On Monday, nominations for the 77th Golden Globe Awards were announced. The show, while not as prominent as the Academy Awards, has historically marked the beginning of awards season in the public eye. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, or HFPA, is the voting body responsible for selecting nominees and winners in all categories; it is also no stranger to controversy. The HFPA has long been criticized for its acknowledgment of diversity and gender equity in the American film and television industries, and this year is no different.
Nonetheless, for awards season fanatics, Monday’s nominations provided an early glimpse of what to expect in the upcoming months. Here are four major takeaways from the nominations:
It seems as if Netflix has been trying to break into awards season for several years with the gradual release of original content. While it became the first major streaming service to earn a Primetime Emmy Award nomination in 2013 for its original series “House of Cards,” it took several years for the company to be recognized for its films in addition to its television series.
This year, the streaming giant has four films up for top nominations in the best motion picture categories. “The Irishman,” “Marriage Story” and “The Two Popes” are all nominated in the best motion picture: drama category, while “Dolemite Is My Name” is competing for best motion picture: musical or comedy. For a single production company — let alone, a streaming service — to receive this much attention in major categories is no small feat.
A number of films seemed to get significant attention from the HFPA, with nominations in multiple categories. Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” has the most nominations of any recognized film this year, sitting with six nominations; Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” follow with five nominations each. But while two of these films, “Marriage Story” and “The Irishman,” seem to have received nominations in almost all of the major categories in which they are eligible, they both saw glaring omissions.
Despite the film’s nominations for two leading performances, score, screenplay, best picture and Laura Dern’s supporting performance, the HFPA failed to recognize Baumbach in the best director race. And while “The Irishman” received nominations for its supporting performances from Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, screenplay, direction and best picture, the film didn’t garner a nomination for Robert De Niro’s titular role. Despite Netflix’s success in overall nominations, the shortcomings of its publicized awards season selections in some eligible categories could spell trouble as awards season progresses.
No female directors (again)
The last time a female director was nominated for a Golden Globe Award was in 2014, when Ava DuVernay was nominated for her film “Selma.” Five years have passed and the Globes has yet to nominate another female director. Despite critical acclaim and attention toward films such as Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women,” Lorene Scafaria’s “Hustlers,” Marielle Heller’s “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” and Alma Har’el’s “Honey Boy” — to name just a few — there are no female nominees in the best director race this year.
But that’s not where the gender disparity stops. There are no female filmmakers recognized for best dramatic motion picture, best musical/comedy motion picture or best screenplay. Considering that women were behind several of the most memorable films from 2019, it’s a shame that there is a stark lack of female representation in this year’s slate of nominees.
Lots of love for “Joker”
With the film’s four nominations, it seems likely that Todd Phillips’ “Joker” is the emerging dark horse of awards season. Despite mixed reviews from critics, the film was a massive box office hit, garnering more than a billion dollars. Moreover, Joaquin Phoenix, in his lead role as Arthur Fleck — better known as the titular villain, Joker — has quickly become a frontrunner for leading actor awards throughout the upcoming season. With nominations for best dramatic picture, actor, director and score, it’s quite possible that “Joker” could become this year’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Contact Anagha Komaragiri at [email protected]. Tweet her at @aaanaghaaa.