Oscars Watch 2017: The Less-Depressing Campaign: Do The Golden Globes Matter?

It was the Globes last night, the show pony of Hollywood Awards! We all got together to make some jokes, let the booze flow free, and hand out awards from a small shadowy cabal.

One of the more ironic jokes of the evening was Jimmy Fallon remarking that it’s one of the few places America still respects the popular vote (which I saw on Twitter because I didn’t actually watch the ceremonies, I was seeing Silence instead) because Golden Globes is the major ceremony that hews far far away from the popular vote.

Repeat after me: THE HFPA IS A SMALL SHADOWY CABAL THAT HAS A VERY AMBIGUOUS MEMBERSHIP. THEIR CHOICES ARE ONLY MILDLY REFLECTIVE OF THE LARGER CONVERSATION AS A WHOLE.

It’s really way closer to Critics’ Awards than something like the Oscars which has a far larger voting body and far different composition. You can get a sense of which way the wind is blowing, but that’s really it. It can confirm narratives, it won’t necessarily create or alter them. So, let’s take a look.

Best picture, drama: “Moonlight”
Best picture, comedy or musical: “La La Land”
Actress, drama: Isabelle Huppert, “Elle”
Actor, drama: Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”
Actress, comedy or musical: Emma Stone, “La La Land”
Actor, comedy or musical: Ryan Gosling, “La La Land”
Supporting actress: Viola Davis, “Fences”
Supporting actor: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, “Nocturnal Animals”
Director: Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”
Screenplay: Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”
Animated film: “Zootopia”
Foreign language film: “Elle” (France)
Original score: Justin Hurwitz, “La La Land”
Original song: “City of Stars,” “La La Land”

First thing you’re going to notice is how many times La La Land appears on that list. I’m certainly not displeased with that, though no one should be all that surprised that the HFPA specifically loves this movie. It legitimately swept, winning every award it was nominated for, and I think it deserves damn near all of them. Minus Screenplay, which is the only part of the film where I think there are other works that clearly overcome it.

But the bigger function of this sweep is to make the film community unbearable for the next month as we leap to tear down the frontrunner as for no reason but to flagellate ourselves as martyrs for good taste. 2016 is the first year that has produced legitimately staggering works of art that have placed themselves as Award season frontrunners, why not celebrate that? This is one of the few years where no matter which of the frontrunners wins, we all win, and we seem to be completely looking past that.

Other than that, the surprises are minimal. I’ll admit that Aaron Taylor-Johnson is absolutely baffling, as the guy was fine, but not even the best supporting actor in that film, much less better than the others in the category. But every other award seems to fall in line with the general direction of Awards Season right now.

The only other real twist was the awards for Elle, a movie I unfortunately still haven’t had the chance to see. While it can’t repeat its total win tonight (given that Elle didn’t make the shortlist for the Oscars), the momentum seems (in my mind) to be shifting towards Huppert and away from Portman, who seems to have largely disappeared from much of the Awards conversation. Though to be fair, pretty much everyone in Lead Actress who isn’t Huppert and Emma Stone has pretty much dropped out. A much different race than I anticipated.

I also think this is the key shift for Casey Affleck, moving him to the clearer frontrunner over Denzel. It’s been an ambiguous race, but Denzel hasn’t picked up the momentum that Viola Davis has.

This is also all the confirmation I need to favor Zootopia for Best Animated. It’s been winning a lot of smaller awards, but this is a big one, and Moana and Kubo are getting no momentum as competitors, much less Finding Dory. 

Will we see this again at the Oscars? Probably, but not because of the Golden Globes. I think we’ll see more wins for Moonlight and Manchester, but other than that, I think we’re in for a La La Land heavy evening. Put your bets there.

And for TV, why not?

