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How Will The Golden Globe And Critics Choice Nominations Shape The Oscar Race?

The Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award nominations both have both been announced. Both are major precursors to the Academy Awards, so let's analyze how they've shaped the race.

Which films are the strongest?

Rather unusually, a whopping nine films from the Globes and Critics Choice picture lineups overlapped. Those were Belfast, The Power of the Dog, West Side Story, King Richard, Licorice Pizza, CODA, Tick, tick… Boom!, Dune, and Don’t Look Up. That puts all nine films on a pretty solid track to Best Picture nominations at the Oscars, especially with a guaranteed 10 this year.

As for the win, the films in the strongest position are likely Belfast and The Power of the Dog. These were the only two to receive both Director and Screenplay nominations at the Golden Globes, a feat which applies to every Best Picture Oscar winner since 2006. Both lead the Golden Globe nominations with 7 each and scored double-digit nominations at the Critics Choice Awards. Though we may also want to watch out for late breakers West Side Story and Licorice Pizza.

About a month ago, CODA and Tick, tick… Boom! felt pretty iffy as awards contenders. But Monday morning they were both solidified as strong possibilities. Especially CODA, with its surprise Drama nomination at the Globes, something previous Sundance winners Whiplash, Minari, and Beasts of the Southern Wild couldn’t pull off. Troy Kotsur’s nomination at the Globes also really solidified the breakout actor as a potential Oscar nominee, if not a frontrunner. 

Menawhile, Tick, tick… Boom! coupled its Picture nomination with just a lead actor nomination at both groups. That's a bit of a weak package, lacking nominations for screenplay, editing, and Robin de Jesús's wonderful supporting role. The film could be looking at a The Blind Side / The Post nomination haul, with just lead actor and picture. Though I suspect the guilds may show the film some love and it could perform even better on Oscar morning. 

Which films took a hit?

Though Aaron Sorkin secured a screenplay nomination at both bodies, Being the Ricardos was absent from both Best Picture lineups. Voters seem to recognize that the film isn't quite Sorkin's best, which means it may only be contending for acting awards and screenplay, similar to 2015's Steve Jobs. Spencer underperformed with both groups. Jonny Greenwood's score was absent from the Golden Globes lineup, as were seemingly no-brainer nominations for Costume Design and Cinematography at the Critics Choice. Its two nominations there put it fair behind the six nominations Larraín’s Jackie scored with the Critics Choice in 2016. The film’s Best Picture chances are, sadly, on life support. Though she's still secure for the nomination Stewart's chances of winning look a little slimmer. Finally, C’mon C’mon failed to secure any major nominations at both groups, crushing my hopes that it could be a big player. 

I was dismayed that Titane wasn’t nominated in the non-English language category by both groups, and shocked that the Globes would leave out The Worst Person in the World. Equally baffling was their omission of The Mitchells vs. The Machines in Animated Feature. I expect Worst Person and Mitchells will make the cut at the Oscars, but Titane appears to have weirded out too many voters.

In or Out?

Nightmare Alley’s looked hopeless after failing to secure a single nomination at the Golden Globes, only to go on and score 8 nominations at the Critics Choice Awards, including in Picture and Director. It may be following the footsteps of First Man or Da 5 Bloods, films which were embraced by Critics Choice but mostly ignored by the Academy. Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up overcame its mixed reception with Picture and Screenplay nominations at both groups. But unlike McKay’s Vice and The Big Short, the film didn’t pick up any acting or directing nominations at the Critics Choice, putting it in a slightly weaker position than his previous two films.

Acting Categories

There was a lot of overlap between the Critics Choice and Golden Globe nominations, especially in the acting categories. In fact, 6 Best Actress nominees, 5 Best Actor nominees, and 4 Supporting nominees in each category were nominated at both organizations. Take a look at those overlaps and you'll likely find the vast majority of eventual Oscar nominees: 

Best Actress: Jessica Chastain - The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Kristen Stewart - Spencer, Lady Gaga - House of Gucci, Olivia Colman - The Lost Daughter, Nicole Kidman - Being the Ricardos, Alana Haim - Licorice Pizza

Best Actor: Will Smith - King Richard, Benedict Cumberbatch - The Power of the Dog, Andrew Garfield - Tick, Tick… Boom!, Denzel Washington - The Tragedy of MacBeth, Peter Dinklage - Cyrano

Supporting Actress: Caitriona Balfe - Belfast, Ariana DeBose - West Side Story, Aunjanue Ellis - King Richard, Kirsten Dunst - The Power of the Dog

Supporting Actor: Troy Kotsur - CODA, Ciarán Hinds - Belfast, Kodi Smitt McPhee - The Power of the Dog, Jamie Dornan - Belfast

As for those who were only nominated by one group, like Nicolas Cage (Pig), Ruth Negga (Passing), Jared Leto (House of Gucci), and Ann Dowd (Mass), we’ll be biting our nails to see if they can show on Oscar morning. It's very difficult for actors to get an Oscar nomination without either of these two precursors. So those of you rooting for Jennifer Hudson, Robin de Jesús, Mike Faist, or Marlee Matlin should keep your expectations low. 

It’s easy to think that the race looks all but wrapped up, but with 6 weeks until Oscar nominations, there’s a long way to go. I hope things shake up a little because it’s no fun when things feel too comfortable. Check back here on CinemaBlend for more awards analysis in the coming weeks.