Cue the #filmTwitter discourse that the Globes don’t matter — or do they?
On a redemption tour that’s left the HFPA more vulnerable than ever, the Golden Globes returned to NBC, with host Jerrod Carmichael’s refreshing twist on awards ceremonies emcees, in which he delivered spicy Scientology jokes and told Steven Spielberg he watched “The Fabelmans” with Kanye West, and it “changed everything.”
Despite Carmichael, the production wasn’t revolutionary enough to signal that a format with dwindling ratings is about to mount a comeback. The 95th Oscars’ producing team and host Jimmy Kimmel will need to keep trying to crack that code.
So what did we learn about this year’s Oscars landscape?
In terms of winners, the evening gave presumed Academy Awards frontrunners a platform to plead their cases to voters in the room (meaning their fellow celebrities, not the HFPA members) and to a televised audience, especially with Oscar voting beginning on Thursday.
The top two film categories for best picture drama, and comedy/musical, went to Universal Pictures’ “The Fabelmans” and Searchlight’s “The Banshees of Inisherin.” With the former, it was just what the doctor ordered, as “Fabelmans” had seemed to stumble in the last week after an underwhelming BAFTA longlist showing (which omitted Spielberg) and missed out on key guild mentions, including from the American Society of Cinematographers. Nevertheless, at the Globes, Spielberg added his third statuette for directing, and is now tied with Clint Eastwood, Milos Forman, Martin Scorsese and Oliver Stone as the second-most awarded director in Globe history. The presumptive frontrunner since its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, “The Fabelmans” has bounced back in a significant way.
In the case of “Banshees,” which led the tally with eight nods, it also led in wins, walking away with best picture (comedy), best screenplay for Martin McDonagh and lead actor for Colin Farrell, his second career win after “In Bruges” (2008), another McDonagh feature. Farrell’s donkey-loving Irishman has led the critics’ awards. Still, his drama counterpart, Austin Butler from “Elvis,” put his own stake in the ground, which could mimic Rami Malek’s winning run for “Bohemian Rhapsody” (2018). But don’t count out Brendan Fraser from “The Whale,” who could rebound at Sunday’s Critics Choice Awards.
In best actress, the Globes firmed up the season’s narrative: It’s a two-horse race between Cate Blanchett’s lesbian conductor in the psychological drama “Tár” and Michelle Yeoh’s kick-ass laundromat owner in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”
For Blanchett, a 12-time nominee, her win was her fourth since emerging on the scene with the historical biopic “Elizabeth” (1998). The “Tár” London premiere Wednesday prevented the Australian star from attending the Globes ceremony, but nonetheless, she’s in the mix to become the eighth person to win three acting awards at the Oscars.
But not if Yeoh has anything to say about it.
Yeoh became the second Asian to win lead actress (comedy) following Awkwafina in “The Farewell” (2019), who then failed to land an Oscar nod. I think it will be different for Yeoh, though: She would be only the second Asian Oscar nominee since Merle Oberon in “The Dark Angel” (1935).
In the supporting categories, Ke Huy Quan (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”) and Angela Bassett (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”) asserted their frontrunner statuses, and it does seem like it could be smooth sailing to Oscar night in March. The two wins for “Everything” were warranted, but some were expecting a sweep (it missed on Jamie Lee Curtis for supporting actress, writing and directing for the Daniels, and lost to “Banshees” in the comedy/musical category). This is very much still a best picture race where many pieces need to move to call: checkmate.
The night was short of true shockers, but Amazon Studios’ “Argentina, 1985” was a jaw-dropper, topping Germany’s “All Quiet on the Western Front” and India’s “RRR,” which isn’t the official submission at the Oscars.
Speaking of “RRR,” the dance number “Naatu Naatu” won best original song over the biggest names in music including Lady Gaga (“Hold My Hand” from “Top Gun: Maverick”), Rihanna (“Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”) and Taylor Swift (“Carolina” from “Where the Crawdads Sing”). This bodes well for its awards campaign, which continues to pick up steam. “RRR” could be a viable contender for best picture and director for S.S. Rajamouli.
“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” made history for Netflix as the first streamer to win in the animation category, and Del Toro himself, becoming the first Latino ever to win. Outside of Quan in best supporting actor, the race for animated feature could be locked up before noms are announced.
“Babylon” composer Justin Hurwitz picked up his third Globe for original score following “La La Land” (2016), for which he won the Oscar, and “First Man” (2018), for which he was snubbed. We’ll see how the music branch receives the former winner.
The truth is, Wednesday’s early morning SAG and DGA announcements will be far more telling about the Oscar race than the Globes. But nevertheless, there’s a good chance we just saw many of this year’s Academy Awards winners. “Top Gun: Maverick” may have gone home empty-handed, but it’s in no way out of the race just yet.
On the television side of the house, ABC’s “Abbott Elementary” had a strong night, leading the pack for all series with wins for TV series (comedy) and actors Quinta Brunson and Tyler James Williams.
FX’s freshman comedy “The Bear” brought its star Jeremy Allen White to the stage for lead actor (comedy), likely kicking off what will be a viable Emmys campaign.
The same goes for Evan Peters, who walked away with lead actor (limited series or TV movie) for his turn as serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Ryan Murphy’s controversial “Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” from Netflix.
HBO took home two of three top series categories for the “Game of Thrones” prequel “House of the Dragon,” the show’s only win (we’ll see if it can sustain until Emmy season), and for the limited series “The White Lotus,” subtitled “Sicily,” which also picked up a supporting actress win for Jennifer Coolidge, who likely broke the record for most bleeps during her raucous acceptance speech — and who spoiled her character’s ultimate fate from the second season.
Other notable acting winners included Zendaya (“Euphoria”), Julia Garner (“Ozark”), Paul Walter Hauser (“Black Bird”), Amanda Seyfried (“The Dropout”) and Kevin Costner (“Yellowstone”).
To see the current rankings for each category, visit Variety’s Oscars Hub. Make sure to bookmark the 2022-2023 Awards Season calendar for all key dates and timelines for the season.