Award season for Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters and the industry’s hidden gems kicked off with the 76th annual Golden Globes. While Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg held down the fort at the Beverly Hilton hotel, the fortune-telling Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) managed to sneak in shockers during the night.
While some of those surprises were head-scratchers, last weekend’s Critics’ Choice Awards either added fuel to the fire or extinguished any doubts about awards down the road.
Glenn Close: It seemed like every arrow was pointing toward Lady Gaga to grace the stage for her second Golden Globe as an actress, but the HFPA had other plans.
The red carpet shows raved about Lady Gaga’s performance in “A Star is Born,” but didn’t consider Close’s worthiness on screen.
While Lady Gaga’s performance is the most well-known from the group, considering that the film had the most commercial success of the Critics’ Choice nominations, Close was able to remind both the press and critics with “The Wife” that she shouldn’t be underestimated.
Because of her puzzling underdog status heading into award season, Close is one of the biggest winners for stunning the naysayers.
“Roma”: The visual artistry that trickles through the screen in Netflix’s “Roma” warrants the praise it has been receiving, as it uses captivating storytelling to illustrate the political and societal struggles of women in Mexico during the 1970s.
Alfonso Cuarón frames the personal battles of his mother and housekeeper in an unusual perspective — by making the audience feel like they are in the scene, rather than watching a performance.
The black-and-white film has racked up six awards (Best Director, Best Foreign Language movie, Best Picture) between the Golden Globes and Critics Choice, and will only add to the collection over the next month.
Cuarón will without a doubt continue the trend of Mexican-born directors winning big at the Oscars.
Christian Bale: Disappearing into the role of former Vice President Dick Cheney, Bale is unrecognizable in “Vice.” From the get-go, Bale was going to be a front-runner in the Best Actor category. When it comes to method acting, he’s the male version of Meryl Streep.
As the categories narrow down approaching the Oscars, it’ll be the battle between Bale and Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”) for best performance by a leading actor.
But Bale will come out on top, since his portrayal of a deeply flawed and deeply polarizing person captivated audiences.
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”: The foul-mouthed stand-up comedian will have new material next season after getting snubbed by the HFPA in the Best TV series – Musical or Comedy category.
While the critics did award the Amazon Prime series for Best Comedy Series, it’s hard to understand how the HFPA bypassed the grit, humor and whimsical narrative for anything else.
Alex Borstein: If Rachel Brosnahan won for Best Actress as the titular character in “Mrs. Maisel,” Borstein deserved an award for Best Supporting Actress. Although she was stealing the spotlight rather than supporting anyone in it, Borstein was served justice at the Critics’ Choice Awards.
The HFPA went 1-3 with “Mrs. Maisel,” but maybe the cosmopolitans and champagne hit a lot sooner than voting members anticipated.
“All The Stars” (“Black Panther”): The commercial success of Kendrick Lamar and SZA’s collaboration didn’t seal an entertainment award for one of the best songs in one of the best albums in 2018. The African beats coupled with hip-hop rhythm and pensive lyrics don’t fit the mold of classical or musical theater.
The Golden Globes had a chance to welcome a new breed of music that can be stereotyped in the entertainment world, but opted for Lady Gaga’s “Shallow” in “A Star is Born.”
Lamar, a Pulitzer Prize winner, deserved better.
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (Best Animated Film): With a relatively short time in theaters (released nationwide on Dec. 14), the different variations of the web-slinger wrapped itself around audiences and critics. Being the seventh Spider-Man film since 2002, it finally felt like a comic book came to life.
The other films in the category are forgettable, so much so that a Google search was needed to remember the plots. A superhero film receiving award recognition that isn’t for visual effects or sound mixing seems to be rare, but Sony’s spider-people may soon change that narrative as the most coveted awards approach.
Two sets of ties: Indecisiveness isn’t appealing, it’s a cop out. Close and Lady Gaga tied for Best Actress in a Motion Picture, while Amy Adams and Patricia Arquette tied for Best Actress in a movie made for TV or limited series. Both ties occured at the Critics’ Choice Awards and neither one of the ties was justified.
Now, the euphoria of winning an award is shined on the tie rather than the performance. For a group known as being knit-picky, it’s head-scratching why they couldn’t decide which performance was better than the other.
Sandra Oh: Paging Doctor Yang, “Killing Eve” isn’t dead. Since last accepting an award in 2006 for her performance in “Grey’s Anatomy,” Oh has upstaged some of Hollywood’s biggest heavy hitters this award season.
As one of the lesser-known shows among the bunch, the eight-episode performance was the underdog to Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tales”), Julia Roberts (“Homecoming”) and Elizabeth Olsen (“Sorry for Your Loss”). “Killing Eve” is a sneaky nail-biter and Oh’s performance is breathlessly gut-wrenching.
Up next is the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Jan. 27, and it will either further cement award-winning pathways to the Oscars, or create speed bumps in tension-ridden categories.