Fairytale romance “The Shape of Water” led the Golden Globe nominations with seven on Monday as Hollywood launched an awards season expected to be overshadowed by the sexual misconduct scandal engulfing the movie industry.
Guillermo del Toro’s acclaimed 1960s-set fantasy picked up nominations in several top categories, including best motion picture drama and best actress for Sally Hawkins.
“The Post” and “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri” followed with six nods and coming-of-age film “Lady Bird” got four nominations.
The announcements will give the nominees a welcome boost going into the race for March’s Oscars, with the influential Screen Actors Guild nominations to come later this week.
The other best motion picture drama nominees are “Call Me By Your Name,” another coming-of-age tale, World War II thriller “Dunkirk,” media drama “The Post” and “Three Billboards.”
Although more high-profile than the SAGs, the Golden Globes are seen as less of an indicator of Oscars glory, as a relatively small group of non-US journalists — the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — chooses the winners, rather than the industry itself.
The Globes are seen as a chance for Hollywood to demonstrate its intolerance of sexual misconduct following a wave of allegations that emerged after movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was accused of decades of misbehavior that would make him the most egregious sexual predator in the history of filmmaking.
The Weinstein Company, which sacked its co-founder, was never expected to land nominations at the ceremony — and it did not.
The wider fallout, however, is likely to have a seismic effect on the awards season, as numerous other powerful figures have been accused of sexual misconduct.
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” director James Gunn told AFP at the recent Governors Awards organized by the Academy that the scandal was the hot topic of conversation whenever filmmakers and actors got together.
– Rebuke –
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) — apparently sensitive to the message it would send out — largely avoided rewarding the work of Kevin Spacey, James Toback, Jeffrey Tambor, Louis C.K., Brett Ratner, Bryan Singer, Amazon Studios boss Roy Price and numerous other scandal-hit big players.
Spacey, who won best actor in 2015 for “House of Cards,” was never in with chance of a repeat following a litany of allegations against him.
But his alleged misdeeds against young men appeared to have harmed the chances of colleagues such as Robin Wright, another previous winner, as the show was blanked this year.
“Transparent,” which has also had numerous nominations and a win for Tambor, found itself in the same boat with HFPA members giving the comedy a hard pass.
Spacey was also expected to front an awards campaign for “All the Money in the World” before Ridley Scott decided to expunge the actor from his latest movie.
His replacement Christopher Plummer — added via last-minute reshoots in a groundbreaking move — earned a surprise nomination for best supporting actor in a film.
Meanwhile, the HFPA went for scandal-free old favorites like Scott, Christopher Nolan (“Dunkirk”) and Steven Spielberg (“The Post”).
“The Post,” a defense of the free press widely seen as a rebuke to President Donald Trump, is an early Oscars favorite.
Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards,” starring Frances McDormand as a mother seeking to avenge the rape and murder of her daughter, is also widely fancied since taking the influential audience award at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.
– ‘The right message’ –
“Coco,” a colorful take on Mexico’s Day of the Dead, was nominated and should be the comfortable frontrunner for best animated film — despite Pixar co-founder John Lassiter’s recent admission of inappropriate behavior towards employees.
On the downside, “Dunkirk” — an early Oscars favorite much loved for its masterful cinematography, if not its sparkling dialogue — earned just three nominations.
Coming-of-age romance “Call Me By Your Name” was widely expected to be the top contender, but disappointed with just three nominations, for best film drama, lead actor Timothee Chalamet and supporting actor Armie Hammer.
“Get Out” — a satire on racism and middle class white guilt — made perhaps the biggest and most unexpected impact of any movie this year but also came up short, with just two nominations for best comedy and best actor for Daniel Kaluuya.
“The Weinstein scandal, and everything that followed, created a climate in which it is increasingly important for Hollywood to send the right message and do the right thing,” entertainment website The Wrap said in an editorial ahead of the announcements.
On the television front, HBO drama “Big Little Lies” — already rewarded with several Emmys — led with six nominations.
FX anthology series “Feud: Bette and Joan” was close behind with four nominations, while “Fargo,” “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “This is Us” grabbed three each.
HBO comfortably led the television nominations with 12.
The 75th Golden Globe Awards will take place in Beverly Hills on January 7, with talk show host Seth Meyers presenting.