By JAKE COYLE – Japan Today
After widespread criticism forced the organization that puts on the Golden Globes to lose its televised award show and overhaul its membership, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association nevertheless went ahead announcing nominees for film and television awards on Monday despite a skeptical entertainment industry.
Just as it’s done for many years, the HFPA gathered reporters at the Beverly Hilton to announce its picks for the 79th Golden Globes. But this time, there was no nationally televised morning-show live spot or any immediate celebrity celebrations. Hollywood mostly shrugged.
The HFPA, which usually has a handful of movie stars make their announcement, turned instead to Snoop Dogg, who read the nominees behind sunglasses and a red hat during a live stream on the Globes’ YouTube page. The majority of studios, public relations firms and A-list talent haven’t engaged much this year with the group, which dropped its usual requirement that films be submitted for consideration. Critics have said it’s too soon for the HFPA to return to business as usual. Some would rather see the Globes be gone for good.
But the press association tried to maintain its perch in awards season on Monday, spreading nominations around to the likes of Will Smith (“King Richard”), Kristen Stewart (“Spencer”), ”West Side Story” breakthrough Rachel Zegler, Leonardo DiCaprio (“Don’t Look Up”), Denzel Washington (“The Tragedy of Macbeth”), Ben Affleck (“The Tender Bar”) and Lady Gaga (“House of Gucci”).
The nominees for best picture, drama, went to Jane Campion’s gothic Western “The Power of the Dog,” Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic “Dune,” the family drama “CODA,” Reinaldo Marcus Green’s tennis biopic “King Richard” and Kenneth Branagh’s autobiographical “Belfast.”
The comedy or musical picks for best picture were: Adam McKay’s apocalyptic comedy “Don’t Look Up,” Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘70s ode to San Fernando Valley “Licorice Pizza,” Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story,” Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Tick, Tick … Boom!” and Joe Wright’s “Cyrano.”
“Belfast” and “The Power of the Dog” tied for the most nominations with seven apiece. Netflix dominated the film nominees with 17 nods in total. HBO’s “Succession” led the TV side with five nominations, including nods for best drama and best actor in a drama series for recent New Yorker profile subject Jeremy Strong.
Normally, such honors would set off a flurry of delight from early-roused nominees and their studios — an awards triumph to be trumpeted on social media and in calls with reporters. On Monday morning, no nominee immediately celebrated — publicly, at least.
The press association claims that in the nine months since its 2021 show, it has remade itself. “HFPA 2.0,” recently elected president Helen Hoehne has said. The group has added a chief diversity officer; overhauled its board; inducted 21 new members, including six Black journalists; brought in the NAACP on a five-year partnership; and updated its code of conduct.
“This has been a year of change and reflection for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association,” Hoehne said Monday.
All of that came after a Los Angeles Times’ expose detailed some of the HFPA’s unethical behavior and revealed that its 87 voting members didn’t include one Black journalist. Studios said they would boycott the Globes and more than 100 PR films said their clients wouldn’t participate until the HFPA swiftly implemented “profound and lasting change.” Tom Cruise returned his three Globes to the group’s headquarters.
NBC, the Globes’ longtime telecaster, has said it won’t air the 2022 Globes because “change of this magnitude takes time and work.” The Globes have still set a date of January 9 but haven’t shared any details about what kind of ceremony that would be.
The Critics Choice Awards have sought to fill the void, even seeking to secure the Globes’ usual home at the Beverly Hilton for its telecast. That bid failed but the Critics Choice Awards will likewise take place on Jan. 9, airing on TBS and the CW. The Critics Choice Awards also announced their nominees Monday, with “Belfast” and “West Side Story” leading with 11 nods each.
Much of the Globes’ power has always resided in its lively telecast, regularly one of the most-watched non-sports broadcasts of the year. The Globes also serve as a promotional tool for many of the awards-hopefuls hitting theaters in December. But this year, few expect to see ads and TV commercials trumpeting a film’s Golden Globes nominations.