Golden Globes Nominations Analysis: 100 New Voters But Business as Usual

The beefed-up organization produced the same kind of noms that the old HFPA always made, with glaring oversights alongside interesting choices

Golden Globe nominations
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If Monday morning’s nominations were supposed to begin the comeback of the Golden Globes, it was a pretty haphazard comeback.

In a largely nontelevised announcement that lost its central gimmick (a father-and-daughter announcing team!) when George Lopez got sick, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association released its nominees on social media, slowly, while the Los Angeles outlet of its broadcasting network, NBC, televised a few seconds of the announcement without audio.

And then a happy anchor grinned and chirped, “I love awards shows!”

Well, maybe. But when the local outlet of your own network doesn’t even broadcast your announcement, leaving interested parties to comb through social media looking for the categories as they dribble out, that feels more like arms-length caution than love.

(For the record, this was the West Coast outlet, not the East Coast one, where the announcement was seen on the “Today” show.)

After the stormy last couple of years for the HFPA, you can’t blame them. But a credible set of Golden Globes nominations was supposed to be a step in the right direction, an indication that the bigger (sort of), more diverse (slightly) and the less nonprofity (definitely) HFPA was a discerning bunch ready to give out awards based on merit.

These nominations weren’t enough to turn the tables; in fact, they were pretty much the same kind of noms that the old HFPA always made, with blind spots and glaring oversights alongside some interesting choices.

Filipino actress Dolly de Leon gets into the supporting-actress category for the satire “Triangle of Sadness” over better-known contenders? That’s cool, although it’s strange that they couldn’t fit in any of the gifted actresses in “Women Talking.”

Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert break into Best Director for the thoroughly weird “Everything Everywhere All at Once”? Good, but an all-male slate of directing nominees isn’t the best look in a year that included sterling work from Sarah Polley (“Women Talking”) and Gina Prince-Bythewood (“The Woman King”), among others.  

There were categories where the voters didn’t go for star power: Sorry, Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks, who were left out of slates that included Jeremy Pope, Lesley Manville and Diego Calva. And there were categories where they missed unassailably hot newcomers like Danielle Deadwyler and Stephanie Hsu.

In the television categories, there wasn’t much to do but scan the enormous world of TV and streaming and grab a few from Column A and a few from Column B: new shows like “Wednesday,” “The Bear” and “House of the Dragon” mixed with Emmy favorites like “Abbott Elementary,” “The Crown,” “Hacks,” “Only Murders in the Building” and “Ozark.” Voters also continued the trend of rewarding HBO’s giant “Game of Thrones” spinoff, “House of the Dragon,” while snubbing Amazon’s giant “Lord of the Rings” spinoff, “The Rings of Power.”

Going into Monday, the question was whether the sensibility of the nominations would change because of the 103 new voters, international journalists brought aboard not to be full-fledged HFPA members but to beef up the voting ranks and help satisfy studios and publicists who were tired of bowing to the whims of fewer than 100 mostly aging members.

And to judge by the nominations, those newcomers were just as idiosyncratic as the longtime voters they were joining, and just as affected by blind spots and prejudices. A batch of nominations led by Martin McDonagh’s amusingly vicious “The Banshees of Inisherin” and the anarchic “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is not an embarrassment by any means, but the overall makeup may be too male and too white to do substantial damage control for the embattled HFPA.   

But hey, at least they know that NBC will turn the sound on when the network broadcasts the Golden Globe ceremony on Jan. 10, right?