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  • by Jeff Beck

Surprises and Takeaways from the Golden Globe Nominations

Christian Bale in "Vice"

This morning's Golden Globe nominations were a lot to take in, with plenty of surprise inclusions and snubs, so let's take a look at a few and what this means for these films' Oscar chances.

First off, "Vice" topping the list was entirely unexpected, with the film taking six major nominations (Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor, and Supporting Actress). They clearly loved the film, but will it actually win any of these awards? For the supporting categories, I would say no, for Regina King seems to have Supporting Actress locked up, while Supporting Actor appears to be between Grant and Ali. Director would appear to be Cuaron's to lose, while Screenplay is probably between "The Favourite" and "If Beale Street Could Talk." Given the massive critical praise for "The Favourite," that would appear to be the actual favorite to take Best Picture (Comedy/Musical). When it comes right to it, it would appear that the best chance "Vice" has to take home an award is for Bale's incredible performance, though he will have to square off against Viggo Mortensen's outstanding turn in "Green Book."

As I mentioned earlier, the biggest, most shocking snub of the morning was the exclusion of director Yorgos Lanthimos for his brilliant work on "The Favourite." Next to Alfonso Cuaron, he appeared to be the most obvious name to have in the mix. Instead, the HFPA opted to include unexpected names like Adam McKay ("Vice") and Peter Farrelly ("Green Book"). It's not clear how such a glaring omission occurred, but it is quite an embarrassing one.

Another big omission was the complete shut-out of Paul Schrader's "First Reformed," which has been doing rather well in various screenplay and acting categories. Ethan Hawke gives one of the very best performances of the year, making his snub a rather shocking one, even more so when you consider that he was left off for Bradley Cooper ("A Star is Born") and John David Washington ("Blackkklansman").

You may also notice that Damien Chazelle's "First Man" didn't show up very much this morning, nabbing only two nods for Best Supporting Actress (Claire Foy) and Best Original Score (Justin Hurwitz). With the surprise omission of "Beale Street" in the latter, "First Man" actually has a chance there, but with it being left out of Picture, Director, and Screenplay, we can pretty much confirm what we already seem to know in that it will probably not be a contender for the major awards (though it has a great shot at winning several tech Oscars).

So, what do these omissions mean for the other films? Well, given that you have to go back to 2005 to find a Best Picture Oscar winner that didn't get a nod for Director at the Globes, it would appear that "The Favourite" has much less of a chance than it did before. It's still possible it could win, but it would need to get some serious momentum going. Meanwhile, you have to go back to 2004 to find a Best Picture Oscar winner that didn't get a Screenplay nomination at the Globes, which would appear to dash the chances for "A Star is Born," whose chances didn't seem great already thanks to its relatively low critical rating.

And what of Ethan Hawke? I wouldn't say his chances are completely over, but you do have to go back quite a ways to find the last time a Best Actor Oscar winner wasn't nominated in one of the Lead categories at the Globes. At the very least, I imagine he'll get the nomination. If he doesn't, it would be an even bigger shock than his exclusion here. I believe the same can he said of Paul Schrader. He'll probably still get the nomination since the Academy splits up their Screenplay awards, and I wouldn't say his chances are dead at all. He'll still have to go up against "The Favourite," but just remember that both "Get Out" and "Call Me by Your Name" failed to get Screenplay nods here last year, and both of them went on to win Oscars.

Indeed, there were lots of surprises this morning, and of course, there's always the potential for the ceremony itself to surprise us even more. We'll just have to wait and see what happens when the 76th Annual Golden Globes take place on January 6th, 2019, so be sure to check back and see who the big winners are.

Follow me on Twitter @BeckFilmCritic.

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