LOS ANGELES — Golden Globes voters pulled the contentious comedy “Green Book” and the still-to-be-released Dick Cheney biopic “Vice” deeper into the Oscar race, while also embracing the critically acclaimed “A Star Is Born” and “The Favourite.”
Watertown High School and St. Lawrence University graduate Viggo Mortensen was nominated for best actor in a musical/comedy, while his film “Green Book” received five nominations overall. “Escape at Dannemora,” the Showtime drama chronicling the prison break in upstate New York in 2015 and filmed partly on location, received two nominations.
The largest number of movie nominations — six — went to Adam McKay’s “Vice,” including ones for best musical or comedy, director, actor (Christian Bale), supporting actress (Amy Adams), supporting actor (Sam Rockwell) and screenplay. Annapurna will release “Vice” on Christmas Day. Bradley Cooper’s blockbuster romance “A Star Is Born,” the cutting period comedy “The Favourite” and “Green Book” each received five nominations.
Only 88 people — an idiosyncratic bunch, to put it mildly — vote on the nominees and winner. Top prizes are split into dramatic and comedic categories, often in nonsensical ways. To double takes everywhere, Pia Zadora was once named New Star of the Year.
Here comes the tags-dangling-from-its-dress Golden Globes again.
To be fair, the group behind the Globes, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, has become more serious in recent years. Studio executives complain that members are less easy to manipulate. And the frothy, fast-moving Globes show has lately held up better than the bloated Oscars with TV viewers.
And yet …
In a head-scratching policy for an awards stop adjudicated by reporters from overseas, foreign-language films are ineligible for the marquee best picture categories. So don’t look for much guidance on the Oscar fortunes of “Roma,” Alfonso Cuarón’s blissfully reviewed epic that has become a lightning rod in Hollywood because it comes from Netflix, which only gives films token theatrical releases. (Cuarón was nominated for best screenplay and best director.)
Movie fans may also be confused by the inclusion of “A Star Is Born” in the best drama category. The romantic remake is plenty dramatic, but the Globes has a whole category specifically for musicals and comedies. “A Star Is Born” has lots of singing, and the 1976 version starring Barbra Streisand won the Globe for best musical. What’s the deal this time around? It boils down to category shopping: “A Star Is Born” consultants asked the press association to not consider it a musical, since the dramatic category is seen as having more heft.
Here are four more things to consider about the Globes nominations.
A green light on ‘Green Book’
A parade of films ended up with a lone nomination. That’s how Globes voters roll: Spread the love.
But the contentious “Green Book,” adored by some for its feel-good depiction of interracial friendship while leaving others appalled for its reliance on racial clichés, emerged as a factor in five categories, including Viggo Mortensen’s lead acting, Mahershala Ali’s supporting work, best screenplay and best musical or comedy.
Tracking the Disney scorecard
Walt Disney Studios, despite its box-office brawn, has never been much of an awards force outside of animation. (Unless you count the years it owned Miramax, which functioned as a rogue planet.) This year, however, Disney has “Mary Poppins Returns,” which has not yet been reviewed by critics — it doesn’t arrive in theaters until Dec. 19 — but has been generating glowing advance buzz and received a nod for best musical or comedy, along with acting nominations for Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda. “Black Panther,” the global blockbuster that is considered a serious Oscar contender, was nominated for best drama.
By the time the Globes ceremony arrives, Disney may also have closed its $71.3 billion acquisition of most of 21st Century Fox. That would make Disney the owner of Fox Searchlight, which received six nominations for its saucy period film “The Favourite.” Searchlight landed nominations for Richard E. Grant and Melissa McCarthy in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” and Robert Redford’s performance in “The Old Man & the Gun.”
Another Fox studio going to Disney is behind “Bohemian Rhapsody,” starring Rami Malek, who received a best actor nomination for his toothy performance as Freddie Mercury.
‘Vice’ makes its move
This Dick Cheney biopic, starring Christian Bale and directed and written by Adam McKay (“The Big Short”), has been hanging back. It won’t arrive in theaters until Christmas Day. But “Vice” has now made its break.
Globe voters recognized Bale for his acting, Amy Adams for her supporting turn as Lynne Cheney and Sam Rockwell — a winner last year for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” — for his portrayal of George W. Bush. “Vice” was also nominated for best musical or comedy contest and for best screenplay.
The TV contingent is strong
Because the press association’s nominations arrive as Oscar voters are gearing up for their own selection process, the movie-related Globe categories receive most of the attention. But the truth is that the Globes ceremony draws much of its power from TV stars — and the desire by voters to be tastemakers by throwing their weight behind fledgling series. In recent years, the Globes have helped put streaming-service shows like “Transparent” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” on the map.
In the best television drama category, newcomers receiving nominations included the thriller “Killing Eve,” starring Sandra Oh as a security services operative; the boisterous “Pose,” the latest FX hit from Ryan Murphy; and “Homecoming,” a cerebral thriller starring Julia Roberts.
One reminder: Two stalwarts, “Game of Thrones” and “Stranger Things,” were not eligible this time around because no new episodes of either series aired in 2018.
Among comedies, awards handicappers predict that it’s going to be hard to unseat the reigning winner, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Newcomers among the nominees include “Barry,” the off-kilter HBO series starring the also-nominated Bill Hader and Henry Winkler, and “The Kominsky Method” from Amazon, which also snagged nominations for its stars, Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin.
To read the entire list of nominees, visit http://wdt.me/gg2018.