• Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

The 2024 Golden Globe Awards’ top showdowns to watch

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The 2024 Golden Globe Awards promise high honors to some of the year’s best in film and television — Barbenheimer, “Succession,” “The Crown” and Taylor Swift’s “Eras Tour” movie are just a few standouts that earned big nominations. With the expected celebration comes the possibility of a fresh start for the Globes, an awards ceremony trying to rebuild its image in the wake of controversy that prompted an overhaul of changes to the show and how it operates.

For the first time in decades, the Golden Globe Awards will be broadcast live on CBS this Sunday, Jan. 7, from 8-11 p.m. ET (5-8 p.m. PT), with the comedian Jo Koy as host. The ceremony will also be available to stream on Paramount+ With Showtime and the CBS app. Paramount Global is the parent company of CBS.

The network shift followed an end to NBC’s longstanding partnership with the Golden Globes, after the show faced widespread criticism and boycotts over allegations of racism and corruption within the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization that ran the Globes for decades and voted annually to select nominees and winners.

The HFPA has since dissolved and the Globes, in turn, has come under new leadership with a clear focus on expanding diversity. Its current voting body consists of 300 entertainment journalists from 75 countries, according to the awards show

“I’m most interested in the tone of the awards show,” said Aramide Tinubu, a TV critic at Variety who has also covered film. “I’m interested to see, will the Globes continue to be a fun, off-the-wall ceremony as it’s always been, or is it going to be a little bit more buttoned-up or taken a little bit more seriously?”

Golden Globes ceremonies were historically known as Hollywood’s lighthearted “party of the year,” signaling that awards season had begun. Its somewhat unpredictable nominations and winners often stood apart from other awards shows along the path to the Oscars, and now, with different leadership, voters, and two new categories, the outcome of any competition is that much more of a toss-up. Here are the top races to watch.

Best motion picture 

The award for best motion picture is given to two winners in two separate categories. 

Unlike the Oscars, coming up in March, the Golden Globes splits its major film contenders into two categories: musical or comedy films in one, and dramas in another. That means the Barbenheimer rivalry that gave rise to its own cultural moment over the summer may not take center stage on Sunday to the extent it could later this awards season, when the blockbusters will be eligible to compete against each other for top honors. 

Still, Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie”, in the musical or comedy category, and Christopher Nolan’s drama “Oppenheimer” dominate the Globes nominations, with nine nods for “Barbie” and eight for “Oppenheimer,” and how their winnings eventually shake out is going to be a major focal point of the night.

In addition to box office success and critical acclaim, “Barbie” fueled an aesthetic craze over the color pink that for a time seemed to take over the world. Its fellow contenders for best musical or comedy film are Yorgos Lanthimos’ “Poor Things,” Cord Jefferson’s “American Fiction,” Alexander Payne’s “The Holdovers,” Todd Haynes’ “May December” and Ben Affleck’s “Air.”

Film Barbenheimer
Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” and Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” were the films of the summer, with the Barbenheimer phenomenon born out of their dueling popularity. Both movies are neck-and-neck as contenders at the 2024 Golden Globes.

Chris Pizzello / AP


“Oppenheimer,” the dark WWII saga that, like “Barbie,” drew audiences to theaters in droves, will compete for the award for best drama. It’s contending with some heavy-hitters: Martin Scorcese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Bradley Cooper’s “Maestro,” Celine Song’s “Past Lives,” Jonathan Glazer’s “The Zone of Interest” and Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall.”

“I think that overall, ‘Barbie’ might take home more prizes than ‘Oppenheimer,'” said Tinubu, citing the staggering popularity of Gerwig’s movie. The fact that they’ll compete in separate categories for the Globes’ top film awards could potentially favor “Barbie,” she added.

“I can’t call ‘Oppenheimer’ necessarily for drama, because it’s up against ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ and it’s up against ‘Maestro’ and ‘Past Lives,'” Tinubu said. “I do think ‘Barbie’ might have an angle over ‘Poor Things’ and ‘American Fiction’ and ‘May December,’ only because it’s more seen and widely-known. ‘American Fiction’ and ‘Poor Things’ are fantastic but I think it might prevail there.”

Cinematic and box office achievement

The Golden Globes debuted two new categories this year: one for cinematic and box office achievement, and a second for TV stand-up comedy performance. 

The first recognizes “nominees from among the year’s highest-earning and/or most-viewed films that have gained extensive global audience support and produced exceptional creative content,” the awards show said in a statement

It may seem “Barbie” is a shoo-in to win the prize in this category, since the film won fanfare in addition to $1.4 billion in gross ticket sales that placed it among the top 15 box office hits of all time, in the U.S. and worldwide. But, owing in part to a lucrative box office year that approached pre-pandemic sales, there are other strong contenders in this race, too.

FILE PHOTO: Photocall for the upcoming Warner Bros movie
“Barbie” star Margot Robbie is photographed during a photocall for the film “Barbie” in Los Angeles on June 25, 2023.

