With the 2010s almost over, awards season is finally in full swing with the HFPA (Hollywood Foreign Press Association) announcing their group of contenders for early next year.
The family drama Marriage Story, which stars Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver as a former couple struggling through a coast-to-coast divorce, leads the way with six nominations which includes Best Film (Drama). Driver and Johansson are both shortlisted in Best Actor (Drama) and Actress (Drama) respectively while co-star Laura Dern is up for Best Supporting Actress.
Despite a snub in Best Director, Noah Baumbach is nodded for his screenplay while renowned composer Randy Newman is in contention for Best Original Score.
Johansson faces a battle to win her Best Actress category which also includes previous winners Saoirse Ronan (Little Women), Charlize Theron (Bombshell) and early favourite Renée Zellweger. The latter is nominated for her portrayal of Judy Garland in the biopic Judy.
There was also a strong showing for the Martin Scorsese-directed crime epic The Irishman which received five nods including Best Film (Drama) and Best Director plus double mentions in Best Supporting Actor for veteran stars Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. However, co-star Robert De Niro was surprisingly ignored in the Best Actor (Drama) category.
Another film to receive five mentions was Quentin Tarantino’s Golden-Age epic Once Upon a Time in Hollywood which scored big in the likes of Best Film (Comedy/Musical) and Best Director. Leading men Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt are both deservedly nominated for Best Actor (C/M) and Supporting Actor respectively.
Elsewhere, there were four nominations apiece for the comic-book thriller Joker and the religious-based drama The Two Popes with both contesting Best Film (Drama). Leading stars Joaquin Phoenix and Jonathan Pryce are up for Best Actor (Drama) with the latter’s co-star Anthony Hopkins nominated in Supporting Actor. The final Best Film (Drama) contender is the war thriller 1917 which scored two additional nods for Best Director (Sam Mendes) and Best Original Score (for composer Thomas Newman).
In the comedy/musical categories, ‘Hollywood faces stern competition in Best Film (Comedy/Musical) from the blaxploitation biopic Dolemite is My Name, the WWII satire Jojo Rabbit, the mystery caper Knives Out and the Elton John-based musical Rocketman.
British trio Daniel Craig (Knives Out), Taron Egerton (Rocketman) and youngster Roman Griffin Davis (Jojo Rabbit) contest the Best Actor (C/M) lineup along with DiCaprio and Eddie Murphy (Dolemite is My Name). The female category sees experienced names like Cate Blanchett (Where’d You Go, Bernadette?) and Emma Thompson (Late Night) go up against rising stars Awkwafina (The Farewell), Ana de Armas (Knives Out) and Beanie Feldstein (Booksmart).
Elsewhere, Tom Hanks is nominated in Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Fred Rogers in the biopic A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. As it happens, the legendary actor is also the recipient of next year’s Cecil B. DeMille award.
Other actors to score key nods were Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers), Christian Bale (Ford v Ferrari), Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory), Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), Kathy Bates (Richard Jewell), Annette Bening (The Report) and Margot Robbie (Bombshell).
The Best Song category sees musical heavyweights Elton John, Beyoncé AND Taylor Swift all nominated for their songs in Rocketman, The Lion King and Cats. There is also a key battle in Best Animated Film where Disney trio Frozen 2, Lion King and Toy Story 4 all lock horns.
Finally, there was an impressive showing from the Korean drama Parasite which claimed three nominations for Best Foreign Language Film, Best Director (Bong Joon Ho) and Best Screenplay.
Though there were plenty of strong nominees, there were also a number of snubs. Little Women only managed the one nod for Saoirse Ronan with co-star Florence Pugh and director Greta Gerwig both ignored. Other notable omissions included Adam Sandler (Uncut Gems), Lupita Nyong’o (Us), Himesh Patel (Yesterday), Constance Wu (Hustlers), Emilia Clarke (Last Christmas), Shia LaBeouf (Honey Boy) and Scarlett Johansson (Jojo Rabbit).
The full list of nominees are below (with my predictions in blue):
BEST MOTION PICTURE (DRAMA)
THE TWO POPES
BEST ACTOR (DRAMA)
Christian Bale, FORD V FERRARI
Antonio Banderas, PAIN AND GLORY
Adam Driver, MARRIAGE STORY
Joaquin Phoenix, JOKER
Jonathan Pryce, THE TWO POPES
BEST ACTRESS (DRAMA)
Cynthia Erivo, HARRIET
Scarlett Johansson, MARRIAGE STORY
Saoirse Ronan, LITTLE WOMEN
Charlize Theron, BOMBSHELL
Renée Zellweger, JUDY
BEST MOTION PICTURE (COMEDY/MUSICAL)
DOLEMITE IS MY NAME
ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD
BEST ACTOR (COMEDY/MUSICAL)
Daniel Craig, KNIVES OUT
Roman Griffin Davis, JOJO RABBIT
Leonardo DiCaprio, ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD
Taron Egerton, ROCKETMAN
Eddie Murphy, DOLEMITE IS MY NAME
BEST ACTRESS (COMEDY/MUSICAL)
Ana de Armas, KNIVES OUT
Awkwafina, THE FAREWELL
Cate Blanchett, WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE?
Beanie Feldstein, BOOKSMART
Emma Thompson, LATE NIGHT
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Tom Hanks, A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHORHOOD
Anthony Hopkins, THE TWO POPES
Al Pacino, THE IRISHMAN
Joe Pesci, THE IRISHMAN
Brad Pitt, ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Kathy Bates, RICHARD JEWELL
Annette Bening, THE REPORT
Laura Dern, MARRIAGE STORY
Jennifer Lopez, HUSTLERS
Margot Robbie, BOMBSHELL
Bong Joon-Ho, PARASITE
Sam Mendes, 1917
Todd Phillips, JOKER
Martin Scorsese, THE IRISHMAN
Quentin Tarantino, ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD
Noah Baumbach, MARRIAGE STORY
Bong Joon-Ho & Han Jin-Won, PARASITE
Anthony McCarten, THE TWO POPES
Quentin Tarantino, ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD
Steven Zallian, THE IRISHMAN
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Alexandre Desplat, LITTLE WOMEN
Hildur Guðnadóttir, JOKER
Randy Newman, MARRIAGE STORY
Thomas Newman, 1917
Daniel Pemberton, MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
CATS, “Beautiful Ghosts”
FROZEN II, “Into the Unknown”
HARRIET, “Stand Up”
THE LION KING, “Spirit”
ROCKETMAN, “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again”
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD
THE LION KING
TOY STORY 4
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
THE FAREWELL (China)
LES MISERABLES (France)
PAIN AND GLORY (Spain)
PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE (France)