While next year’s Oscars may have tripped on the red carpet with its choice of host, the nominations for the upcoming Golden Globes in January passed by much more smoothly.
There were few surprises in the just revealed list of categories, with most of 2018’s biggest commercial and critical darlings making their way onto the list, which is still a decent barometer of how things tend to go at the Oscars months later.
While several of the nominated films haven’t made it to Irish shores just yet, many of them are known to audiences here, and most of the nominees won’t come as a surprise.
Many eyes are on Black Panther, following that film’s phenomenal global success this year, with nods in a few categories, particularly for arguably the top award, Best motion Picture – Drama.
Crazy Rich Asians also nabbed a couple of nods in the categories, with that film, and Panther, suggesting that Hollywood is finally – belatedly – grasping that there’s a global market for good films with compelling characters drawn from diverse ethnic backgrounds.
In fact, four of the five Best Motion Picture – Drama nominees had stories or characters that are a little out of line with what you might call Standard White Westerner tropes, presenting some well received content.
Elsewhere, and bookies would have their work cut out for them with some of the names on the awards list – for example, who can make the call on whether A Star is Born is better than Bohemian Rhapsody, or Spike Lee’s provocative BlacKkKlansman, for example?
There are some tough choices in other categories, too, such as Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Music.
John C Reilly looks stunning as the beloved Oliver Hardy in Stan and Ollie; Christian Bale is similarly unrecognisable as warhawk Dick Cheney in Vice, and Robert Redford makes his cinematic swansong in The Old Man and The Gun.
Moving on through some of the other categories, and while Glenn Close’s star turn in The Wife looks like a certainty for the Best Actress under Drama award, Lady Gaga surprised and wowed with her star-making turn in A Star is Born (opposite an impressive Bradley Cooper, himself nominated for Best Actor under Drama).
An outside Best Actress bet would be Melissa McCarthy, who managed to make the abysmal The Happytime Murders in 2018 and yet also stole the show (and earned a Globe nod) as a reluctant, frumpy forger in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, making her as ever an interesting star to follow.
Irish eyes will be wishing the best for The Favourite – the latest quirky film courtesy of Irish company Element Pictures.
The five nods attached to the film (a collaboration from The Lobster director Yorgos Lanthimos and Element) are a pretty strong endorsement for the film, which sees Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz’s characters competing for the attention of Queen Anne – with the actresses simultaneously competing for a Best Supporting Actress award in a little nod at life imitiating art.
It’s good to see Olivia Coleman also getting a nomination as the queen, in a rare reflection of the comic actress’s more serious chops.
You’ll easily find the full Golden Globes nominations for cinema and TV online, with the awards taking place on January 6.