Dreamy musical “La La Land”, set in modern-day Los Angeles, topped nominations for the Golden Globes on Monday, as Hollywood’s awards seasons revs up in the march to the Oscars.
Damien Chazelle’s tribute to the Golden Age of American musicals picked up seven nods, including for best musical/comedy film and for its two stars, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.
Dramas “Moonlight,” “Manchester by the Sea” and “Florence Foster Jenkins” followed with six, five and four nominations, respectively.
The announcements will give the nominees a welcome boost going into the race for February’s Oscars, with the influential Screen Actors Guild nominations to come later this week.
“La La Land” will face competition from “20th Century Women,” “Deadpool,” “Florence Foster Jenkins,” and “Sing Street” in the race for best comedy or musical film.
Vying for best motion picture drama are Mel Gibson’s war movie “Hacksaw Ridge,” heist thriller “Hell or High Water,” family dramas “Lion” and “Manchester by the Sea” and coming-of-age story “Moonlight.”
Experts have Chazelle’s musical in the lead in several races for the Globes, which will take place on January 8 with comedian Jimmy Fallon as host.
“Normally the Globe voters like to spread the wealth among a lot of different films, but I could honestly see it winning the film award and (awards) for Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone,” Chris Beachum, the managing director of the Gold Derby awards predictions website told AFP.
– Frontrunner –
“It’s got a very good shot at ‘directing’ and maybe the score or song categories — it could do really well.”
Kenneth Lonergan’s unflinching “Manchester by the Sea,” which earned Casey Affleck a nomination for best actor in a drama film, has been monopolizing attention on the drama side of the Globes competition.
Another frontrunner is Barry Jenkins’s “Moonlight,” with the director and cast members Naomie Harris and Mahershala Ali all garnering nominations.
“Lion,” about a young man from India adopted by an Australian family who searches for his long-lost blood relatives using Google Earth, is also considered a favorite for the Oscars.
Garth Davis’s drama received Globes nods for best drama motion picture, and in the supporting acting categories for Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman.
Notable by its absence from the nominations was Nate Parker’s “The Birth of a Nation,” which was seen as firm awards material until news emerged over the summer of the director’s acquittal over rape allegations in 1999 by a woman who ended up committing suicide.
– Surprises –
Other surprise omissions were Denzel Washington, nominated on seven previous occasions, who looked like a good bet to earn his first directing nod for “Fences,” and “Silence” director Martin Scorsese, who won in 2012 for “Hugo.”
Washington nevertheless earned a nomination for his acting in “Fences,” as did co-star Viola Davis.
Emily Blunt missed out on a sixth acting nomination for “The Girl on the Train,” with best drama actress nods going to Isabelle Huppert (“Elle”), Jessica Chastain (“Miss Sloane”), Amy Adams (“Arrival”), Ruth Negga (“Loving”) and Natalie Portman (“Jackie”).
Among the television nominations, FX true crime anthology “The People vs O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” led with five nominations.
AMC crime drama “The Night Manager” was close behind with four nominations, while “Black-ish,” “The Crown,” “The Night Of,” “This is Us” and “Westworld” grabbed three each.
HBO comfortably led the television nominations with 14.
FX’s “Atlanta,” about two cousins trying to make it big in hip hop, is a strong contender for a best musical/comedy Globe after earning acclaim for its 10-episode debut season in the fall.
It faces competition from “Black-ish,” “Mozart in the Jungle,” “Transparent” and “Veep.”
Although more high-profile than the SAGs, the Golden Globes are seen as less of an indicator of Oscars glory, as a relatively small group of non-US journalists — the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — chooses the winners, rather than the industry itself.