Kenneth Branagh’s childhood-inspired “Belfast” and Jane Campion’s dark Western “The Power of the Dog” topped Monday’s Golden Globes nominations, as the troubled awards seek to shrug off a Hollywood boycott over ethical lapses. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association – which votes on the Globes – has been under fire over allegations of racism, sexism, bullying and corruption.
Studios including Warner Bros, Netflix and Amazon are refusing to work with the HFPA, and television network NBC has dropped its Globes broadcast next month, meaning A-listers are unlikely to attend whatever form of ceremony is held. “It’s certainly not going to be the celebrity-driven event that we’ve had in the past,” HFPA president Helen Hoehne told AFP at the Globes nominations announcement in Los Angeles. “We have a long history of handing out the award and we just wanted to continue to do it like we always have,” she added.
“Belfast” and “Power of the Dog” collected seven nominations apiece for the 79th Golden Globe awards. Deaf family drama “Coda,” sci-fi epic “Dune” and Will Smith’s tennis biopic “King Richard,” about the father of Venus and Serena Williams, rounded out the best drama category – the Globes’ biggest prize. Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed remake of “West Side Story” was among the best comedy or musical contenders, while HBO drama “Succession” topped the Globes’ television section, with five nominations.
The Golden Globes have traditionally been second in importance only to the Oscars in Hollywood’s film award season, but their future has been plunged into doubt. With the January 9 broadcast of the Globes cancelled, and doubts over whether winners will even accept their prizes, the rival Critics Choice Awards has swooped in to hold its own star-studded gala across town on the same day. The HFPA diversity row was triggered by a Los Angeles Times investigation earlier this year showing that the organization did not have a single Black member.
More than 100 Tinseltown publicists also wrote to the HFPA demanding an end to “discriminatory behavior, unprofessionalism, ethical impropriety and alleged financial corruption.” The organization has rushed through reforms, including admitting its biggest ever annual intake of new members earlier this year. But actors such as Scarlett Johansson and Mark Ruffalo have slammed the changes as inadequate, while Tom Cruise returned his three Golden Globes to the HFPA in protest.
Globes voters have been frequently criticized for omitting strong performances from actors and directors of color from their nominations. This year, three of the best drama actor nominees were Black, including Smith, Denzel Washington in “Tragedy of Macbeth” and – arguably the category’s biggest surprise – Mahershala Ali for low-key sci-fi “Swan Song.” Campion and Maggie Gyllenhaal (“The Lost Daughter”) landed rare female best director nods.
Rapper Snoop Dogg was the surprise guest at Monday’s early morning Globes nomination unveiling at a Beverly Hills hotel, reading out multiple categories. The announcement, usually broadcast on major US television morning shows but this time streamed on the Globes’ YouTube page, was criticized as lackluster. “(I)n the hour after the nominations were unveiled,” wrote the Los Angeles Times, “the reaction from Hollywood was collective silence.”
The rival Critics Choice Awards also unveiled nominees Monday, with “Belfast” and “West Side Story” leading on 11 nods, ahead of “Dune” and “The Power of the Dog” on 10. Studios including Disney’s Pixar issued congratulations on both sets of nominations. “Congratulations to the cast and crew of #PixarLuca for their #CriticsChoice and #GoldenGlobe nominations for Best Animated Feature Film,” wrote its official account. – AFP