Will Netflix dominate 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 are announced Monday morning, Netflix is expected to dominate 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, handicappers at Gold Derby, an entertainment honors site, predict that Netflix will receive at least 18 nominations in the 11 film categories alone.
“The Irishman,” Martin Scorsese’s lavish gangster yarn, and “Marriage Story,” Noah Baumbach’s unnerving portrait of divorce, will almost certainly receive best drama nominations, with Fernando Meirelles’s Vatican succession dramedy “The Two Popes” possibly taking a third slot. Those Netflix movies and others from the service, including the Eddie Murphy vehicle “Dolemite Is My Name,” are expected to monopolize the actor, supporting actor and screenplay categories.
Sprinkle in expected nominations for films from Amazon Prime Video (“The Report,” “Late Night”), and a cascade of TV entries from Netflix, Amazon, Apple TV Plus and possibly even Disney Plus (“The Mandalorian”), and it could be the year that streaming services and their seemingly bottomless checkbooks topple the Hollywood power structure: Out with the old.
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, perhaps 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.
Here are five more things to consider before Globes nominations are unveiled starting at 8 a.m. Eastern time.
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. Multiple nods for Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women” could help Sony generate interest in the film’s Christmas Day release in theaters. Ditto for Clint Eastwood’s “Richard Jewell,” which looks at the bombing at the 1996 Olympics and arrives from Warner Bros. on Friday.
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 now that heavy hitters like Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro have entered the fray, he finds himself in the middle of the pack. Similarly, Globe voters could push Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet”), Alfre Woodard (“Clemency”) and Lupita Nyong’o (“Us”) 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”), De Niro (“The Irishman”) and Adam Driver (“Marriage Story”) are favorites for best actor in a drama, but where does that leave Antonio Banderas (“Pain and Glory”), Jonathan Pryce (“The Two Popes”), Adam Sandler (“Uncut Gems”), Christian Bale (“Ford v Ferrari”) and Paul Walter Hauser (“Richard Jewell”)?
Best actor in a comedy or musical is only slightly less competitive. Murphy is a lock for a nomination for his outrageous “Dolemite” performance, as is DiCaprio (“Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”). Egerton (“Rocketman”) should nab a nod. Vying for the remaining two slots are Daniel Craig (“Knives Out”), Himesh Patel (“Yesterday”), Shia LaBeouf (“The Peanut Butter Falcon”) and Roman Griffin Davis, the young “Jojo Rabbit” star.
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. But Sony’s submission of “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” as a comedy was allowed to stand.
A nomination for ‘Cats’ could be a boon for the movie.
“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 rough version last week.
Does the foreign press association go out on a limb and include “Cats” in the (meow) mix? It could certainly boost ratings to have Taylor Swift walking the red carpet, even if she leaves her Bombalurina tail at home. But voters could also be opening themselves up to disparagement.
Globes voters have never been very keen on the “Star Wars” franchise, but Disney Plus hit a critical and cultural nerve last month with “The Mandalorian,” which introduced Baby Yoda. Apple’s centerpiece series, “The Morning Show,” received middling reviews from most critics, but there has recently been a backlash to the backlash. The soap, which stars Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, has a 94 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes users.
Globes voters have a habit of falling in love with new shows — they like to be seen as cultural arbiters — but more established series may be impossible to resist. “Succession” wrapped up its rapturously reviewed second season on HBO in October. “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 have one final Globes shot this year. “The Crown,” which won best drama at the Globes in 2017 and has adroitly reimagined itself with a new cast, is also a favorite. And don’t count out “Killing Eve,” “Big Little Lies” or “Pose.”
On the comedy front, Amazon’s “Fleabag” and its creator and star, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, are the heavy favorites. 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. Honoring “Fleabag” would also be a redemption move for Globes voters; last time around they inexplicably named “The Kominsky Method” best comedy.
Best actress in a drama is another category to keep an eye on. It could shape up as a battle of the titans: the Oscar winners Olivia Colman (“The Crown”) and Nicole Kidman (“Big Little Lies”), the Emmy winner Jodie Comer (“Killing Eve”), the singer-actress Zendaya (HBO’s druggie “Euphoria”) and Aniston, who last won a Globe in 2003 for “Friends.”
John Koblin contributed reporting from New York.