It is award season. I have seen most of the heavy hitters this year. Notable exceptions are, The Two Popes, 1917, Dolemite is my Name, and Bombshell. These are not my predictions, these are my thoughts on the Golden Globe selections in film.
The Golden Globes split the best picture award into two categories, Drama and Musical/Comedy. The Farewell and Parasite are both missing. The globes tend to favor US-made movies with English as the primary language, but these are massive misses. Little Women was also left off the list, perhaps because of male bias in the selection committee. Not one of the nominated movies has a female director. It is time for male directors to call out award selection committees for snubbing their female peers. The best director category is all men, with Bong Joon Ho being the only one that is non-white. Todd Phillips shouldn’t have been nominated because of the statements he made around Joker. He should not be rewarded for his bad attitude towards the #metoo movement. His direction wasn’t novel, it was a poor recreation of Taxidriver.
The best screenplay category isn’t any better than the best picture or director. Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won are the only non-white male nominees. I didn’t like The Irishman as a movie and I don’t think Steven Zaillian should have been included for his adaptation. The globes do not split the screenplay between adapted and original. Perhaps if there were more nominees there may have been some women; Greta Gerwig or Lulu Wang perhaps?
The best Foreign Language category is very strong between The Farewell and Parasite. Portrait of a Lady on Fire is about a same-sex relationship. Foreign Language films continue to prove that novel stories and new directors are magical. These films need wider releases and more audience support.
The Best Actress categories are solid. I have only seen Scarlett Johansson and Saoirse Ronan on the drama side. I hope Ronan wins for her excellent work under Gerwig’s direction. On the Musical/Comedy side both Awkwafina and Beanie Feldstein get much-deserved nods. Booksmart flew under the radar but was a wonderful female answer to Superbad. I can’t get enough Awkwafina; she saved Jumanji. Her performance in The Farewell was perfect. She has a tremendous range and needs to keep appearing on the screen. Ana de Armas was also wonderful in Knives out, but Awkwafina should take this award home.
On the male side of best performances, I am glad to see Christian Bale was included. He helped make Ford v Ferrari a movie for more than car geeks. I didn’t like Joker, so I hope Joaquin Phoenix doesn’t take this prize home. In the comedy/musical category, it is a stacked field. Daniel Craig was hilarious as he channeled his inner Colonel Sanders. Roman Griffin Davis was a fun newcomer in Jojo Rabbit. I want to see more of his work, especially if he works with Taika Waititi. Leonardo DiCaprio was his usual great self under Tarantino’s direction. Taron Egerton played the larger than life Elton John to perfection. Rocketman was better than Yesterday and Bohemian Rhapsody. Taron also didn’t need distracting prosthetics to slip into character.
The animated picture category is missing Lego 2 and Pets 2, both of which are better than Dragon 3 and Lion King. Lion King was certainly not live-action, but it doesn’t really fit well into this category. I think Toy Story 4 deserves the win, but it was a step down from Toy Story 3. This year's animation slate wasn’t great. I still feel that Lego Batman was snubbed a few years ago for not getting nominations; it is my favorite Batman movie.
There is still work for award shows to do. White males continue to dominate while female and minority writers and directors are not getting the recognition that they deserve. I highly doubt the Oscars are going to break any new ground this year. They will probably mirror the Golden Globes and get the best picture wrong for yet another year.