7 Jan 2019

A primer on the 76th Golden Globes

1:05 pm on 7 January 2019

The 76th annual Golden Globe Awards, which take place in Los Angeles today, will be hosted by Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg.

Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg, hosts of the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards, are interviewed by the media in front of the main stage during a preview day at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 3, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California.

Photo: AFP / 2019 Getty Images / Kevork Djansezian

Leading the nominations this year is Vice - a satirical biopic of former US Vice-President Dick Cheney - which has six. It's likely to win one or two (probably including Christian Bale in best film comedy/musical actor for playing Cheney), but may be overshadowed on the night.

A Star Is Born starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper has five nods, as do The Favourite and Green Book.

Mary Poppins Returns and Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman have four apiece.

Here are some of the stories to look out for at the ceremony, which starts at 12pm Monday NZ time.

The comedy/drama conundrum

The Golden Globes split the main categories into drama on one side, and comedy/musical on the other. And it's quite confusing.

The Favourite is up for the comedy/musical awards, as are Vice, and Green Book which delves into racial tensions in the deep south of the US in the early 1960s. All could equally be deemed dramas.

Meanwhile, the drama categories have A Star Is Born - which is certainly dramatic, but also has Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper singing lots of songs - and Bohemian Rhapsody, the one with lots of songs by pop group Queen.

Why? The studio behind A Star Is Born is confident it can beat its straight drama rivals, and wants the added gravitas that drama awards would give it going into the Oscars race. And if Rami Malek won best actor in a drama, that would impress Oscar voters more, the theory goes.

Other films are thought to have more chance of winning something - anything - by entering the musical/comedy categories rather than drama, which would be better than winning nothing at all.

A Star Is Born may shine bright

A Star is born
Real  Bradley Cooper
Bradley Cooper
Lady Gaga.
Collection Christophel © Warner Bros

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in 'A Star is Born'. Photo: AFP / Warner Bros

Let's hope A Star Is Born wins something, if only so Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper can recreate the film's excruciating award ceremony scene live on stage.

It is likely to be the biggest film winner of the night. Gaga is close to a dead certainty for best drama actress, and it will also probably be named best film drama.

Cooper's in with a shot of winning best drama actor, best director or both, and it would be a big upset if it doesn't pick up best song for 'Shallow'.

All hail Queen Olivia Colman?

British actress Olivia Colman will cement her status as a Hollywood star if she's crowned best actress in a comedy or musical for her remarkable performance as Queen Anne in The Favourite.

She's tipped to beat nearest challenger and fellow Brit Emily Blunt, who's nominated for Mary Poppins Returns.

If Colman does triumph, it will give her a boost in the race for best actress at the Oscars.

When she won her only Golden Globe to date (for The Night Manager in 2017) she didn't turn up because she didn't think she'd win.

She's also about to be seen playing another monarch - Queen Elizabeth II - in the third season of Netflix's The Crown. As the Golden Globes honour both film and TV, she could win Globes two years in a row for playing two different queens.

The rebirth of Richard E. Grant

Despite acclaimed roles in films like Withnail & I, The Iron Lady, Gosford Park and, er, Spice World, Richard E. Grant has never been a major awards contender - until now.

The 61-year-old is finally getting recognition and could well find himself with a Golden Globe for best supporting film actor for playing the half-cut companion of Melissa McCarthy's author-turned-con artist in Can You Ever Forgive Me?

No caption

Photo: Fox

Another rebirth for Hugh Grant

Unlike Richard E, Hugh (no relation) has been loved by the Golden Globes in the past, winning once and getting four nominations over the past 25 years.

The most recent nomination was for his role as St Clair Bayfield in Florence Foster Jenkins two years ago, but this time he's been shortlisted for a TV role: for best actor in a limited series for his portrayal of disgraced former Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe, in A Very English Scandal.

His co-star Ben Whishaw is also nominated in the supporting category, and the show is up for the best limited series award.

Killing it with Killing Eve

Phoebe Waller Bridge, the star and creator of unflinching comedy Fleabag, is tipped to be giving an acceptance speech for best TV drama with stylish and subversive crime drama Killing Eve that was adapted from Luke Jennings' book Codename Villanelle.

Sandra Oh, who played Eve, is also a favourite to win best TV drama, which could be interesting given that she's also sharing hosting duties with Brooklyn Nine-Nine's Andy Samberg.

Amy Adams v Regina King - double bill

The US stars are both enjoying purple patches and are going head-to-head for two awards - best supporting film actress and best TV limited series actress.

Adams will hope winning a film prize for playing Dick Cheney's ambitious wife Lynne will boost her chances of finally winning an Oscar (she's been nominated five times already), but King - who is nominated for playing the mother of a woman whose fiance is accused of rape in Barry Jenkins' If Beale Street Could Talk - will give her a run for her money.

The pair are both nominated in the TV section for two very different crime dramas - King for Seven Seconds and Adams for Sharp Objects.

Will Jeff Bridges provide a Meryl/Oprah moment?

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 02: Jeff Bridges attends the Premiere Of Vision Films' "Living In The Future's Past" at Ahrya Fine Arts Theater on October 2, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.   Frazer Harrison/Getty Images/AFP

Photo: AFP / 2018 Getty Images / Frazer Harrison

In the past two years, arguably the most memorable Golden Globe moments have not come from the winners of the competitive awards, but from the recipients of the honorary lifetime achievement gong.

In 2017, Meryl Streep famously used her acceptance speech to make a withering attack on Donald Trump, while Winfrey targeted sexism in an impassioned speech that stoked speculation she might run for president.

The award they both received is called the Cecil B DeMille Award, and True Grit and Crazy Heart star Bridges is this year's recipient.

There are lots of topical subjects he could choose to cover - he is spokesperson for the No Kid Hungry campaign, sits on the Everytown For Gun Safety's creative council and has just narrated a documentary on climate change.

The Globes have also created an equivalent award for the TV world this year.

It will be named after actress Carol Burnett, who will also be the first recipient.


Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs