Golden Globes 2016: EW TV critics Melissa Maerz and Jeff Jensen take on the …

11 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Explaining the Golden Globe and SAG Awards Nominations.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is known for playing by its own mysterious rules, and this year’s Golden Globe nominations proved no exception.Carol, a lesbian romance set in 1950s New York has topped nominations for the Golden Globes, with Australian movie Mad Max: Fury Road competing against the Cate Blanchett film for the top honour. The film, starring Blanchett as a housewife who falls for a store clerk played by Rooney Mara, earned five nominations, including for best motion picture drama film and its two star actresses.

That’s why this episode of Little Gold Men is dedicated to cutting through the confusion, as we dig into the snubs and surprises of the nominations and figure out just how many of them actually matter. The creamily sensuous Carol, Todd Haynes’s 1950s-set story of a love affair between an older and younger woman, played by Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, is in the race for best picture (drama) and Blanchett and Rooney both have acting nods. Netflix dominated the TV category with a total of eight nominations, closely followed by HBO – which now competes with an over-the-top service of its own. That’s alongside a very male film, Alejandro González Iñárittu’s The Revenant, with Leonardo DiCaprio’s 1820s mountain man obsessively tracking down the two men who left him for dead after he was mauled by a bear — and DiCaprio has a nomination. Epic lost-in-space film the Martian, investigative journalism flick Spotlight and Amy Schumer’s rom-com Trainwreck are also up for best film awards alongside Mad Max.

Peering ahead to the Academy awards, I am seeing Cate Blanchett, already a double-Oscar winner, pictured next to Oscar neophyte Leonardo DiCaprio, both holding up their statuettes. Hulu also only received a single nomination, though it has not invested as heavily in original content as its competitors, relying more on gaining streaming rights to networks’ current shows, as well as their archives. The nods were seen as a blatant signal that the HFPA cares more about hobnobbing with internationally friendly celebs than actually awarding projects based on their, you know, artistic merit. Nominees over the past few years have included “Her” and “My Week with Marilyn” — films with comedic moments, sure, but certainly not traditional comedies.

So it was a shock that Depp failed to snag a nomination this year for his role in the crime thriller Black Mass, which has actually garnered good reviews, at least for the actor’s portrayal of Boston gangster James (Whitey) Bulger – a role that was widely pegged as Depp’s comeback after years of middling work. HBO, which is now both a premium cable TV network and streaming service, earned nominations for “Veep” (2) and “Silicon Valley” (1), among others. If Depp can no longer count on his friends in the HFPA to help him out when he delivers a legitimately decent performance, then all is truly lost for Captain Jack Sparrow. 2. Timothy Gray, awards editor at industry magazine Variety, said the nominations reflected the cross-section of films in the running for this year’s prizes. “There is a wide range here when you’ve got Carol, which is this 1952 romance, or a film like Brooklyn, and then you’ve got Mad Max and The Martian which are big spectacles,” he said.

I’m all for some contrarianism and the Globes are renowned for rewarding the sunnier and popular movies that traditionally get crowded in awards seasons, but Bridge of Spies looks like the big snub, with nothing for Tom Hanks, although Mark Rylance gets a best supporting actor nod. While she was a likely nominee for her role as the wife of transgender artist Lili Elbe in “The Danish Girl,” it was quite a surprise to also see her recognized for her supporting performance in Alex Garland’s elegant thriller “Ex Machina,” where she plays the beguiling Artificial Intelligence creation Ava. Considering that Steve Jobs was considered to have tanked most royally at the box office, it is reassuring that this very good film has featured so prominently in this year’s Globes list, with acting nominations for Michael Fassbender and also Kate Winslet for her witty supporting turn as Jobs’s marketing manager. For decades, the fact that the Globes split best-picture nominees between dramas and comedies or musicals has sparked some serious head-scratching. (Is 2013’s Her a laugh riot? Mark Ruffalo gave one of the year’s finest performances in the ensemble drama “Spotlight” as the excitable reporter Michael Rezendes, but the HFPA went a different direction in honoring Ruffalo, picking out his performance as a bipolar adult in the little-seen indie “Infinitely Polar Bear.” In fact, “Spotlight” received no acting nominations from the HFPA despite its best drama nomination and its rising status as one of the Oscar race’s top contenders.

Netflix before had never led a Golden Globes or Emmy nomination tally, EW noted, referencing this significant upset, adding that the service’s rise was signaled earlier this week when it also topped HBO among SAG nominations. Veteran actress Charlotte Rampling has been a big part of the best actress conversation for her work in the affecting marital drama “45 Years,” but was locked out of the best actress, drama category, possibly because Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett were both nominated as leads in “Carol.” Carey Mulligan was also passed over in the category for “Suffragette.” Just like Rocky Balboa, Sylvester Stallone was considered a bit of an underdog in the awards race. Overall, what the list of award nominations shows is that streaming services’ content no longer just rivals that of TV broadcasters; it’s actually besting them in terms of quality of programming. For best actor in a drama, the nominees are Cranston, Redmayne, Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant, Michael Fassbender for Steve Jobs and Will Smith for Concussion, a story about a pathologist who diagnosed degenerative brain disease in American football players. I found Joy disappointing and tonally mismanaged, compared to his stylish American Hustle, although Jennifer Lawrence is certainly a commanding presence and is duly rewarded with her nomination.

In this categeory there is also Amy Schumer’s comedy Trainwreck about the hard-drinking singleton finding love; Schumer also gets a nomination in best actress (musical or comedy). In the best foreign movie category, four European films and one from Latin America made the cut — The Brand New Testament (Belgium/France/Luxembourg), The Club (Chile), The Fencer (Finland/Germany/Estonia), Mustang (France) and Son of Saul (Hungary). The network this fall released the film in a small group of theaters on the same day it appeared on Netflix, which allowed it to qualify for industry awards.

Somebody up there still likes Al Pacino: The actor’s drama Danny Collins came and went earlier this year, garnering a few lukewarm notices but not much else. The N.W.A biopic “Straight Outta Compton” got a boost on Wednesday when it was included among the Screen Actors Guild Award nominees for best ensemble drama. For what it’s worth, I personally would also have included in this category Sisters, the unpretentious comedy starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, ahead of Spy, Melissa McCarthy’s espionage romp.

While the nomination reveals the HFPA’s soft spot for aging icons, it also says a lot about the best-actor field this season, which is not nearly as strong as in previous years. 4. Streaming pioneer Netflix led the overall television nominations with eight, including two nods each for drug cartel drama Narcos and Orange is the New Black, a comedy set in a women’s prison. As far as serious acting goes, the Globe (as well as the Oscar and everything else) surely has to go to Saoirse Ronan for her wonderful lead performance in Brooklyn: a superb example of screen acting.

Welcome to the year of Alicia Vikander, again: The actress has been on a hot streak for seemingly the past three years, with magazine and newspaper profiles routinely touting her as an actress about to break. The other contenders are The Good Dinosaur, Shaun the Sheep Movie and Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie — all perfectly plausible candidates in their way, but surely outclassed by those two frontrunners.

So this year the Globes’ big successes look like coming from Carol, The Revenant, Brooklyn, The Martian, Spotlight and The Big Short, and I predict a headline win for DiCaprio/Blanchett.

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