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Golden Globes: The Big Contenders

January 4th, 2019Golden Globes: The Big Contenders

The 76th Golden Globes will honor the best in film and American TV from 2018, as chosen by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. This year, the awards are scheduled for January 6, 2019. They’ll be hosted by Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg.

The Golden Globes are awarded just before Oscar voting begins. So a win at the Globes can influence the Academy Awards. Here are the biggest films nominated for Golden Globes this year, and a few important takeaways from the nominations.

The Front Runners

The most exciting nominee is Adam McKay’s VICE. It got no less than 6 nominations, including Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy). The biographical comedy-drama opens with Dick Cheney (Christian Bale) responding to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It explores Cheney’s life, and events under the Bush Administration. The film divided critics, but is now the leading contender at the Golden Globes. McKay has been nominated for Best Director and Best Screenplay. Bale, Amy Adams, and Sam Rockwell are all up for acting awards.

Yorgos Lanthimos’ THE FAVOURITE is another contender. The British historical comedy-drama is set in the 1700s, and follows royal intrigues under Queen Anne. It, too, has been nominated for Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), with Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara vying for Best Screenplay. Stars Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz are all in the running for individual awards.

Meanwhile, Bradley Cooper’s A STAR IS BORN, a musical featuring Lady Gaga and Cooper himself, is also popular. It’s up for Best Motion Picture (Drama), with Cooper nominated for both Best Actor and Best Director. Gaga is in the running for Best Actress, and the song “Shallow” — which she co-wrote for the musical — is a contender for Best Original Song.

Could Superheroes Win Big?

Superhero films aren’t usually recognized at big awards shows outside of technical areas, but this year might change that. BLACK PANTHER was an unexpected hit with tremendous cultural relevance, grossing over $700 million at the domestic box office alone. Marvel has scored its first Best Picture (Drama) nomination with BLACK PANTHER, and the film is also competing for Best Original Score and Best Original Song.

The only other superhero film to break into the Globes Best Picture categories was 2016’s DEADPOOL, which was nominated for Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy). It’s thrilling news for Marvel Studios.

Controversial Decisions

Both A STAR IS BORN and BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY were submitted for Best Drama rather than Best Musical or Comedy. That’s a controversial decision. Both Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox argued that their movies are simply dramas that happen to feature music. They’re not quite dramas, but not quite musicals. Songs in each film exist in the “real world,” and that blurs the genre lines.

Like most award show categorizations, these are strategic decisions. A win in Best Musical or Comedy can nudge a film towards Oscar territory, but a win in Best Drama is more likely to make the Oscar bid a success. According to Five Thirty Eight, about half of Best Drama winners earn an Oscar, contrasting with only three winners in the Best Musical or Comedy category over the last 25 years.)

The Golden Globes will be awarded on January 6

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