shout for her part in the movie, which I gather HFPA voters saw in a rough cut. Scott and Plummer have seemingly turned the whole thing around in a remarkable 40 days, ostensibly turning disaster into some kind of triumph. The film is still out in the US on December 22 and here in the UK on Jan 5.

But Scott’s inclusion on that director list merely brings attention to just how BORING a set of nominations it is, indeed suggesting just how bland the whole of awards season looks set to be. 

I can’t get excited by a list of directors that doesn’t include Wonder Woman’s Patty Jenkins for her huge achievement in raising the bar for what female directors can do, technically and financially. Surely that’s a bigger feat than Scott’s?

The Shape of Water leads the noms with seven shouts – as I wrote from Venice where it won the Golden Lion, it’s sweet enough but I found it silly and reductive and I couldn’t stand Octavia Spencer’s act, a retrograde ‘negro’ portrayal that has earned her an acting nom.

Sadly, Mudbound was majorly over-looked apart from a nice inclusion for Mary J Blige. I thought Carey Mulligan and Jason Mitchell were both worthy of nods, as well as certainly director Dee Rees, who is one of the coolest, smartest, boldest people working in movies this year, alongside Jordan Peele.

Thankfully, Peele’s Get Out has been recognised, in the lesser Musical or Comedy category, but I do think that means our own Daniel Kaluuya has a great chance of win here – even I could beat Ansel Elgort from Baby Driver and Steve Carell was so annoying as Bobby Riggs in Battle of the Sexes that it only leaves the residual love for James Franco of Hugh Jackman for our boy Daniel to beat. A win for him would make the whole shebang worthwhile.

I was chuffed for the chaps from Loving Vincent getting recognised in the animation category – many of my colleagues are down on the film for the stilted acting style and script, but as I’ve always said, these settle down nicely and suit the overall style of the picture, which is an incredible feat of art.

Another big oversight, surely, is the omission of BPM from the Foreign Language category. The AIDS drama from France is a major work, France’s Oscar entry, and I’d like to see it triumph somewhere soon after it lost in Cannes, to the nominated The Square.

I am pleased for Call Me By Your Name which seems to be getting the love it deserves from many voting bodies and I hope this wonderful, gorgeous, sexy film does emerge as the front-runner this season. Timothee Chalamet could become the name everyone’s calling for this, his debut role, one he seizes with relish and charm.

But back to those directors and you can’t help but despair at the lack of diversity among them – Nolan, Del Toro (ok, he’s Mexican but…), McDonagh, Spielberg and Scott. 

I hope things get more interesting from here but while I like some of the films in the ‘conversation’ none of them is great and apart from Get Out and Call Me By Your Name, I can’t get excited about them – it’s going to be a tough sell.

Here’s a full list of the nominations, with the Spacey-less TV ones, too.  And no Spike Lee for She’s Gotta Have It? Come on, people…


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