Thu. Jul 9th, 2020
Carol, Mad Max: Fury Road and Spotlight - Who's On Top?
Carol, Mad Max: Fury Road and Spotlight – Who’s On Top?


With the two major critics groups (LAFCA and NYFCC), the National Board of Review (NBR), Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and now The Golden Globes having had their say on winners and nominees for 2015 films it’s time to where things are. I’ll do another post-mortem once the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), National Society of Film Critics (NSFC) and British Association of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA) announce their nominees and/or winners just like last year.

Let’s look first at the Best Picture race. Three different films won the three first awards’ bodies choices. They are:

Carol (NYFCC)

Mad Max: Fury Road (NBR, LAFCA and NYFCC runner-up)

Spotlight (LAFCA)

Crazy, right? Well, let’s add to that the five films that managed a Cast in a Motion Picture nomination from the Screen Actors Guild:

Beasts of No Nation
The Big Short
Straight Outta Compton

Only Spotlight holds court with a critics win and a SAG nomination. That’s incredibly important since the only film to ever win Best Picture without a nomination here was way back in 1996 when Braveheart did it. Incidentally, this was the 2nd year of the awards and the first year to include a Cast category.

Now let’s check today’s Golden Globe nominations in the Motion Picture categories:

Best Motion Picture (Drama)
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant

Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy)
The Big Short
The Martian

Spotlight pops up again. We also have critics winners Carol and Mad Max: Fury Road. All three also managed Best Director nominations. So where does that leave us? By all appearances, the early frontrunner status of Spotlight seems to be very solid now. But, a lot can happen between now and January 14th when Oscar nominations are announced. These early nominations from SAG and GG reflect when the films were viewed and voters had access to screeners. By now, all of the major films have screeners out to AMPAS members (except The Hateful Eight) so there are cracks in the race. The biggest one for Spotlight is that for the second day in a row, the most likely contenders for acting prizes and nominations from the film, Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo (both previous Oscar nominees) have come up short. Keaton managed a surprising Lead win with the New York Film Critics and guess who was runner-up? That’s right, Ruffalo. Open Road Films‘ decision to run all actors from Spotlight is proving to be a bad idea. Only Rachel McAdams showed up at SAG and none of them made the Golden Globes cut. This was especially odd for McAdams since the two main competitors, Rooney Mara (Carol) and Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) were bumped up to Lead. To make matters worse, Vikander still made it into Supporting, but for Ex Machina. What do all of these performances have in common? They’re the major category fraud offenders of the season. You can add Jacob Tremblay (Room) to that list, he managed a SAG nom but not a Globe. This year could, hopefully, be the straw that breaks the camel’s fraudulent back and hopefully we’ll less of it in the future and possibly see some switches just before Oscar voting begins. That will all depend on if The Weinstein Company and/or Focus Features is gutsy enough to do the right thing.

Let’s take a look at the history of Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe nominations for actors. Since 2001, only one year had full crossover from SAG to Golden Globes to Oscar, 2009. Here’s who didn’t make the cut.

Jennifer Aniston, Cake
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler

Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
Daniel Brühl, Rush

John Hawkes, The Sessions
Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone
Helen Mirren, Hitchcock
Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy

Leonardo di Caprio, J. Edgar
Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Mila Kunis, Black Swan


Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road*

Ryan Gosling, Lars and the Real Girl
Angelina Jolie, A Mighty Heart

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Departed**

Russell Crowe, Cinderella Man
Ziyi Zhang, Memoirs of a Geisha

Paul Giammatti, Sideways

Evan Rachel Wood, Thirteen
Maria Bello, The Cooler

Richard Gere, Chicago
Dennis Quaid, Far From Heaven

Hayden Christensen, Life as a House
Cameron Diaz, Vanilla Sky***

*Nominated in Supporting for The Reader and Lead for Revolutionary Road (and won both) at the Golden Globes. Was nominated and won Lead for The Reader at the Oscars
**Nominated in Supporting at the Screen Actors Guild, nominated for Blood Diamond in Lead at the Oscars
***Cameron Diaz remains the only person to be nominated for both SAG and GG (she hit both with 1999’s Being John Malkovich as well as Vanilla Sky) and snubbed twice at the Oscars

This year, 15 actors have Golden Globe + Screen Actors Guild (I’ve also included critics wins and runners-up, when available):

Christan Bale, The Big Short
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs (LAFCA)
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies (NYFCC, LAFCA runner-up)
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes (LAFCA)

Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room (NBR)
Rooney Mara, Carol*
Helen Mirren, Trumbo
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn (NYFCC, LAFCA runner-up)
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl*
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

*Mara and Vikander were both nominated in Lead at the Golden Globes, Supporting at SAG

It’s hard to look at that list and see who’s not going to make because, statistically, at least one person won’t. Everyone seems safe but we could see some category messing around that either helps or hurts Mara and Vikander. Same goes for Christian Bale. He’s being pushed Supporting for The Big Short by Paramount but The Globes, like with Mara and Vikander, said nope, he’s Lead. I would say, at this point, that Bryan Cranston (Trumbo) is the most vulnerable to missing. The explosion of Michael Shannon as a contender has taken most people by surprise and the he’s already been a surprise Oscar nominee in the Supporting Actor category (for Revolutionary Road) so he might be someone to look at to miss as well. What do you think? Give me your thoughts in the comment section or hit me up on Twitter at @awards_watch.

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