So The Golden Globes have announced their nominations for the make-or-break ceremony in January 2023, with much-awarded love for Avatar: The Way of Water, Elvis, Top Gun: Maverick and Tár. This is the one that will either ensure the Globes’ survival or consign them to non-TV irrelevance and slow death.
After last year’s row over the lack of diversity and the preponderance of backlash among the Globes’ notoriously corruptible voting body, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, NBC refused to air the 2022 ceremony. They agreed to this year’s coverage after the HFPA finally committed to several different constituents and an oversight committee. Whether they want to show it again or not will depend on how this year’s event goes.
The still slightly disgraced Will Smith hasn’t received a nomination for his Civil War drama Emancipation – so he’s not coming. Tom Cruise’s box office champ Top Gun: Maverick is nominated for best picture (drama), but Cruise returned his three Globes last year in protest of the racial exclusion scandal. So he can boycott the event if he believes that the HFPA still hasn’t reformed sufficiently. And most relevant of all, Brendan Fraser – who has received a nomination for his much-admired performance in the Darren Aronofsky drama The Whale – has already announced he will not be taking part, after claiming he was assaulted by a former HFPA president , Philip Berk, who has denied it but was later expelled after calling Black Lives Matter a “racist hate movement.”
This is another middleweight, middleweight list for the Globes: and Jennifer Lawrence and Brian Tyree Henry may well feel slighted to be shut out of the nominations for their much-loved drama Causeway. And Billy Eichner, who famously disappointed at the box office for his seminal gay romcom Bros, won’t be happy if the film doesn’t appear in the best picture (musical or comedy) category.
It’s a Globes that has rewarded the showmen—and the showwomen to some degree, even though this is another list of male directors. The all-conquering blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick gets a nomination for Best Picture, and James Cameron’s mighty monolith Avatar: The Way of Water also comes in with Best Picture in the Drama section and a Director’s nod for its creator. Baz Luhrmann detonated another sequin explosion with Elvis, his musical biography of the king of rock’n’roll, scoring best director and best actor for lip-curling star Austin Butler. Steven Spielberg’s stunning autobiographical portrait of the artist as a young man, The Fabelmans, gets best picture and best director nods and a best actress nod for Michelle Williams, who plays the eccentric mother.
In the best director section, Martin McDonagh – a longtime awards season fixture – gets a nod for his Singe-ian black comedy The Banshees of Inisherin, and Colin Farrell gets a nomination for best actor (musical or comedy) for his turn as the foolish milkman whose best friend interrupts their bromance, although his co-star Brendan Gleeson has to settle for a Best Supporting Actor nomination (though his contribution is surely equal to Farrell’s) alongside Barry Keoghan. Kerry Condon very deservedly gets a Best Supporting Actress for the same film.
The lavishly swooning hipster multiverse fantasy comedy Everything Everywhere All at Once has clearly struck a chord with HFPA voters, earning a Best Director nomination for its directors, Daniels (Kwan and Scheinert), but I can’t be sure that they will pick up silverware on the night, although this film’s much-loved Michelle Yeoh could convert her Best Actress nomination.
As far as acting stars go, my prediction is that the HFPA will clean up with an award for Brendan Fraser for The Whale, although his rival nominee, our very own Bill Nighy, may well snag it for his stellar performance in Living. Cate Blanchett is sure to win Best Actress (Drama) for her toweringly mad and magnificent performance as the tormented orchestra conductor in Tár (though it’s sad not to see a Best Director nod for the film’s auteur, Todd Field). In the comedy field, I think the night will belong to Colin Farrell and Michelle Yeoh (although the HFPA might like Emma Thompson’s very witty and alluring turn in Good Luck to You, Leo Grande as the retired principal who pays for sex.) No real left field or bold choices, but the Globes hope that the mainstream is their way back to acceptance.