A night that was reminiscent of the 2014 Golden Globe Awards ceremony, it came down to the final category for Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight” which had been shut out in every previous category it received a nomination for – Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Screenplay, and Best Director.
“Moonlight” would then win what is effectively the top prize of the awards show, Best Motion Picture (Drama) – a great sigh of relief for all of social media it seemed last night, after presenters and on-screen “Rocky” rivals Sylvester Stalone and Carl Weathers, read the title Jenkins’ much-praised drama as the winner in that category.
I say it was reminiscent of the 2014 Golden Globe Awards ceremony because that year, another black film (also produced by Brad Pitt’s Plan B shingle by the way) “12 Years a Slave” was nominated in 7 categories (“Moonlight” received almost as many with 5 nominations), including the very same slots that “Moonlight” was nominated in (Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Motion Picture and more), but the critically-acclaimed Steve McQueen drama would also be shut out for much of the evening, to finally win the last award, also the top prize of the awards show, Best Motion Picture (Drama), just like “Moonlight” did last night.
“12 Years a Slave” was nominated in 7 categories and won just 1 of them; “Moonlight” in 5 categories, and won just 1 of them; both nominated in many of the same categories, and winning in the same category in the end.
Of course “12 years” would go on to do well at the Oscars (winning top trophies, Best Supporting Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture; it was nominated in 9 categories); so if history repeats itself as it practically did at the Golden Globes this year, “Moonlight” might be picking up Oscars in most of the same categories in which it lost at the Globes this year. Of course it has to be actually nominated first (the Academy will announce its nominees on Tuesday, January 24, 2017); but just about every awards season industry expert and critic has the Barry Jenkins film (and its cast) as definite selections. So now we wait to find out…
As for the rest of the night, Viola Davis, as exepcted, won the Globe for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture for her performance in “Fences,” beating out fellow nominees Naomie Harris (“Moonlight”) and Octavia Spencer (“Hidden Figures”). Of note, this is the first time in Golden Globe history that 3 black actresses received nominations in this specific category. Coincidentally, the last time a black actress won in this category was in 2012, when Octavia Spencer won for “The Help.” She would go on to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress as well; so the odds favor Davis doing the same this year. By most accounts, she’s the front-runner.
Donald Glover picked up 2 trophies for “Atlanta” in both of the categories it was nominated for – Best Actor in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical; and Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy. This was Glover’s first time as a Globe nominee and winner. I’m sure it won’t be his last.
And finally, Tracee Ellis Ross picked up the trophy for Best Performance in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy, for her performance in “black-ish”; it was also her first Globe nomination and win.
The early “Moonlight” shutout aside, I was surprised that neither Courtney B. Vance or Sterling K. Brown won in their respective categories: Best Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television; and Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television. Both seemed primed to win after doing so at the Emmys and Critics Choice awards as well. Let’s see what the SAG Awards have to say about both actors later this month; although they are nominated in the same category: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series. Competing against Riz Ahmed, Bryan Cranston, and John Turturro in that category, there’s a chance that either Vance or Brown may win, or they could also cancel each other out and one of the other 3 actors wins.
Also worth noting is that “Hidden Figures” didn’t win in any of the categories it was nominated for: Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture (Octavia Spencer) and Best Original Score. The film is nominated in 2 categories at the SAG Awards, and may also receive an Oscar nomination or 2 when those are announced in a couple of weeks.
Maybe also surprising is that Denzel Washington didn’t win the Actor nod for his performance in “Fences.” But he’s also considered an Oscar and SAG front-runner in the same category. Neither did Ruth Negga win for “Loving” (also an Oscar front-funner). Of course, I already mentioned that “Moonlight” was shut out in all but 1 category, so co-stars Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris, both SAG nominees who may also be Oscar nominees, didn’t go home with Golden Globe trophies.
The Golden Globes aren’t always a good indicator of what Oscar night might bring; I’d say they that about 50% of the time they are a precursor to the Oscars, but in the acting categories specifically, the SAG awards are better at foretelling who the Academy Awards winners will be.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s 74th annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony was broadcast live last night, January 8, 2017 from the Beverly Hilton Hotel, on NBC.
Below you’ll find all the Golden Globe nominees. As you can see, I highlighted (with a red rectangle) nominated talent of African descent, or films and TV shows that feature talent of African descent in major roles (in front of, and/or behind the camera):