NEW YORK (AP) – Guillermo del Toro’s Cold War-era fairytale “The Shape of Water” swam away with a leading seven nominations from the Golden Globes, while the HBO drama “Big Little Lies” led television nominees with six nods.
In what’s being viewed as a wide-open Oscar race so far, several films followed closely behind “The Shape of Water,” including Steven Spielberg’s Pentagon Papers drama “The Post,” with six nominations, including best actress for Meryl Streep and best actor for Tom Hanks. Martin McDonagh’s revenge drama “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” also got a major boost in the nominations announced Monday in Beverly Hills, California, with six nods, including best actress for Frances McDormand and supporting actor for Sam Rockwell.
As the most prominent platform yet in Hollywood’s awards season to confront the post-Harvey Weinstein landscape, the Globes also enthusiastically supported Ridley Scott’s J. Paul Getty drama “All the Money in the World.” Christopher Plummer, who replaced Kevin Spacey in the film, was nominated for best supporting actor. Scott was also nominated for best director and Michelle Williams for best actress.
A rough cut of the film was screened last week for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which puts on the Globes. Scott is quickly reediting the movie to eradicate Spacey, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by numerous men.
“It must have been a herculean effort, because Christopher Plummer is all the way through the movie,” said Meher Tatna, president of the press association. “He really pulled off the impossible.”
Notably left out were frequent Globes-nominees “House of Cards” and “Transparent,” two of the TV shows affected by the cascading fallout of sexual harassment allegations in the wake of Weinstein’s ouster. As usual, the nominations were partly announced on NBC’s “Today” show, where Matt Lauer was recently fired following allegations of sexual misconduct.
Along with “The Shape of Water,” ”Three Billboards” and “The Post,” the nominees for best drama were the tender young romance “Call Me By Your Name” (which also landed nods for stars Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer) and Christopher Nolan’s World War II epic “Dunkirk.”
But setting itself apart from the pack was the monster fable “The Shape of Water,” which stars Sally Hawkins as a mute cleaning woman who falls in love with a captive amphibious creature. No film was more widely celebrated, with nods including del Toro’s directing and Alexandre Desplat’s sumptuous score.
“I believe in magic and this is a magical thing,” said Hawkins.
The best picture comedy or musical category was led by a handful of Oscar favorites – Greta Gerwig’s mother-daughter tale “Lady Bird,” Jordan Peele’s horror sensation “Get Out” – as well as a handful of others: James Franco’s comedy “The Disaster Artist,” about the making of “The Room”; the upcoming musical “The Greatest Showman”; and the Tonya Harding comic-drama “I, Tonya.”
Despite considerable backlash, “Get Out” ended up on the comedy side of the Globes after being submitted that way by Universal Pictures. (The HFPA ultimately decides genre classification.) Peele himself slyly commented on the controversy, calling his social critique of latent racism “a documentary.” The Globes passed over Peele’s script, but newcomer Daniel Kaluuya was nominated for best actor in a comedy.
Though some predicted and feared an acting field lacking diversity, the nominees were fairly inclusive. Among the 30 film acting nominees were Denzel Washington (“Roman J. Israel, Esq.”), Mary J. Blige (“Mudbound”), Hong Chau (“Downsizing”) and Octavia Spencer (“The Shape of Water”).
But the best director category remained all-male, as it has for most of Globes and Academy Awards history. Many hoped for a different story in a year where a parade of sexual harassment scandals has laid bare Hollywood’s gender imbalances. But contenders like Gerwig (whose film garnered four nominations, including nods for actress Saoirse Ronan and Gerwig’s screenplay), Patty Jenkins (“Wonder Woman”) and Dee Rees (“Mudbound”) were overlooked for a group of Spielberg, del Toro, Nolan, McDonagh and Scott.
Apart from the success of “All the Money in the World,” the morning’s biggest surprise might have been the complete omission of the romantic comedy “The Big Sick,” penned by real-life couple Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. Another Oscar underdog, “The Florida Project,” emerged with only one nomination, for Willem Dafoe’s supporting performance as the manager of a low-rent motel.
In the television categories, the Emmy-winning “Big Little Lies” earned a host of acting nods (Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley, Alexander Skarsgard, Laura Dern) as well as best limited series. HBO, which recently announced a second season for “Big Little Lies,” led TV networks with 12 nominations overall; Netflix followed with nine nods.
FX’s Bette Davis and Joan Crawford chronicle “Feud: Bette and Joan” landed four nominations, including nods for Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon. Amazon’s just-debuted “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” scored two nods, including best comedy series. Also with multiple nominations were Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” and NBC’s “This Is Us.” HBO’s “Game of Thrones” received a nod for best drama series, but nothing for its cast.
Geoffrey Rush was nominated for best performance by a lead actor in a limited series or TV movie for his Albert Einstein in Nat Geo’s “Genius.” Rush on Friday filed a defamation suit against the Daily Telegraph for a since-deleted report that the Sydney Theatre Company received a complaint of “inappropriate behavior” by the actor.
Gary Oldman, nominated for best actor for his Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour,” said the sexual misconduct scandals have cast an unusual pall over an awards season where Weinstein was for decades a dominant force.
“How should we celebrate? Well, I don’t think any of it’s funny, so I guess that people will stay away from it in the ceremony,” said Oldman by phone Monday. “It’s evolution, and it’s good that we sort of start to check ourselves about what we do and what we say and how we do it and how we say it to people, so I think it’s ultimately a good thing. But I can’t see too much of this coming up in (the show).”
The Globes haven’t traditionally predicted the Oscars, but they did last January. The Globes best-picture winners – “Moonlight” and “La La Land” – both ultimately ended up on the stage for the final award of the Oscars, with “Moonlight” emerging victorious only after the infamous envelope flub. The press association, which has worked in recent years to curtail its reputation for odd choices, is composed of approximately 90 freelance international journalists.
Foreign film nominees were Angelina Jolie’s “First They Killed My Father” (Cambodia), the transgender drama “A Fantastic Woman” (Chile), the Germany-France production “In the Fade,” the Russian drama “Loveless” and the Palme d’Or-winning “The Square.”
The last Globes broadcast, hosted by Jimmy Fallon, averaged 20 million viewers, an upswing of 8 percent, according to Nielsen. This year, Seth Meyers, will host the January 7 ceremony. He will have his hands full trying to keep a famously frothy show light amid such dark scandals for the movie industry.
Last year’s Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement honoree, Streep, spoke forcefully against then President-elect Donald Trump, shortly before his inauguration. Trump the next day criticized the actress as “overrated.” This year, Streep – along with Spielberg and Hanks – will return with a pointed and timely drama about the power of the press to counter lies emanating from the White House.
Said Streep in a statement: “I’m thrilled for the movie, for Steven and Tom, and for the incredible ensemble of actors who made this movie need its moment in history.”
Associated Press’ Lindsey Bahr, Sandy Cohen and Ryan Pearson contributed to this report from Los Angeles.