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For the first time, the Critics Choice Awards collided with the Golden Globes nominations. Moving up the 22nd Broadcast Critics’ event from its traditional date (the night of the January Oscar nominations announcement) to mid-December was designed to increase the impact of the critics’ kudos, which aired live Sunday on A&E. What happened is that the smaller upstart was upstaged.
It would be nice to think that the 300-strong American Broadcast Film Critics could compete with some 90 idiosyncratic Hollywood Foreign Press. But they aren’t there yet. All the people assembled in the chilly Barker Hanger at the Santa Monica Airport for the Critics’ Choice Awards — for both TV and film — had the bigger, flashier awards show (set to air on NBC on January 8 during Oscar nominations primetime) on their minds.
Whatever happened at the Critics’ Choice Awards, everyone was speculating about what would happen the following morning at the tables for the night’s big film winners — dramas “La La Land,” with eight wins, including Picture, Director Damien Chazelle, a Screenplay tie with “Manchester by the Sea,” and a rash of technical categories; “Manchester by the Sea” with Best Actor Casey Affleck continuing his roll and Best Young Actor Lucas Hedges (who gave a more polished speech than his bearded costar); Best Ensemble and Supporting Actor Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”); surprise “Jackie” Best Actress winner Natalie Portman (beating out Emma Stone and recent winner Isabelle Huppert); and “Fences” Supporting Actress Viola Davis, who earned a rousing standing ovation from the Barker Hanger.
While Affleck and Ali are also Globe and Oscar frontrunners in their respective categories — Best Actress is a more contested race — it’s safe to say that Davis will win Best Supporting Actress on Oscar night.
The trick with the Critics’ Choice and Golden Globes is to recognize that they have extra slots that the Oscars do not. So while many of the the same films scored Golden Globes nominations Monday morning — the HFPA slotted “La La Land” in the Musical/Comedy category, where it led with seven nominations, followed by dramas “Moonlight” with six and “Manchester by the Sea” with five — that doesn’t mean that all Globe nominees will wind up with Oscar nods.
Not necessarily making it all the way to Oscar nominations: “The Lobster,” “Rules Don’t Apply,” “Nocturnal Animals,” “Miss Sloane,” “Captain Fantastic,” “The Edge of Seventeen,” “Gold,” “Florence Foster Jenkins,” “Deadpool,” “Sing Street” and “War Dogs.”
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As usual, the Weinstein Co. worked their wiles on the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, landing five nods, including a Drama nomination for “Lion” as well as supporting players Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel and a Musical slot for “Sing Street” and a surprise song mention for Steve Gaghan’s “Gold,” which has so far gone unmentioned during awards season.
Lionsgate is in fine fettle, scoring 13 nominations (including Summit), with not only dominant title “La La Land,” which continues to outpace its two prime Oscar competitors “Moonlight” (A24) and “Manchester by the Sea” (Amazon Studios/Roadside Attractions), but “Hacksaw Ridge,” which is showing strength, winning a Critics’ Choice prize for Andrew Garfield as Best Action Star, and scoring three Globe nominations for Drama, Mel Gibson for Director and Andrew Garfield for Actor.
Surprisingly, Paramount did not land Drama or Director Globe slots for “Arrival,” which landed just Score for Johann Johannsson and Actress for Amy Adams (Critics’ Choice director nominee Denis Villeneuve and Adapted Screenplay winner Eric Heisserer could still move onto Oscar nominations), or “Fences,” which nabbed acting slots for Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. Also shut out of Drama, Director and Screenplay was Jeff Nichols’ “Loving,” which settled for acting slots for Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga.
While the Globes have an international flavor, they recognized not only Irish actress Negga for African-American drama (“Loving”), but August Wilson’s “Fences,” with acting bids for Washington and Davis, and NASA true story “Hidden Figures” (Fox), which landed Globes spots for Score and Supporting Actress Octavia Spencer (over costar Janelle Monae, who attended the Critics’ Choice Awards with her “Moonlight” crew).
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Garfield, who is also strong in Martin Scorsese’s “Silence,” continues to move forward toward an Oscar nomination for “Hacksaw Ridge.” (It remains unlikely that the Academy directors are ready to forgive Mel Gibson.) But Clint Eastwood’s “Sully,” which came home empty-handed on Critics’ Choice night, was snubbed by the Globes, with no Drama, Director or Best Actor mentions for Tom Hanks, who may yet turn up on Oscar nominations morning. Instead, Viggo Mortensen of “Captain Fantastic” nabbed a Globes Drama mention, adding some juice to his bid for an Oscar.
CBS Films’ Texas western “Hell or High Water,” the highest-grossing indie of the year, which took home no wins at the Critics’ Choice event, continues to move forward, landing three Globe nominations for Drama, Screenplay and Supporting Actor Jeff Bridges.
Winning Best VFX at the Choice Awards was Disney’s “The Jungle Book,” which is steady as they go until it gets blasted by the Force with Disney/Lucasfilm competitor “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” which wasn’t screened in time for these awards groups.
On the foreign film front, Globes nominee “Divines” is not an official Oscar submission, but Paul Verhoeven’s French entry “Elle” (the Critics’ Choice winner), Pablo Larrain’s “Neruda” (Chile), Asghar Farhadi’s “The Salesman” (Iran) and Maren Ade’s “Toni Erdmann” (Germany) got nice boosts on the week that the Oscar foreign committee submits its final votes.
On the animated side, artfully silent “The Red Turtle” was shut out in favor of Disney’s current Oscar frontrunner “Zootopia” (which won the Critics’ Choice Award), Disney’s “Moana,” which also scored a song nomination for Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s “How Far I’ll Go,” DreamWorks Animation’s “Trolls,” Focus Features’ Laika stop-motion feature “Kubo and the Two Strings,” Swiss Oscar entry “My Life as a Zucchini” and Universal’s Illumination musical “Sing.”
While “La La Land” composer Justin Hurwitz took home Score and Song (hummable “City of Stars”) from the Critics’ Choice Awards, at the Globes, again, it was “City of Stars” that landed a Song nomination. A second song, “Audition,” is still in the running for an Oscar nomination. Assuming they both land slots, they could split the vote and leave Miranda the winner — and get him EGOT status.
The 74th Golden Globe Awards, hosted by Jimmy Fallon, will take place on Sunday, January 8, 2017 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel and be broadcast on NBC.