MIKE BLAKE/REUTERS


Both “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” had already raked in hundreds of millions by the end of their opening weekend showdown last July. “Barbie,” which had an edge even then, ultimately ranked as the highest-grossing film of the year, according to Box Office Mojo, while “Oppenheimer” trailed closely behind on the global box office list, ranking third after “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” which nearly paced with “Barbie.”

The animated film based on Nintendo’s popular video game franchise is nominated alongside Barbenheimer for the cinematic and box office achievement award, joining several of last year’s leading earners. “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” “John Wick: Chapter 4,” “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1” and “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” round out this category.  

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift performs during “The Eras Tour” in Nashville, Tennessee, on May 5, 2023.

George Walker IV / AP


Swift’s concert film could potentially give “Barbie” a run for its money. The movie follows her along the “Eras Tour,” her ludicrously successful international performance series that’s drawn millions to stadiums across five continents (including one venue in Seattle where the crowd of excited Swifties caused minor seismic activity). The tour itself became the first ever to surpass $1 billion in revenue, and at one point the Federal Reserve actually credited it with helping to revitalize the U.S. economy. 

“Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” went on to shatter box office records in just over two months since its premiere, which was the latest of any film nominated for this award, and the film’s distributor AMC Theaters has called it the highest-grossing concert movie in history. The “Eras Tour,” in concert and film form, was also a defining cultural moment in 2023, and Swift in December was named Spotify’s most-streamed artist and TIME’s person of the year.

Best TV drama series

The Golden Globe award for best television drama series could be a tight race, as it pits a handful of decorated old-timers against hopeful newcomers that made quite a splash with their releases in 2023. 

“Succession,” HBO’s hit satire about a dysfunctional family’s media dynasty, is a frontrunner in this category. The series returns this year as a six-time Golden Globes winner and 18-time nominee, which has twice taken home the award for best television drama. Whether the buzz surrounding its farewell season will translate into yet another awards show sweep for “Succession” remains to be seen, but the series already leads the Globes’ television nominations, with nine nods, as it does the nominations for the Emmy Awards coming up the following week.

Succession
Brian Cox in “Succession,” the HBO satire about a family media dynasty that leads television nominations at the Golden Globes this year, with nine nods across multiple categories.

David Russell/HBO


Competing with “Succession” for the award for best drama is “The Crown,” another acclaimed series about a powerful and often dysfunctional lineage that is also a darling of the awards circuit and just finished its final season. A 23-time nominee and seven-time winner at the Globes, “The Crown,” like “Succession,” has won the prize twice in this category, although the two series have only been nominated once at the same time. 

“The Morning Show,” a nine-time Globes nominee that has earned nods in this category for each of its three seasons, will also contend for the prize again alongside “The Last of Us,” “The Diplomat” and “1923,” all of which debuted last year and were met with widespread praise.

The Last of Us
Actors Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal, who co-star in “The Last of Us,” attend an event for the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles on April 28, 2023.

Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic for HBO via Getty Images


Tinubu said gauging the outcome of this particular race would be challenging, considering the track records of both “Succession” and “The Crown” and the potential of “The Last of Us,” HBO’s video game adaptation that pulled remarkable global ratings and largely earned rave reviews. She predicted the prize this year will go to one of those three nominees.

Best director

Films directed by women still make up a small minority of box office hits, though a handful break the glass ceiling. Results of a study released by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative showed less than 9% of the top-grossing film directors were women in 2022, a figure that marked progress nonetheless from 2007, when women directed just 2.7% of the year’s biggest films. 

Part of the historic success of “Barbie” was the fact that it was headed by Gerwig, who in August became the first woman to direct a film that surpassed $1 billion in ticket sales. Gerwig has earned praise before as the director of “Lady Bird” and “Little Women,” but this is her first time being nominated in the director’s category at the Globes. One other woman is nominated in the category this year: Celine Song, the South Korean-Canadian playwright who made her directorial debut with the festival hit “Past Lives.”

They are competing against Martin Scorcese, a 10-time nominee and three-time winner in this category, for “Killers of the Flower Moon,” and Christopher Nolan, a three-time nominee, for “Oppenheimer.” Bradley Cooper, nominated for “Maestro,” marking his return to the category for a second time after receiving a nod in 2019 for “A Star is Born,” his directorial debut. Yorgos Lanthimos, the Greek director known for his acclaimed dark comedies “The Lobster” and “The Favourite,” received a nod for the first time in this Globes category for “Poor Things.”

Maestro
Bradley Cooper as Leonard Bernstein in “Maestro.”

Jason McDonald/Netflix © 2023


“I’d kind of be shocked if Christopher Nolan or Martin Scorcese took home anything, only because I feel like it would be too obvious,” said Tinubu. Noting that Hollywood accolades have notoriously overlooked women directors, she suggested Gerwig could win the prize, if not Cooper, who she, along with vocal fans at the time, felt was snubbed in awards circles over “A Star Is Born.”

“I also would love for Celine Song to get it for ‘Past Lives,’ which I think is also excellent,” she said. “And I actually love ‘Poor Things’ as well. I think the director has such a singular vision, but I don’t know if he’s going to be able to usurp the ‘Barbie’ of it all.”

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