The Golden Globe nominations were announced yesterday. As you may have heard, there were some snubs. I know I mentioned this yesterday but When They See Us, Ava DuVernay’s series about the Exonerated Five, nominated for 16 Emmys, watched by 22 million accounts on Netflix, was completely shut out. Completely. Shut. Out. This was a story beautifully told, featuring outstanding actors, a series addressing institutional racism and injustice – and it found an audience. A big audience. That’s what they want, right? Stories that matter and people to pay attention. Instead the HFPA went with Catch-22, directed by George Clooney. I wonder if they’ll somehow try to make it so that George and Brad Pitt sit close together in the ballroom. It’s no secret that the HFPA is all about face-time with the movie stars.
Or director stars. Unless they’re women. I’m sure you’ve heard about Honey Boy director Alma Har’el’s response to the fact that no female directors were nominated – thread below:
Good morning to everyone that’s writing me about the #goldenglobes— Alma Har'el🌪 (@Almaharel) December 9, 2019
I feel you but know this.
I was on the inside for the first time this year. These are not our people and they do not represent us.
Do not look for justice in the awards system.
We are building a new world. https://t.co/IK7YNy5J5S
The HFPA responded to the criticism yesterday. HFPA President Lorenzo Soria was asked to comment:
“What happened is that we don’t vote by gender. We vote by film and accomplishment,” Soria told Variety’s Marc Malkin at the Globes announcement Monday morning.
And one of the EPs of the show also spoke about the situation:
“Every year, somebody gets left out,” Barry Adelman, one of the executive producers of this year’s Globes, told Variety. “There’s so much talent going on, maybe we need to expand the categories so more people can be part of it. I also think that if you look at some of the other things…a lot of the big television shows are created by women, so I think across the board there is a good representation. Maybe in a couple of those categories, we wish it could be a little different. Who knows what will happen next year.”
“Every year, somebody gets left out.” Sure but every year it’s women and people of colour. So is it really a case of too much talent? When the same people are excluded? Couldn’t there possibly be another reason?
Greta Gerwig was left off the directors nomination list before with Lady Bird but Lady Bird was nominated for Best Motion Picture Comedy/Musical – and won. This time Little Women is not part of either best picture category. And if you run down the list of ten films contending in both best picture categories of the Globes, most of them are men’s stories. Take for example the list of nominated dramas:
The Irishman: a film about male gangsters
1917: a film about male soldiers
Joker: a film about a make joker
The Two Popes: a film about religious males
Only Marriage Story includes the female perspective. And over on the comedy/musical side it’s a slight improvement with a couple of ensembles but none of these films have a female lead.
Little Women is currently sitting at 95% on Rotten Tomatoes. Saoirse Ronan did get a nomination for Best Actress Drama. Yesterday she released a statement and you don’t have to read between the lines:
“Getting to play Jo March, one of the most inspiring characters in literature, still today, has been an honor. I am eternally grateful to Greta Gerwig for her guidance and partnership, and for her fierce perseverance that brought this incredible cast together and created an environment for us to become a real family and tell this very special story. My performance in this film belongs to Greta as much as it does myself and I share this recognition completely with her.”
She’s not declaring open warfare but she’s made her point. This is not a good look for the HFPA and the Golden Globes. As I said yesterday, they had options. They had Little Women and The Farewell and Honey Boy and Queen & Slim and Hustlers and A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood, films that performed well at the box office and were also well received.
So how much does it matter? Globes winners do not always align with Oscar winners but the Globes can affect Oscar nominations. People watch the Globes. They can be influenced by the Globes when determining the Oscar nomination list. That said, the Screen Actors Guild nominations are coming tomorrow and they do also have a big influence on Oscars. I wonder how the score will even out there.
In the meantime… I’m trying to get my tickets for Little Women for Boxing Day but they’re not on sale yet. Are you excited? I’m getting more and more excited. Saoirse was on Colbert last night and he played a clip from a scene between Jo and Laurie, when Laurie is declaring himself and she’s telling him it can’t work. Everything about this feels exactly right. I cannot wait. It’s exactly the kind of film I want to see during the holidays.