Best series, drama: “The Crown,” Netflix
Best series, comedy or musical: “Atlanta,” FX
Best television movie or mini-series: “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” FX
Actress, mini-series or television movie: Sarah Paulson, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
Actor, mini-series or television movie: Tom Hiddleston, “The Night Manager”
Actress, drama: Claire Foy, “The Crown”
Actor, drama: Billy Bob Thornton, “Goliath”
Actress, comedy or musical: Tracee Ellis Ross, “black-ish”
Actor, comedy or musical: Donald Glover, “Atlanta”
Supporting actress: Olivia Colman, “The Night Manager”
Supporting actor: Hugh Laurie, “The Night Manager”

Did anyone watch The Night Manager? Honestly? Why did this thing win so much, who saw it? Like I’m glad Oliva Colman is winning awards, she’s a wonderful supporting actress who deserves all the awards ever, but just…why is this all happening? The HFPA must be the only group who liked it.

Yay for double Donald Glover wins, Atlanta is amazing. Yay for Tracee Ellis Ross. Yay for American Crime Story. I guess I need to keep trying to push through The Crown, it’s gonna be an Emmy player. What the hell is Goliath? 

Alright, we’re two weeks away from the nominations. Time to update the Category Calls.

Category Calls

This week, we’re gonna start making real calls. That’s right, I’m gonna guess what I think the frontrunner is in the category.

Best Picture:

La La Land
Moonlight
Manchester by the Sea
Fences
Hidden Figures
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Arrival
Lion
Silence

  • La La Land is the frontrunner here. Just barely. Moonlight is hot on its heels and the right campaign could swing it back up front.
  • I’m taking out Loving which seems to have largely disappeared from the Awards season narrative. I thought it was going to be a favorite, but it just appears quiet.
  • This is the only ranked list. The higher up, the more likely it is to actually end up being nominated.

Best Actor:

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Tom Hanks, Sully
Denzel Washington, Fences

  • Same as BP, Loving is pretty much out of the conversation.
  • So, welcome back Tom Hanks! I think you make a lot of sense here.

Best Supporting Actor:

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins
Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel, Lion

  • Hedges is picking up more momentum and Costner seems to be making people unable to give a shit, so welcome Hedges. I’m thrilled you’re here.
  • Issei Ogata not being here is a crime. More on that soon.

Best Actress:

Annette Benning, 20th Century Women
Isabelle Huppert, Elle 
Ruth Negga, Loving
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Emma Stone, La La Land

  • I still refuse to put Meryl Streep in. I’m probably wrong, but she does not deserve a spot for Florence Foster Jenkins. 

Best Supporting Actress: 

Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Janelle Monae, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

  • Monae over Spencer dammit!

Best Director:

Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
David Mackenzie, Hell or High Water
Martin Scorsese, Silence

  • Denzel Washington is gone here, I think Fences is just not what the Academy is feeling this year in terms of direction.
  • So I took a dice roll. I’m kinda feeling Hell or High Water hitting a little harder than we’re expecting.

Best Original Screenplay:

20th Century Women
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
The Lobster

  • Shakeup here. Moonlight officially moves to Adapted in a break with the WGA, clearing the way for Manchester by the Sea to take the award.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Arrival
Fences
Hidden Figures
Moonlight
Silence

  • Moonlight moving here locks up the Adapted race.

Best Original Song: 

“Runnin’” – Hidden Figures
“Audition (The Fools Who Dream) – La La Land
City of Stars” – La La Land
“How Far I’ll Go” – Moana
Can’t Stop the Feeling” – Trolls

Best Animated Feature Film:

Finding Dory
Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
The Red Turtle
Zootopia

Best Documentary:

13th
Fire at Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
OJ Made in America
Weiner

Best Foreign Language Film:

Land of Mine
A Man Called Ove
Tanna
Toni Erdmann
The Salesman

Best Visual Effects:

The BFG
Doctor Strange
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
The Jungle Book
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best Makeup and Hairstyling:

Deadpool
A Man Called Ove
Star Trek Beyond

Next Week: We finish off with  the Below the Line awards (Cinematography, Costume Design, Editing, Production Design, and Sound) and make our final calls going into the official nominations.

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