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Led by ‘Marriage Story,’ Netflix dominates Golden Globe noms

Netflix flexed its muscles across all categories, just as it’s girding for battle with a host of new streaming services.
This image released by Netflix shows Scarlett Johansson, left, and Adam Driver in "Marriage Story." (Netflix via AP) [WILSON WEBB  |  AP]
This image released by Netflix shows Scarlett Johansson, left, and Adam Driver in "Marriage Story." (Netflix via AP) [WILSON WEBB | AP]
Published Dec. 9, 2019

NEW YORK — With four films up for best picture, four series nominated for the top television awards and 34 total nominations, Netflix dominated the 77th Golden Globe nominations on Monday.

Noah Baumbach's divorce drama “Marriage Story” led all films with six nominations including best picture, drama, and acting nods for its two leads, Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, in nominations announced by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in Beverly Hills, California. “Marriage Story," which landed on Netflix on Friday after a three-week run in theaters, also earned nods for Baumbach's script, Laura Dern's supporting performance and Randy Newman's score. The only notable category it missed on was Baumbach for best director.

Three other Netflix films landed best picture nods, chief among them Martin Scorsese's mob epic “The Irishman,” which landed five nominations including best drama picture, best director for Scorsese and supporting acting nods for Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. Surprisingly left out was its lead, Robert De Niro.

Quentin Tarantino's 1960s Los Angeles fable “Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood," a Sony Pictures release, also scored five nominations, including best film comedy or musical and nods for Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio. Tarantino is also up for best director.

But Netflix flexed its muscles across all categories, just as it's girding for battle with a host of new streaming services. Two other films garnered best picture nods: the Vatican bromance “The Two Popes" in the drama category (along with nominations for its stars, Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins), and the Eddie Murphy-led “Dolemite Is My Name” in the comedy category (along with an acting nod for Murphy).

Two Netflix series tied HBO's “Chernobyl” with the most nominations on the TV side: “The Crown” and “Unbelievable." All scored four nods. Netflix's “The Kominsky Method” and “The Politician" also landed best series, comedy or musical, nominations alongside Emmy favorites “Fleabag," from Amazon, and HBO's “Barry.”

Led by “Succession," “Big Little Lies" and “Chernobyl," HBO still had a strong showing with 15 nods overall, second to Netflix's 17 television nominations — even if the final season of “Game of Thrones” missed a best drama series nod.

But streaming services made greater inroads to one of Hollywood's premier parties than ever before. Amazon had eight nominations in total, boosted by “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Fleabag." The recently launched Apple TV Plus scored its first Globes nominations with “The Morning Show," including nods for Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. But shed a tear for Baby Yoda, Disney Plus' “The Mandalorian" didn't make the cut.

Yet if the Globes nominations gave a snapshot of the changing media landscape, some saw a notable lack of progress in other areas. The press association again fielded an all-male directing category, nominating Scorsese, Tarantino, Bong Joon Ho (“Parasite”), Sam Mendes (whose World War I thriller “1917” was also nominated for best picture, drama) and Todd Phillips (“Joker”).

Among those let out were Greta Gerwig ("Little Women"), Lulu Wang ("The Farewell") and Marielle Heller ("A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"). The Globes have only ever nominated five women for best director. At the 2017 awards, Natalie Portman pointedly introduced the category's “all-male nominees."

None of this year's 10 nominees for best picture were directed by women, either. Most notably overlooked was Gerwig's upcoming Louisa May Alcott adaptation “Little Women," which was nominated for Saoirse Ronan's lead performance and Alexandre Desplat's score. Adding to the trend was the omission, on the TV side, of Ava DuVernay's acclaimed Central Park Five miniseries “When They See Us.”

Alma Ha'rel, director of the acclaimed “Honey Boy," on Monday listed nine female filmmakers whose movies touched audiences, including Lorene Scafaria ("Hustlers") and Melina Matsoukas ("Queen & Slim"). She wrote: “That's our awards. No one can take that away.”

But the awards campaign of “Joker" got a lift Monday, also landing nods for best film, drama, and for Joaquin Phoenix's performance. With more than $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales, it's easily the biggest blockbuster to crash the Globes.

But some of the year's other popular titles celebrated Monday, including Rian Johnson's star-studded whodunit “Knives Out" (best picture, comedy or musical; acting nods for Daniel Craig and Ana de Armas), the Elton John biopic “Rocketman” (best picture, comedy or musical; best actor for Taron Egerton); and the madcap Nazi Germany coming-of-age tale “Jojo Rabbit” (best picture, comedy or musical; best actor for its young star, Roman Griffin Davis). James Mangold's crowd-pleasing racing drama “Ford v Ferrari" could have used some help from the press association; it landed a sole nomination for Christian Bale.

The nominees for best foreign language film are: “The Farewell,” which also earned a best actress earned for Awkwafina; Pedro Almodovar's “Pain and Glory,” for which Antonio Banderas was also nominated for best actor; Bong's “Parasite”; Ladj Ly's French police thriller “Les Miserables"; and Celine Sciamma's period romance “Portrait of a Lady on Fire."

Several possible Academy Awards favorites weren’t even eligible in the Globes’ top categories. Even though the press association is a group of foreign journalists based in Los Angeles, they don’t nominate international films for best drama or best comedy/musical. That ruled out Bong's social satire “Parasite” (which the Los Angeles Film Critics Association voted the year’s best on Sunday) and Wang’s family drama “The Farewell.” Both are expected to be in the Oscar mix.

The films vying for best animated feature are: “Frozen 2”; “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”; “The Lion King”; “Missing Link”; “Toy Story 4.”

The Globes, with 87 voting members, differ wildly from the Academy Awards, which are decided by 9,000 industry professionals. But the press association’s choices sometimes line up with the academy’s, like last year when “Green Book” (entered as a comedy at the Globes) triumphed at both.

This year could give the Globes slightly more sway because the awards season is especially truncated. The Academy Awards are being held several weeks early, on Feb. 9, giving Oscar campaigns less time to find momentum.

Coming into Monday, Netflix had dominated the early going of awards season. “The Irishman” last week won best film from the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Board of Review. “Marriage Story” virtually swept the IFP Gotham Awards.

Ricky Gervais will host the Globes, broadcast on NBC, for the fifth time on January 5. Tom Hanks, a nominee also for his Mister Rogers in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood," will receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award. The Carol Burnett Award will go to Ellen DeGeneres.

One movie that didn’t scratch out much love Monday: “Cats.” Press association members screened Tom Hooper’s upcoming, much-memed adaptation of the Broadway musical, but rewarded it with only a nod for the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Taylor Swift song “Beautiful Ghosts.”

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