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How the Golden Globes and BAFTAs Will Shape the Oscars

We’re officially in the height of awards season. The Golden Globes kicked off the season this past weekend. The BAFTA nominations have officially been announced, along with the Writer’s Guild and Director’s Guild. The Critics Choice Awards are taking place on Sunday, January 12, and the Oscar nominations will be announced the next morning. It’s a time of awards chaos, and we finally have a clear look at what is going to shape the Oscar nominations and wins.


Quite possibly the biggest surprise of Globes night was the success of Sam Mendes’ one-take war drama 1917, which took home two of the most coveted awards: Best Director and Best Picture (Drama). The film, which had yet to have a wide release on Globes night, was always in contention for nominations, but it didn’t seem like anyone was truly expecting it to win. Bong Joon-ho and Martin Scorsese were thought to be battling it out for Best Director, while The Irishman, Marriage Story, and Joker seemed to be the strongest contenders for a Best Picture win. But, the HFPA decided to change the game and go with what is being called the greatest technical achievement of the year.


The purely technical aspects of the film could wind up hurting it. 1917 will most likely not receive a single acting nomination. Their only shot is George MacKay for Best Actor, but that seems like a very slim possibility considering just how packed the category is and how unknown of a name he is. A film has not won Best Picture at the Oscars without receiving a single acting nomination since Slumdog Millionaire in 2009. And, while 1917 did receive a Best Original Screenplay nomination at the Writer’s Guild Awards, the film has not been a strong force in that category either, missing out on a BAFTA nomination despite it being one of the most nominated films. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Booksmart both seem to be much stronger original screenplay contenders and will probably knock 1917 out. A film has not won Best Picture without a screenplay nomination since Titanic in 1998. So, while 1917’s chances have significantly increased, especially as a Best Director contender, it’s still a long way away from being the single front runner.

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was the biggest winner of Globes night, taking home three awards including Best Picture (Comedy or Musical), Best Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor (Brad Pitt). Out of these three wins, the one that is most certainly going to translate to the Oscars is Brad Pitt, who has been sweeping up awards almost everywhere. The other two strongest contenders, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino seem to be splitting votes, leaving room for Pitt to rise. The film is still a very strong contender for Best Picture and Best Screenplay as well. The Academy can’t resist a good Tarantino script, and there’s nothing Hollywood loves more than itself. The British Academy seems to love it too, as it earned 10 BAFTA nominations. Some of the divided reactions to the film, though, could lead to it not gaining enough traction for a Best Picture win.


Parasite has been performing well, winning a Golden Globe and getting a Best Picture nomination at the BAFTAS, but it hasn’t been sweeping quite as much as people wanted it to. At the Golden Globes, it missed out on winning Best Director and Best Screenplay, but, of course, won Best Foreign Language Film. At the BAFTAS, it got nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Film Not in the English Language, but was completely shut out of the acting and technical categories. While the film is definitely still one of the major front runners for Best Picture, especially when you take into account the Academy's preferential balloting system, it could ultimately just be another case of Hollywood being too afraid to give a foreign film the amount of recognition that it deserves. They could opt for a safer, whiter, and more American film. After all, Parasite is a critique of capitalism, and the themes of class division and social hierarchy might go completely over some rich awards voters’ heads. But, it is important to note that Parasite got a SAG ensemble nomination, making it only the second foreign film in history to do so. It is strong, it is passionately loved, and it’s still one of the strongest contenders the 2020 awards race has to offer.


Netflix significantly underperformed at the Golden Globes, only earning one award the entire night. Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, which was previously considered to be the front runner, went home completely empty-handed, as did The Two Popes. Laura Dern got Marriage Story one award, but it missed out on everything else. At the BAFTAs, The Irishman scored 10 nominations, but Marriage Story missed out on Best Picture. Both these films will most likely be nominated at the Academy Awards, but seem to be losing steam in the winning conversation. Dolemite Is My Name, which got two Globe nominations including Best Picture (Comedy), was completely shut out from the BAFTAS, not even being able to get recognition for Ruth E. Carter’s costume design. The Two Popes got two acting nominations and Best British Film, but still didn't make a huge splash. This goes to show that no matter how deep Netflix’s pockets go and how much they’re willing to campaign, the film industry is still cautious about streaming services.


