Netflix dominates with ‘The Irishman’ and ‘Marriage Story.’
LOS ANGELES — It is Netflix’s world. Hollywood just lives in it.
When nominations for the 77th Golden Globes were announced Monday morning, Netflix dominated the film categories to a jaw-dropping degree. The streaming giant has only been a competitor on the film side of the Globes since 2016, when it received a sole nomination for Idris Elba in “Beasts of No Nation.” This time around Netflix received 17 nominations in the 11 film categories alone.
“The Irishman,” Martin Scorsese’s big-budget gangster yarn, and “Marriage Story,” Noah Baumbach’s unnerving portrait of divorce, received best drama nominations, along with Fernando Meirelles’s Vatican succession dramedy “The Two Popes.” Those Netflix movies and others from the service, including the Eddie Murphy vehicle “Dolemite Is My Name,” monopolized the actor, supporting actor and screenplay categories. “Dolemite” was also nominated for best comedy or musical.
The traditional studio with the largest number of film nominations was Sony Pictures, which received 10, including a pair for Pedro Almodóvar’s Spanish-language “Pain and Glory.” HBO had the second-largest number of television nominations: 15.
The group behind the Globes, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, has shed some of its reputation for eccentricity, but it still makes calculated choices — spreading nominations far and wide to ensure that every studio boss attends; honoring younger stars in an attempt to boost ratings. Members continue to split their top film prize into two categories, drama and comedy-musical, often in bewildering ways. Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” will compete as a comedy, landing a nod alongside the Nazi-themed “Jojo Rabbit.” Because what is funnier than the Manson murders and the Holocaust?
In another puzzler, especially for an awards contest adjudicated by journalists from overseas, foreign-language films are ineligible for the marquee best-picture categories. So don’t look for much guidance on the Oscar hopes for Lulu Wang’s “The Farewell,” one of the few bright spots in indie cinema this year ($17.6 million in ticket sales), or “Parasite,” Bong Joon Ho’s acclaimed tale of economic inequality ($18.3 million).
In truth, the Globes do not predict much. The press association only has about 90 voting members; roughly 9,000 film industry professionals vote on the Academy Awards. The top winning films at the Globes have only gone on to win the Oscar for best picture 50 percent of the time over the last decade. (They matched last year, however. “Green Book” was the big winner at both ceremonies.)
NBC will broadcast the Globes on Jan. 5. Organizers decided to bring back the British comedian Ricky Gervais for a fifth time to host.
The nominations could give films a shot in the arm.
The Globes are mostly coveted as marketing tools. Studio advertising executives will immediately roll out new TV commercials and digital billboards based on the nominations. Two nods for Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women” could help Sony generate interest in the film’s Christmas Day release in theaters; Saoirse Ronan was honored for her lead performance and Alexandre Desplat for his score.
As a stop on the road to the Oscars, the Globes could focus fresh attention on Taron Egerton, who seemed like a lock for the best actor race in the first half of the year for his risk-taking performance as Elton John in “Rocketman.” But he found himself in the middle of the pack once heavy hitters like Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro have entered the fray. His nomination could rekindle some of that momentum. Similarly, Globe voters pushed Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet”) deeper into the Oscar conversation.
The male acting races will be competitive.
Ahh, the year of the man. It seems strange given the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements.
But take a look at this year’s films. The number of notable male performances is rather staggering. Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”), Christian Bale (“Ford v Ferrari”), Antonio Banderas (“Pain and Glory”), Adam Driver (“Marriage Story”) and Jonathan Pryce (“The Two Popes”) received nods for best actor in a drama. Left out were De Niro (“The Irishman”), Adam Sandler (“Uncut Gems”) and Paul Walter Hauser (“Richard Jewell”).
Best actor in a comedy or musical is only slightly less competitive. Murphy was nominated for his outrageous “Dolemite” performance, as were DiCaprio (“Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”) and Egerton (“Rocketman”). The remaining two slots went to Daniel Craig (“Knives Out”), and Roman Griffin Davis, the young “Jojo Rabbit” star.
