Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

10 things to say about those Golden Globe film nominations

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association continues to confound. God bless ‘em.

Tue, Dec 13, 2016, 00:15

   

Ha ha! It’s the Golden Globes. To be fair, that strange awards ceremony has cleaned itself up recently. The show was always good fun, but the nominations sometimes looked a bit fishy. These days, while there are still surprises, they rarely raise suspicious eyebrows. The nominations that emerged this morning were perhaps a little more unexpected than usual. This suits a listicle such as this very nicely.

1. THE IRISH DID WELL.

A year on from that extraordinary awards season, we have yet again scored very well with   the Golden Globes. John Carney’s Sing Street is in best comedy or musical. Colin Farrell has an acting nod for The Lobster. Ruth Negga takes an inevitable best drama acting spot for Loving.

2. THE IRISH COULD HAVE DONE EVEN BETTER

I’m not really complaining. But why has Love & Friendship, an Irish co-production, dropped out of the conversation? The Lobster was also a strong contender for best comedy or musical. And how on earth did Sing Street score a best picture nomination without getting a best song nod?

3. WHERE THE HECK IS SILENCE?

I was not won over by Martin Scorsese’s Silence, but I still fully expected the film to pick up a best drama picture nomination. Our own Liam Neeson was also seen to be a shoo-in for best supporting actor. The picture now looks to be out of it. Mind you, we said the same about True Grit a few years ago when it was snubbed and it ended up with 10 Oscar nominations.

4. MEL GIBSON IS BACK

Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge, the tale of America’s bravest second World War pacifist, picked up an unexpected three nominations. Does this mean that, after those misunderstandings involving drink and jewish people, the Australian is back within the corral. (Cue yet another “It’s Trump time” think piece.)

5. NOCTURNAL ANIMALS IS ALSO STRONGER THAN EXPECTED

Nocturnal Animals has really divided critics and audiences. It was generally assumed that the film was no longer in awards season conversations, but the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, whose members select the nominations, was on board with Tom Ford’s self conscious thriller. Ford is nominated for screenplay and direction. There’s a double surprise with Aaron Taylor-Johnson — rather than Michael Shannon — getting a best supporting actor nod.

6. MOONLIGHT, MANCHESTER BY THE SEA AND LA LA LAND ARE STILL OSCAR FAVOURITES

If the narrative that those three films were the only likely best picture winners was to be disrupted than one among then would need to fail to be among the top three most nominated films. That didn’t happened. La La Land, which can’t fail to win best musical or comedy, topped the list with seven followed by Moonlight and Manchester.

7. SORRY, DEADPOOL IS NOMINATED FOR BEST COMEDY?

This has to stop. The childish superhero films that pretend to be adult superhero films are more tedious than the childish superhero films that know they’re largely for children. This squalid, witless, shapeless, ugly thing somehow beat Love & Friendship to a slot. The world is an awful, awful place.

8. MIGHT HUGH GRANT BE ON HIS WAY TO AN OSCAR

This is the sort of comeback that Hollywood really enjoys. For a period in the mid-1990s Grant could claim to be among the world’s biggest stars. Then a period of poor movies and an embarrassing sex scandal (is that the word?) tarnished the reputation. In recent years, he seems to have lost interest in the business. His touching turn as Meryl Streep’s husband in Florence Foster Jenkins could well win him the top prize.

9. ANDREW GARFIELD REALLY IS COMPETING AGAINST HIMSELF

To this point, Garfield has been marked down as a contender for Silence. His nomination for Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge (see Mel notes above) confirm that his other leading role is very much in the race. Both are unmistakable leads. So no category fraud can take place. Remember that an actor cannot receive two Oscar nominations in the same category. Complicated.

10. ONE OF OUR TOM HANKS IS MISSING

I was going for an air disaster joke there. Anyway, Hanks is regarded as one of the favourites for the best actor Oscar. Yet he is nowhere in this admirably eccentric list of nominees. Joel Edgerton, Andrew Garfield and Viggo Mortensen all seemed like less likely shortlist inclusions. They are all there.

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