The Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala happened last night. This is always an important stop on the award season circuit since so many Oscar voters show up at the event. Which is why so many Oscar hopefuls show up at the event. The voting period for Oscar nominations opens this Friday and closes on January 12. So between now and Golden Globe Sunday is a critical period for those who are campaigning.
Last night, Mary J Blige received the Palm Springs Film Festival Breakthrough Award for her work in Mudbound. She’s also nominated for two Golden Globes on Sunday, including Best Supporting Actress. But she is not the frontrunner for Oscar in that category. The frontrunner would be Allison Janney in I, Tonya. Allison was in Palm Springs too to receive the Spotlight Award from the festival. Most Oscar experts, right now, have Allison in the lead, followed by Laurie Metcalf for her performance in Lady Bird. And both seem like locks for nominations while Mary sits in either third or fourth and probably still has some work to do to secure her spot.
On the last episode of the Show Your Work podcast just before the holiday break, when it was first announced that actresses would be wearing all black to the Golden Globes in solidarity with victims of sexual harassment, Duana and I talked about the effectiveness of the fashion statement, and then she asked me, if there was one person who chose NOT to wear black, who would I want it to be. My answer: Mary J Blige.
The Reese Witherspoons and the Nicole Kidmans and the Jessica Chastains, they get to go to the Golden Globes, as nominees and sometimes presenters, all the time. When is the next time Mary J Blige will be nominated for a Golden Globe? Is Mary J Blige getting all the acting parts, seeing all the scripts? We already know that opportunities in Hollywood are limited for certain people. Change is afoot, of course. And there’s a push for more inclusion and representation in the industry, for sure. But change also doesn’t happen overnight. The truth is, for Mary J Blige, it might be a while before she participates in another award season. Which is a buzzkill thing to say. But think about this: Brie Larson won the Palm Springs Breakthrough Award in 2016. And let’s not pretend that Hollywood is running around looking to cast Mary J Blige in as many roles as they are Brie Larson.
Mary wore Elie Saab last night. It’s not my favourite dress and it’s not my favourite colour but, at the same time, she looks glorious in this colour. I wonder if it’s the colour she would have worn on Sunday if there wasn’t a dress code in place.