Now that we’ve had time to process the Golden Globes nominations, there are some patterns – and some surprising developments – that change how we have been thinking about the still-developing Oscar race. Will Her be a player despite its late entry into the game? How about Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, which Paramount is racing to get into Academy members’ hands?
Today’s GG nominees cleared up a few lingering Oscar issues … and raised a few more outstanding questions. Here are, I think, 5 shocking developments that occurred this morning, and some analysis on how I think they will affect the ongoing Oscar season.
1. Tom Hanks Won’t Be Able To Double-Dip This Year
Hanks has major roles in two Oscar contenders this year: Paul Greengrass’ Captain Phillips (in which he plays the title character), and John Lee Hancock’s Saving Mr. Banks (in which he plays entertainment icon Walt Disney). Because he’s Tom Hanks – one of the industry’s most popular and talented forces with which to be reckoned – many believed he had a chance to earn two nominations: One in Best Actor (for Phillips) and one for Best Supporting Actor (for Banks). Hanks, without question, is fantastic in both films. The double-dip isn’t out of the question. But, both the HFPA and SAG overlooked Hanks’ Banks performance in favor of his riveting Phillips turn … and it’s likely Oscar will follow this pattern.
2. American Hustle Is A Major Player
Yes, I’m on record as not being much of a fan. But David O. Russell’s latest comedy/drama had a very strong showing over the last 48 hours, nabbing an Outstanding Cast nom from SAG and picking up nominations in almost every major category at the Golden Globes. First and foremost, Hustle earned Picture and Director noms (bumping out the likes of Martin Scorsese, who was snubbed). All four major cast members earned nods. And it earned a Screenplay Globes nod. Now, the Globes don’t ALWAYS translate into Oscar nominations. But it’s clear that Hustle is playing well with awards voters as the Academy buckles down and votes.
3. The Butler Might Not Be A Major Player
Lee Daniels’ march through the Civil Rights movement collected a few noms from SAG, but followed up that effort with a complete shutout at the Golden Globes. Oprah Winfrey, Forest Whitaker and the film, in general, saw cold water splashed on their awards campaign – temporarily – as the HFPA went with Inside Llewyn Davis, Her, Rush and Philomena. My theory is that the foreign members of the HFPA have little interest in American history, choosing instead the F1 racing of Ron Howard’s drama or the intensity of Captain Phillips. But Davis is about American folk music, and other nominated films like Nebraska and The Wolf of Wall Street are about as American as they come (warts and all). The Butler isn’t sunk, but today hurt its Oscar odds.
4. Pixar’s Awards Stronghold Continues To Weaken
Frozen is in. Monsters University is out. This is kind of lunacy. MU arguably is better than Despicable Me 2 and The Croods … both of which are entertaining, but don’t justify the loud Pixar snub announced by the Globes. We have been writing about the changing of the guard in the animation world, with Disney reclaiming a throne that has been occupied by Pixar for ages. The Oscars would be a major battlefield victory for Disney in this unofficial "war." Pixar has dominated the awards circuit, winning the Oscar just last year for Brave. Will Monsters U. even get the chance to defend Pixar’s Oscar "crown" this year? Not if the Academy agrees with the HFPA.
5. Enough Said Will Compete … But How?
This was a fascinating split between the SAG Awards and the Globes. Both groups chose to recognize Nicole Holofcener’s relationship comedy, but SAG went with James Gandolfini and the HFPA went with Julia Louis-Dreyfus. When Gandolfini was nominated, Twitter exploded with, "How can you nominate him without JLD?" Guess what happened after Dreyfus received her nomination? It’s clear that awards voters are appreciating the work in Enough Said. And rightfully so. Despite a ridiculous twist in the middle of Holofcener’s story, the performances are Oscar-worthy. But which performer gets into the Academy’s conversation … if any get in at all? I’m still banking on the late Gandolfini to receive the Oscar nom – partly for his turn here, and partly for his incredible body of work. We shall see.