Golden Globe Nominations Feature Wide Mix

Posted December 11, 2017 9:46 a.m. EST

— The Golden Globes ceremony will be broadcast live on NBC on Jan. 7.

— “The Shape of Water,” “The Post,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” and “Lady Bird” all received multiple nominations.

— In the TV categories, expected nominees like “Big Little Lies” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” were joined by newcomers like “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

Golden Globes voters nominated an unusually wide mix of movies on Monday, pulling smaller dramas like “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” deeper into the Oscar race, throwing support to Ridley Scott’s last-minute effort to erase Kevin Spacey from “All the Money in the World” and embracing diversity among the nominees.

The largest number of nominations — seven — went to Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy “The Shape of Water,” including ones for best drama, director, actress (Sally Hawkins), supporting actress (Octavia Spencer) and supporting actor (Richard Jenkins.) Close behind with six apiece were “The Post,” a Watergate-era drama about the struggles of Katharine Graham to lead The Washington Post, and “Three Billboards,” about a mother (Frances McDormand, a nominee for best actress) who pushes local authorities to investigate her daughter’s murder.

The other nominees for best drama were “Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan’s World War II epic, and the gay romance “Call Me by Your Name.”

Long seen as the most unserious stop on Hollywood’s awards circuit, the Golden Globes are handed out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group of mostly freelance journalists, only 89 of whom vote. Studios see members as easy to manipulate, a reputation the group contends is long outdated. (A lawsuit in 2011 alleged payola and kickbacks. The organization settled out of court.)

And top prizes are split into dramatic and comedic categories, often in confounding ways. This time around, the satirical horror film “Get Out” was nominated in the best musical or comedy category. (Its backers at Universal submitted it there, hoping to improve its chances, creating an internet brush fire last month.) “Get Out” will compete against the P.T. Barnum musical “The Greatest Showman”; the figure-skating dark comedy “I, Tonya”; the movie-about-a-movie “The Disaster Artist”; and Greta Gerwig’s coming-of-age comedic drama “Lady Bird.

But timing is everything in show business, and Academy Award voters (some 8,400) cannot help but pay attention to the Globes, which are bestowed in the middle of the Oscar nomination process. The 75th Globes ceremony will be hosted by Seth Meyers and broadcast live on NBC on Jan. 7. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce Oscar nominations Jan. 23.

The Oscar race — the first in nearly 30 years without Harvey Weinstein pulling strings — has so far been a free-for-all, with “The Post,” “Dunkirk,” “Call Me by Your Name,” “Lady Bird” and others jockeying for position.

Among television categories, “HBO’s “Big Little Lies” was the one to beat, taking six nominations, including for best limited series and all four of its actresses — Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman in the lead category and Laura Dern and Shailene Woodley in supporting.

Best drama candidates were the usual suspects: “Game of Thrones,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Stranger Things,” “This Is Us” and “The Crown.” Best comedy nominations went to “Will & Grace,” “black-ish,” “Master of None” — all expected — and two new series: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” on Amazon (the latest from the “Gilmore Girls” creator Amy Sherman-Palladino) and “SMILF,” a Showtime series that stars Frankie Shaw as a working-class single mother in Boston.

The nominations were announced by Alfre Woodard, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Bell and Sharon Stone in a pre-dawn presentation at the Beverly Hilton Hotel timed for the East Coast-based morning news shows. The press association handed out Champagne before 5 a.m. Pacific Time to toast the 75th anniversary of the awards.

— ‘The Post’ Makes Headlines

This Watergate-era drama about the famed publisher of The Washington Post, Katharine Graham, has been trying to hang back: It won’t arrive in wide release until Jan. 12. But early buzz has been strong — the National Board of Review named it the best film of the year — and Globe voters could turn “The Post” white hot. It received nominations in the big four categories: best drama, director (Steven Spielberg), actress (Meryl Streep) and actor (Tom Hanks).

“The Post” also picked up nominations for its screenplay, written by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer, and the score by John Williams.

— Plenty of Contenders for Best Director

Because the press association gives a prize for best drama and best comedy, Hollywood often looks to directing nominees for clues about what film truly rose to the top at the Globes. Joining Spielberg was Nolan, the force behind “Dunkirk.” Also nominated were del Toro, who directed “The Shape of Water,” a fantasy focused on a mute janitor and her romance with a mysterious merman; and Scott, who reshot portions of “All the Money in the World” after he replaced Spacey with Christopher Plummer. Plummer received a nomination for best supporting actor.

Martin McDonagh, who wrote and directed “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” rounded out the category.

— Diversity Remains an Issue

If you trust the handicappers at Gold Derby, an entertainment honors site, this year’s Academy Award nominations could be #OscarsSoWhite all over again. The prognosticators indicate there’s a possibility that only the supporting actress category would feature an actor of color: Mary J. Blige, for her sagacious matriarch in “Mudbound,” a Netflix drama about racial tension in rural Mississippi in the 1940s.

She received a nomination Monday and was joined in the best supporting actress category by Hong Chau, a scene stealer in “Downsizing,” and Octavia Spencer, a former Oscar winner who is featured in “The Shape of Water.”

Daniel Kaluuya, who helped propel “Get Out” to box office heights, was nominated for best actor in a musical or comedy.

— A Repeat of the Emmys?

Globe voters like to make agenda-setting choices with their television awards. They paid early attention to “Transparent,” “Mr. Robot” and “The Crown,” helping to catapult those series into the cultural firmament. But Emmys voters may have beaten them to the punch this year.

At the most recent Emmy Awards, multiple trophies went to rookie shows like “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Big Little Lies,” both of which are also received numerous Globe nominations. But Globe voters also bestowed multiple nominations on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”