Also still underperforming is Greta Gerwig’s Little Women. Despite receiving a nod from the Producer’s Guild, the film has been relatively shut out in major categories. The film did not win any of the Globes it was nominated for, and was completely shut out of the SAGs. At the BAFTAs, Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh got nominations for their respective categories, along with Best Adapted Screenplay and a couple of technical awards. Despite the strong love for this movie among audiences, something about this film is simply not registering with awards voters. There's still a chance it could get nominated at the Oscars as there are more slots, but it's far from being in the winning conversation.


Joker is doing surprisingly well, winning two Golden Globes and scoring eleven BAFTA nominations - the most of the entire lineup. Joaquin Phoenix won Best Actor (Drama) at the Globes, and he seems to be the frontrunner. Adam Driver for Marriage Story could upset, especially since people are taking note of some of Phoenix’s strange behavior now that he’s in the public eye, but it ultimately seems like Phoenix is going to sweep at this point. Todd Phillips got a director nomination at the BAFTAs, proving that it was not just some Golden Globes fluke. People are passionate about this movie, and it will surely make its way into the Best Picture line-up at the Oscars. But, losing to 1917 at the Globes pretty much puts it out of the winning conversation. If the Globes, who love crowd-pleasing, popular films like Bohemian Rhapsody, wouldn’t give it Best Picture, then no one is.

The acting categories all have clear front runners at this point, but there’s always room for upset. Best Actor seems to be a two-man race between Adam Driver and Joaquin Phoenix, with Phoenix being given an edge after his Globe win. Renee Zellweger leads Best Actress as an unstoppable force for her portrayal of Judy Garland, with Scarlett Johansson and Charlize Theron trailing not too far behind. Brad Pitt is making his rounds collecting Best Supporting Actor awards for his performance as stuntman Cliff Booth in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, beating out veteran actors Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, and Tom Hanks. Laura Dern is preparing to sweep for her scene-stealing performance in Marriage Story, snagging almost every conceivable Best Supporting Actress award.


Though the wins are fairly straightforward this year, each acting category has one or two open slots for nominations that could go any way. In Best Actor, we Driver, Phoenix, DiCaprio, and Egerton are all pretty solid, leaving room for one more actor in the lineup. That spot will most likely go to Antonio Banderas for his Cannes Best Actor winning performance in Pain and Glory. Despite missing out on SAG and BAFTA nominations, there’s still a good chance the Academy will nominate him, as they are more open to nominating performances from foreign films. But, that spot could also go to Christian Bale of Ford v. Ferrari or Jonathan Pryce of The Two Popes. We could even see Adam Sandler shock and get a nomination for his much talked about performance in Uncut Gems. It’s a similar situation in Best Actress, with four locks (Zellweger, Johansson, Theron, Ronan) and one open slot. It seems like this will either go to recent Golden Globe winner Awkwafina, SAG nominee Lupita Nyong’o, or EGOT hopeful Cynthia Erivo All have gotten nominations, all have gotten snubs. At this point, it’s hard to tell who will take that fifth slot. It could go any way.


Supporting Actor also seems to have four strong contenders with Pitt, Pacino, Pesci, and Hanks. The safe choice for the fifth slot would be Anthony Hopkins for The Two Popes, who received a Globe and a BAFTA nomination for his work. But, Song Kang-ho has been on the rise for quite some time now, and if he gets any nomination, it will be at the Oscars. If the Academy truly loves Parasite, then they will surely want to partner its Best Picture nomination and possible win with an acting nomination. Last year, the Academy shocked predictors by nominating Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira for their performances in Roma, so don’t underestimate Song. There’s also a chance that a Parasite actress could get in supporting, considering just how open that race is. Dern, Lopez, and Robbie are the main contenders, but the other two slots could go to just about anyone, and it’s been a different lineup at almost every show. Scarlett Johansson could get double nominated for her performance in Jojo Rabbit. Newcomer Florence Pugh could take a nomination for her beloved performance in Little Women. Kidman, Zhao, Bates, and Bening are also still in contention. Plus, as mentioned earlier, this could be a chance for one of the Parasite actresses to upset and snag a nomination. Cho Yeo-jong seems like the most likely option for her performance as the oblivious, rich mother who gets conned by the Park family. Maybe even Park So-dam could squeeze in there. Supporting Actress is completely up in the air; no bet is a safe bet.


As all the major awards shows have announced their lineups this year, they’ve proved time and time again that this is one of the most unpredictable and packed awards seasons in recent history. The Oscars will most likely follow suit and give us some shocking surprises and upsets. The nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards will be announced on Monday, January 13 at 8:18 A.M. ET/5:18 A.M. PST, and the ceremony will take place on Sunday, February 9 at 8:00 P.M. ET/5:00 P.M. PST.

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