#GoldenGlobes 2019: Who’s nominated, and why should we care?
The holiday season is upon us, which means between bouts of seasonal cheer your local picture house will be filling its schedule with conveyor-belt biopics, self-serious indie dramas, and political chin-strokers to remind you that December is the time to look back at how terrible the past year has been.
Meanwhile, the Golden Globes stagger drunkenly onto your TV set with a list of supposedly critically acclaimed shows that you definitely remember Tevoing with a determined “I’ll get to this by the end of the week”. Unfortunately for them, booting up Netflix and obsessively rewatching RuPaul’s Drag Race, Riverdale, and Queer Eye is far easier and more entertaining – and doesn’t cast a shadow over your evening.
Consider the Globes a dry run for the Oscars minus the relative sobriety. Awards season is the time of year for all of Hollywood’s stars to dress to the nines, congratulate themselves, and act like they haven’t been harboring known sex offenders for several decades.
This year’s ceremony will be hosted by Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine Nine) and Sandra Oh (Killing Eve), a surprisingly on-point booking for the show that usually prefers to introduce itself with the image of Ricky Gervais repeatedly throwing himself into oncoming traffic.
Best Motion Picture – Drama
So the Globes are still doing this, despite moviemaking being basically done with rigid genre conventions since about 1970. A Star Is Born is a big favorite, despite being both musical and comedic, but we guess ‘cause it deals with alcoholism and the overwhelming male ego it’s too “dramatic” to be placed amongst the likes of Crazy Rich Asians.
You’d think at some point after the original was released almost a century ago men would have gotten the message they’re mostly all trash and that fuelling their insecurities with substances only swells their toxicity. But here we are in the year of our Lord 2018 with another take on the universal truth.
This third remake will have wives everywhere side-eyeing their husbands while singing along to the fourth reprise of Lady Gaga’s bland ballad “Shallow”, an admirable showcase of the singer’s incomparable vocal talents that sadly strips away everything interesting about Gaga that brought her to this level of fame in the first place.
Gaga is, of course, nominated for the Best Dramatic Actress awards, alongside surprise showings from Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me) and Rosamund Pike (A Private War). If you’re having trouble racking your memory, Pike’s nomination is for that movie you immediately discredited when you saw an image of the actress wearing an eyepatch.
Black Panther sneaks in a nomination for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the first time the invasively ubiquitous ongoing franchise has been recognised at a level this so-called prestigious. And Bohemian Rhapsody is the second musical to be nominated for the wrong category, a blend of the jukebox musical and paint-by-numbers biopic that ended up being about as impactful as it sounds.
Get ready for an audience of superstars pretending to nod sagely as Bradley Cooper accepts his Best Actor award, accompanied by clips of his character smashing up pills with his cowboy-boot heels and Sam Elliott sobbing through his moustache.
Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
1989, with some retrospect, witnessed one of the biggest Oscar upsets in the Academy’s history. In the same year that Spike Lee released Do the Right Thing, the Best Picture award went to Driving Miss Daisy, a well-intentioned but tone-deaf exploration of American racial struggles in which a fussy old widow is driven around by her African-American chauffeur (Morgan Freeman).
The film’s misjudged commentary is low-key but undeniably there, but don’t worry. The Golden Globes is reassuring us with how far awards shows have come by granting a nomination for Best Comedy to Green Book, a film about a white driver and a black jazz musician who overcome their differences in the 1960s Deep South.
Whoops . . . that sounds a little too familiar.
In the meantime, movies that actually made you laugh this year, like Game Night, Love Simon, and Sorry to Bother You are left out in favor of Adam McKay’s latest pissed-off tirade against American politics, Vice, and The Favourite, Yorgos Lanthimos’s third attempt to make audiences unsure whether they want to laugh or leave.
The ever-increasing quality of American television is making Hollywood discreetly shit its pants with anxiety over the constantly evolving media landscape. This year’s trend is the long-form miniseries, a format threatening to tip the popularity of the feature-length film over the edge.
The Globes are combating the experimentation and innovation of the past couple of years of television by essentially ignoring them. Although the categories are not without surprises (as the lack of Game of Thrones and the sly dissing of Westworld clears the playing field a little), most of your favorites come up to bat.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel fetched noms for Best Musical or Comedy and a recognition for its star, Rachel Brosnahan. Also among the picks are the incandescent Alison Brie for GLOW, ultrastar Donald Glover for Atlanta, Debra Messing for Will & Grace, and a general scattering of applause for awards fare staples The Handmaid’s Tale and The Americans.
What’s surprising is that limited series with a genuine pulse of directorial flair, acting that surpasses any you’re going to see at the Oscars this year, and a sense of fresh wackiness not seen on television for a long time have been completely sidelined. Or perhaps it’s not so surprising after all.
Sure, Sharp Objects and A Very English Scandal are nice inclusions, but the former feels more like the spiritual successor to Big Little Lies than something that stands amongst the ranks of this year’s best, and the BBC’s budget restraints mean that the UK can churn out a half-decent three-part introspective in their sleep nowadays.
Netflix shows really turned the hell up this year, and it’s become obvious that it’s making the movie business a little nervous. A massive snub in our eyes was Maniac, featuring career-best performances from Jonah Hill & Emma Stone. Its worldbuilding style was so intricate and immediately stunning that Cary Fukanaga was snatched up for the new Bond film in a heartbeat.
If Fukanaga’s drugged-up, surrealist hellscape wasn’t enough for you, The Haunting of Hill House was the scariest piece of media released this year. Each episode had us clutching our beating hearts and leaping for the lights faster than you can say “A Quiet Place was overrated”.
Also left by the wayside was the criminally underseen The Little Drummer Girl. You know, Park Chan-Wook casually dropping in with another masterpiece after changing our lives with The Handmaiden last year. Hell, even The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina had better art direction than that Antonio Banderas series that was literally about Picasso.
The Golden Globes have been a bit of a joke for a while now, but it’s important to remember to keep laughing all the way to the Oscars. Awards don’t have to mean squat if you disagree with them, and anyways, what do you think the recipients are going to do? Spend the rest of the ceremony getting drunker and drunker, just as any of us would.