The Golden Globes: Highlights

The first of this year’s major movie awards shows, the 75th Golden Globes, took place on Sunday in Los Angeles. Quite rightly, the films took a back seat with all eyes focusing on the scandals that have rocked Hollywood in the past six months, following multiple revelations of sexual abuse and misconduct. Most of the female participants wore black in support of the Time’s Up campaign, showing solidarity with victims of sexual assault and harassment.

Voted for by the Hollywood Foreign Press – an organisation of LA-based journalists the Globes can be a good indicator of the way the Oscars will unfold. Last year saw Moonlight win Best Motion Picture – in the drama category – before it triumphed at the Academy Awards.  This year, it was the turn of Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri to set the pace, winning four awards including Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Screenplay.

With the Globes’ bizarre quirk of also running a Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical category, this year it went to Greta Gerwig’s coming-of-age film Lady Bird (a film that’s neither a comedy or musical, its due in the UK in February). Does this mean Lady Bird is the strongest contender against Three Billboards at the Oscars? Probably not, although low-key indies – think Beasts of the Southern Wild or Little Miss Sunshine – often get their moment in the Academy spotlight.

The Best Actor/Actress honours in the drama category were predictable. Britain’s Gary Oldman for his spot-on Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, released this week in the UK, and Frances McDormand for her powerful work as an anger-fuelled mother in Three Billboards are surely unassailable when it comes to the Oscars. Allison Janney, winning in the Best Supporting Actress category would also seem a shoo-in for her vile mother in ice skating biopic I, Tonya.

As for the others, Three Billboards’ Sam Rockwell was a surprise as Best Supporting Actor. James Franco was a popular winner for The Disaster Artist in the Best Actor – Comedy/Musical section (offering some vindication for his real-life subject, flop director Tommy Wiseau). Claiming Best Actress – Comedy/Musical for Lady Bird, Irish star Saoirse Ronan was also a popular choice. Neither, however, should trouble Oldman or McDormand at the Academy Awards.

What of the films that missed out? Christopher Nolan’s war movie Dunkirk and Steven Spielberg’s The Post both went home empty-handed, although you suspect Nolan’s film will pick up awards in technical categories, both at the upcoming BAFTAs (where it just gained eight nominations) and the Oscars. With the most number of nominations (seven), Guillermo del Toro’s forthcoming fantasy The Shape of Water also could feel aggrieved, despite claiming Best Director and Best Score for Alexandre Desplat. The race is truly on…

James Mottram

1. Still from Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird.