Wed. Oct 21st, 2020

Golden Globes: How Brad Pitt, Laura Dern, Scarlett Johansson and more could be seeing double

The Golden Globes are known for a lot of things:  A precursor for the Oscars, that time Leonardo DiCaprio recoiled in horror when Lady Gaga walked by him, trotting Ricky Gervais out every few years in an effort to be edgy. Something they aren’t known for, however, is being particularly picky.  The Tourist as a best picture nominee? Sure! The Martian as a comedy? Why not!

They also like movie stars. A lot. So much in fact, they often nominate them twice in a single year. Or if you are Meryl Streep (and oddly, Jamie Foxx) they’ll nominate you three times. That’s because the Golden Globes are run by a small cabal of unknown reporters called the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. They operate in the shadows, creating chaos and going to screening parties of The Mighty hosted by Sharon Stone.

To be fair, the Golden Globes are basically the Legends Only of awards shows, with almost no below-the-line categories. So, when you have that many acting categories to fill – Comedy & Drama for film and television, in addition to, TV Movie/Miniseries categories, you’re going to end up with Arnold Schwarzenegger nominated for Best Actor in Junior.

That’s also how you get a preponderance of double-nominees (and in the case of Sigourney Weaver, Joan Plowright, Helen Mirren and Kate Winslet, double-winners) in a single-year. Because, again, there are no rules (there are actually rules, I just don’t know what there are, making them anarchy), you can even be nominated twice in the same category a la Tim Robbins for Bob Roberts and The Player for Best Actor, Musical/Comedy in 1992. In 2016 alone, four different actors were nominated twice (Idris Elba, Alicia Vikander, Lily Tomlin & Mark Rylance), while only eight actors ever have been double-nominated for acting Oscars in the same year: Jessica Lange, Sigourney Weaver, Al Pacino, Holly Hunter, Emma Thompson, Julianne Moore, Jamie Foxx and Cate Blanchett. While that’s not a direct corollary because of the Golden Globes TV categories, it’s still pretty interesting to see how freewheeling the Golden Globes are with their nominations vs. the stuffy old Oscars.

(Yes, the above list should also include Michelle Pfeiffer, who was somehow nominated for Love Field, a movie that truly doesn’t exist, but snubbed for her iconic portrayal of Catwoman in Batman Returns, but we don’t have time to relitigate all the greatest tragedies in our shared past. The polar bears are dying.)

I wanted to take a look at the actors who really had a shot at getting a double-nod at this year’s Golden Globes. For the sake of consistency, I kept this list to acting only, so that takes out someone like Cynthia Erivo, who will is eligible as both a songwriter and actor in Harriet.  I’m also trying to keep this in the relative space of reality, so I won’t include, say, Jennifer Aniston, who could be a double-nominee for her deserved work in The Morning Show, but probably not for her role in Murder Mystery. Ditto, her Murder Mystery co-star Adam Sandler, who is certainly in the running for Uncut Gems. That also means, I won’t be able to advocate for Gwyneth Paltrow, who made The Politician a show worth watching, but was also quietly effective in her final scenes as Pepper Potts in the biggest movie of the year, Avengers: Endgame

That’s not to say that there won’t be disappointments: Despite there being 10 lead film actress slots, it seems unlikely that Florence Pugh will get short-listed for her truly harrowing performance in Midsommar (she should pick up a Supporting Actress nod for Little Women, though).

With two high-profile films, could Margot rob herself of a nomination or grab both?

With the Best Supporting Film Actress race quietly gathering strength like the hurricane from Crawl, it also feels like the HFPA will have to decide between Margot Robbie’s two great turns this year, with the slight edge to Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood over Bombshell. Robbie’s Bombshell co-star (and Golden Globe fav) Nicole Kidman, will similarly likely have to settle for a single nomination for, once again, being the best thing about Big Little Lies.

There will also be those who miss out completely. It seems shocking that someone like Reese Witherspoon, who will be in two much-nominated shows this year (Big Little Lies and The Morning Show) will likely wake up to no acting nominations on Monday morning. If this was two years ago, we’d likely be hearing Sterling K. Brown’s name twice, but it feels like time has passed for This Is Us accolades, and while his performance in Waves is buzzy, it hasn’t really gotten any Best Supporting Actor steam. Ditto Elizabeth Moss, who may miss out on both Best Film Actress – Drama for Her Smell and Best TV Actress – Drama, in Handmaid’s Tale. That’sto say nothing of her actual best performance of the year in Us. While you can never count out Sam Rockwell, or his love for playing redeemable (triple question mark?) racists, feels like he’s more a sneaky ruin-everyone’s-predictions Oscar nominee for Richard Jewel or Jojo Rabbit than a Golden Globe spoiler.

My dream double-nominee? Aidy Bryant for her soul-baring work in Shrill and still being the best damn thing on Saturday Night Live. This is my hill, I’m happy to die on it.

So, now that we’ve counted out many of the possible double-nominees, let’s take a look at who could actually but up for twice the Globes this year:

Scarlett Johansson

Best Film Actress, Drama – Marriage Story

Best Film Supporting Actress – Jojo Rabbit

Golden Globe Nominations: 4 nominations, 0 wins

Let’s start at the top with the person who has the best chance of actually becoming the ninth person to ever to receive two Academy Award acting nominations in one year: Black Widow herself, Scarlett Johansson.

Johansson is inarguably having the biggest year of her career. Putting aside the character-best work of Natasha Romanov in Avengers: Endgame, she’s leading the pack, along with Renee Zellweger in Judy, for the Best Film Actress – Drama category for her career-best work in Marriage Story. But that’s not all! Johansson’s compassionate, accessible performance in JoJo Rabbit is that film’s best (only?) shot at acting nominations.

And let’s not forget: In 2004, Johansson was a double-nominee for her work in both Lost in Translation (a massive Oscar oversight) and The Girl with the Pearl Earring (a, uhh, film?).

Laura Dern

Best Film Supporting Actress – Marriage Story

Best TV Supporting Actress – Big Little Lies

Golden Globe Nominations: 7 nominations, 4 wins

A former Miss Golden Globe, Laura Dern is on a strong trajectory to be double-nominated this year, spanning both the television and film categories. As hard as this is for me to type, considering Jennifer Lopez gave my favorite performance of 2019 in Hustlers, Laura Dern’s buzz-magnet performance as Scarlett Johansson’s lawyer in Marriage Story is the front-runner in the Supporting Actress race this year.

That leaves a slight question mark around her return performance to Monterey, in season two of Big Little Lies. While the second season was met with a somewhat mixed response, it will still likely pick-up a few acting nominations including Dern as meme-machine Renata Klein.

Brad Pitt

Best Film Actor, Drama – Ad Astra

Best Film Supporting Actor – Once Upon a Time In… Hollywood

Golden Globe Nominations: 6 nominations (one as producer), 2 wins (one as producer)

Pitt is all but assured a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his this-is-what-a-movie-star looks like role in OUATIH. As mentioned above, the Golden Globes love a movie star, Pitt delivers in every aspect as Leonardo DiCaprio’s loyal stunt double, in a performance that feels like only he could’ve delivered. This is his time.

Ad Astra, is a different story. A well-received, but overly expensive film that didn’t do much, except whet everyone’s appetite for the true Dad Film of the season, Ford v. Ferrari. That said, Pitt’s performance was universally heralded. With likely Oscar contenders, Taron Edgerton (Rocketman), Eddie Murphy (Dolemite is My Name) and Pitt’s OUATIH co-star, Leonardo DiCaprio, all vying for the Comedy/Musical prize, there’s a chance Pitt could slip in.

Charlize Theron

Best Actress – Drama, Bombshell

Best Actress – Musical/Comedy, The Long Shot

Golden Globe Nominations: 5 nominations, 1 win

I can’t believe this isn’t more of a thing! The Golden Globes love Charlize Theron and love nominating her for comedies that are overlooked elsewhere (Tully, Young Adult). She’s pretty much a shoo-in for Bombshell (although, the more that film screens, the less buzzy it seems to get), but why is no one talking about her performance in The Long Shot? Yes, I know that film bombed at the box office, but she was a) great in it and b) it seems tailored made for a one-off Golden Globe nomination.

With Marriage Story and Judy (and, for that matter, Bombshell) all submitting in drama that leaves Comedy/Musical category wide-open. And while I love (love love love) seeing the pundits going for the Booksmart ladies (more on Kaitlyn Dever below!) and Ana De Armas for Knives Out, I’m wondering if pure inertia can get Theron a double-nod this year.

Olivia Colman

Best Actress – TV Drama – The Crown

Best TV Supporting Actress – Fleabag

2 Golden Globe nominations, 2 wins

Despite whatever hexes Glenn Close has placed on Olivia Coleman’s house after last year’s Oscars (RIP, Glenn Close’s golden dress), it looks pretty certain that Coleman will be back at the Globes this year, possibly with double nominations.

If the 2019 Emmys taught us anything, it’s not to underestimate Fleabag. Considering the brilliance, buzz and global nature of that show. Expect another round of wins, as a Phoebe Waller-Bridge victory lap. One of those nominations should be for Coleman’s wicked Stepmother, a role so deliciously evil it could run Facebook.

Her second nod this year should be for taking over Claire Foy’s Golden Globe winning role as Queen Elizabeth in The Crown season three.  This one feels even more like a sure thing.

Emma Thompson

Best Actress – TV Movie/Miniseries, Years & Years

Best Actress – Musical/Comedy, The Late Show

9 Golden Globe nominations (1 screenplay); 2 wins (1 screenplay)

Emma Thompson is a Golden Globe favorite, with nine nominations to her name, and an all-time Globes appearance, shoes-and-drink-in-hand. A great, perfect Globes nod would be for Late Night, the woefully underseen, Mindy Kaling-penned comedy, which gave Thompson her best role in years. The fact that this isn’t getting the Diane Keaton Something’s Gotta Give push is completely beyond me. With some wiggle room in the Best Film Actress, Musical/Comedy, Thompson could pop into the race – and rightfully so.

When you’re this popular with the HFPA, you can’t count out the fact that Thompson was front and center for the under-the-radar but slightly buzzy show, Years & Years. It’s the kind of thing that the Globes like to prove their credentials with by singling out. Being able to do that while celebrating a fav? You love to see it.

Kaitlyn Dever

Best Actress – TV Movie/Miniseries, Unbelievable

Best Actress – Musical/Comedy, Booksmart

0 Golden Globe nominations

Kaitlyn Dever has the range. She showed it off this year in two decidedly different, but ewually affecting performances. While a lot of the attention for Booksmart went to her co-star Beanie Feldstein and scene-stealer, Billie Lourd (what a great nomination that would be), Kaitlyn Dever was arguably the heart of the film. If Booksmart does well at the Globes, expect Dever to get the nod in the Best Film Actress Musical/Comedy, and for me to scream with glee.

While she’s at it, though, her steely, heartbreaking turn as a sexual assault survivor in Unbelievable was one of the performances of the year. She should get in for this – along with her co-star Merritt Weaver, a national treasure.

Renée Zellweger

Best Film Actress, Drama – Judy

Best TV Movie/Miniseries Actress – What/If

6 Golden Globe nominations, 3 wins

I know this sounds crazy, but hear me out. We all know about the Renée-naissance, which is rightfully deserved, if miserably phrased. While the sum of its biopic parts didn’t always come together perfectly, there’s no denying that Zellweger’s performance in Judy is a true tour-de-force. This nomination – and win – could be her slow march to victory come the Academy Awards next year.

But a nomination for What/If? a proposed, but canceled, anthology Netflix series that I was screaming on Twitter about for days to no avail? It’s true, true trash. But it’s the kind of trash that the Golden Globes tends to lap-up when fronted by a Star (Jamie Lee Curtis in Scream Queens comes to mind). And there’s no denying that Zellweger is having a great time, tying her lobster bib around her neck to absolutely devour all scenery. It could happen. And it should! For the indoor archery scene alone (seriously, watch What/If)!

Meryl Streep

Best TV Supporting Actress – Big Little Lies

Best Film Actress, Musical/Comedy – The Laundromat

Best Film Supporting Actress – Little Women

32 Golden Globe nominations, 8 wins

Look, I’m not saying that it should happen. I’m not even saying that The Laundromat exists in this plane of reality, I’m just saying that when you’re the most nominated actor in  Golden Globes history and were once nominated for Best Supporting Actress for the remake of The Manchurian Candidate, all bets are off.

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