The best supporting actor category consists of four Oscar winners and one of Hollywood’s biggest stars: Tom Hanks (“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”), Anthony Hopkins (“The Two Popes”), Al Pacino (“The Irishman”), Joe Pesci (“The Irishman”) and Brad Pitt (“Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”).
Women were completely left out of the directing race, drawing immediate scorn on Twitter. Instead, voters put forward Sam Mendes for “1917,” Todd Phillips for “Joker,” Bong for “Parasite,” Scorsese for “The Irishman” and Tarantino for “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood.”
Get ready to scratch your head over the best comedy and best drama categories.
Remember when the press association deemed the Matt Damon stranded-in-space odyssey “The Martian” a comedy?
This kind of thing happens when studios try to game the system, submitting films and stars in categories sized up as more winnable. The press association received so much ridicule when “The Martian” was named best comedy in 2016 that members amended the rules to state that “dramas with comedic overtones should be entered as dramas.”
That didn’t stop A24 from submitting its jeweler thriller “Uncut Gems” as a comedy this year. The press association bounced it to the drama group and then snubbed it entirely on Monday. But Sony’s submission of “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” as a comedy was allowed to stand.
Voters did not seem to like ‘Cats.’
“Cats,” set for release by Universal on Dec. 20, should be a shoo-in for best comedy or musical. But the filmmakers have been scrambling to finish the movie … err, make the fur visual effects less traumatic than they were in that infamous trailer. To make the movie eligible for consideration, Universal showed voters a version last week.
Alas, the film scored only a nomination for Taylor Swift’s song.
Apple enters the awards hunt with ‘The Morning Show.’
Welcome to the awards circuit, Cupertino.
Apple’s centerpiece series, “The Morning Show,” was nominated for best television series drama and the show’s stars, Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, each received nominations for best actress in a drama. The soap, which received sluggish reviews from critics, has been going through something of a backlash to a backlash: It has a 94 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes users, and the Globes nominations will represent some redemption for Apple’s entertainment executives.
Netflix was led by “The Crown” and “Unbelievable,” which picked up nominations for best limited series or motion picture made for television, as well as nods for its stars, Merritt Wever and Toni Collette.
The best actress in a drama race will be a battle of the titans. Aniston and Witherspoon will face off against the Oscar winners Olivia Colman (“The Crown”) and Nicole Kidman (“Big Little Lies”), and the Emmy winner Jodie Comer (“Killing Eve”). The category is so crowded that the previous winner, Sandra Oh, was left out altogether.
Globes voters have a habit of falling in love with new shows — they like to be seen as cultural arbiters — but more established series proved impossible to resist. “Succession,” which wrapped up its rapturously reviewed second season on HBO in October, landed a nomination for best drama. “The Crown,” which won best drama at the Globes in 2017 and has adroitly reimagined itself with a new cast, landed another nomination. “Big Little Lies” and “Killing Eve” also received nominations. “Game of Thrones” has never won best drama at the Globes — it has won a record-tying four times at the Emmys — and it will stay that way. Its final season was snubbed.
On the comedy front, Amazon’s “Fleabag” and its creator and star, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, are the heavy favorites and both landed nominations. The show already won big at the September Emmys ceremony. Not that many people noticed: the Emmys hit a new ratings low, attracting just 6.9 million viewers. “Fleabag” will be up against HBO’s “Barry,” Netflix’s “The Politician” (from Ryan Murphy), Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and last year’s winner, Netflix’s “The Kominsky Method.”
HBO’s “Chernobyl” is the favorite for limited series. But in one of the morning’s biggest surprises, Ava Duvernay’s Netflix limited series about the Central Park jogger case, “When They See Us,” was shut out. Jharrel Jerome, who won an Emmy in September for his portrayal of one of the young men accused, was also snubbed.
John Koblin contributed reporting from New York.