Written by Aaron Radcliff:
The nominees for the 2018 Golden Globes were announced this morning to the traditional mix of fanfare and derision from fans and those in the industry. While the Oscars is typically considered the more “prestigious” of the two shows given the nominees are selected and voted on by members of the Academy, the Golden Globes can be seen by some as the more “every man” type ceremony. Not only do the awards recognize television, but the voting body of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association seems to nominate and award based on enjoyment rather than technical prowess. Maybe I’m misreading their intentions, but that’s how I tend to view it and some of the nominees this year have enforced that thought.
While I don’t expect the Academy to follow the lead of the Globes when it comes time to nominate, we do have to realize the type of power Globes noms and wins (or lack thereof) can have on a film and the awards aspirations of all involved. But there were five things I noticed when looking over the nominees that left me intrigued.
ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD
Much had been made about Ridley Scott’s upcoming crime drama about J. Paul Getty, specifically in regards to its original star, Kevin Spacey, being replaced with Christopher Plummer. While a move like that isn’t unusual, what sets this apart is the fact that Scott managed to reshoot all of the original Spacey scenes and have the movie completed on time with hardly any change to the original release date. So what does all that work net the cast? Three nominations for Best Director (Scott), Best Actress-Drama (Michelle Williams), and Best Actor (Plummer).
Not too shabby for a film everyone thought wouldn’t manage to make its original release date.
NO WOMEN NOMINATED FOR BEST DIRECTOR
While one could argue that the quality of those nominated is unquestionable, we do have to recognize that many of the major award shows tend to have a problem with getting more diverse with their nominees. Among the interesting choices for Best Director, we notice that Jordan Peele didn’t receive a nomination. That is bad enough, but we also have no women nominated for the honor.
Only five times in the past 75 years has a woman been nominated for the award. Given the quality presented this year, one would think we could see the second woman to ever win the honor. Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman), Kathryn Bigelow (Detroit), Dee Rees (Mudbound), and Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) all had a legitimate claim to the honor and yet none were even given a hint of a nomination.
KUMAIL NANJIANI’S SNUBS
One of the most enjoyable and heartfelt films of the year was The Big Sick. The film stars Nanjiani and was co-written by himself and his wife, Emily Gordon. The loosely-based story about Nanjiani and Gordon’s real-life romance was helped in large part by having those actually involved in the event penning the script and starring in the film. But just like the point made above, Nanjiani and his work was snubbed.
While it strikes me as weird that a comedic romantic-drama such as this wasn’t given the recognition of a Best Picture-Comedy/Musical nomination, what really sets me off is Nanjiani not getting an individual nomination, be it for acting or writing the screenplay. His intimate knowledge of the situation, the script, and likable personality help bring more life and levity to the plot and seeing him pushed to the side for Ansel Elgort in the acting category is an incredible shame (I loved Baby Driver, but really? Elgort?)
THREE BILLBOARDS AN OSCAR FAVORITE?
Along with The Post and The Shape of Water, Martin McDonagh’s black comedy Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri will walk into the Golden Globes as one of the most nominated films. While much has been made about the prior two films, Three Billboards was one that had moderate success at the box office. But those who have seen it swear up and down by how good it is. We know that the Academy has no qualms with giving the big awards to films that received critical love despite less-than-stellar box office numbers. Could we see that again this year? Or could The Post or Shape of Water take that recognition? Perhaps none of them.
GUILLERMO DEL TORO GETS HIS RECOGNITION
Guillermo del Toro is a director who has fully embraced the fantastical when it comes to his films. From the Hellboy movies to Crimson Peak to his best-known work, Pan’s Labyrinth, del Toro has fully embraced ideas that others would not, and that is why he has been one of my favorite directors of the past 15 years. Despite this, the only major recognition del Toro has gotten was two Oscar nominations for Pan’s Labyrinth.
But now del Toro gets the nod for his work behind the camera as he garnered a Best Director nomination. Along with nominated performances by his cast, del Toro is also in contention for Best Screenplay and Best Picture-Drama. This could be the jumping point for del Toro heading into Oscar season.
Given the possible nominees for Best Director this year, it’s safe to say that the category could be absolutely stacked once the Academy releases their nominees.
Overall, the nominees for the Golden Globes have me more intrigued than angry or happy. There are quite a few films and people left off the list that I was hoping to see, but their places have been taken predominantly by recent releases and films not yet released. At the very least, it has me excited for the quality of December cinema.
The Golden Globes will be held January 7th, 2018.
Featured images via Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures, and Variety.