Golden Globes Underwhelm as Hollywood Anticipates the Real Influencers: The SAG Awards

This year's awards season is almost as quiet as last year's. But there's still time to build winning momentum.
THE POWER OF THE DOG, from left: Kodi-Smit-McPhee, Benedict Cumberbatch, 2021. © Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection
Kodi-Smit-McPhee and Benedict Cumberbatch in "The Power of the Dog"
©Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection

What a long strange trip it’s been, watching the Golden Globes fade into obscurity. Sunday night’s untelevised awards ceremony was held at the usual location, the Beverly Hilton, in a private ballroom without a red carpet, celebrities, press, or fanfare. And the rest of Hollywood (beyond those with a rooting interest in other upcoming awards like SAG, Oscars, and Emmys), paid little mind to the Globe winners, announced via a series of off-kilter, star-focused Tweets. Truth is, the Globes have long provided a great excuse for Hollywood to revel in a hedonistic party weekend. At the moment, that sort of behavior, like the Globes themselves, is hidden behind closed doors.

NBC’s live Golden Globes show has helped to build winners’ momentum, but that didn’t happen this year. And due to the Omicron surge, the live event that was supposed to capitalize on the missing Globes telecast, the Critics Choice Awards, was postponed until another date still to be announced, along with the Academy’s Governors Awards. Meanwhile, the Palm Springs Film Festival and its awards gala were canceled altogether. The net result: a diminution in buzzy interest heading into the Oscar nominations on February 8 and the ultimate kudocast on March 27, which now seems well-timed.

The Screen Actors Guild, which gave “Parasite” a Best Ensemble win in 2020 before the movie went on to win the Best Picture Oscar, is far more predictive than the Globes. With its motley crew of Hollywood correspondents for overseas outlets, the HFPA never reflected the taste of Oscar voters. Sure, the Globes threw some names into the spotlight and boasted extra categories for Comedy/Musical. But the press has given more attention to the Globes than the disdainful Academy voters ever did.

No question, musical maven Lin-Manuel Miranda had a great night, thanks to the Musical and Animated wins for Andrew Garfield for “Tick, Tick, Boom” (Netflix) and “Encanto” (Disney), respectively. And Netflix is also cheering their “The Power of the Dog” wins for Drama, Director, and Supporting Actor. Warner Bros. took home Best Actor for Will Smith in “King Richard” and Best Score for Hans Zimmer for “Dune.” Disney also scored Musical and Supporting Actress winner “West Side Story.” Amazon nabbed Best Actress in a Drama for Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball in “Being the Ricardos.” And Janus’ Non-English Language winner “Drive My Car,” which on Saturday added the National Film Critics Association to its Best Film winning streak, is starting to look like a lock for the Best International Feature Oscar.

Judi Dench, Jude Hill, and Ciaran Hinds in “Belfast”Focus Features

Others are banking on the SAG Awards. Going into the Globes with seven nominations, Focus Features wound up winning just Best Screenplay for Kenneth Branagh’s “Belfast.” They could recoup some winning momentum for actors Caitriona Balfe, Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan, and Ciaran Hinds via Wednesday’s SAG Awards nominations, where MGM/UA, which scored one Globe for Billie Eilish for her “No Time to Die” title song, could also use some love for Lady Gaga and Jared Leto in “House of Gucci,” Alana Haim and Bradley Cooper in “Licorice Pizza,” Peter Dinklage in “Cyrano,” and Jennifer Hudson in “Respect.”

Searchlight still nurtures SAG hopes for Globe-snubbed Guillermo del Toro’s success d’estime “Nightmare Alley,” starring Cooper and Cate Blanchett, as well as Jessica Chastain for “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.” AppleTV+’s best shots at SAG nods are Sian Heder’s Sundance pickup “CODA,” via supporting players Marlee Matlin and Troy Kotsur, and Joel Coen’s late-breaking “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” starring Denzel Washington, who is just starting to do some press. Neon’s Best Actress hopeful Kristen Stewart (“Spencer”) needs to display more support than critics groups. And never underestimate Sony Pictures Classics, which is working hard on getting attention for National Film Critics Association winner Penélope Cruz for Pedro Almodóvar’s “Parallel Mothers.”

Mainly, a depressed theatrical box office and pandemic cancellations are muting the noise around awards. But things are likely to pick up as we head into the final stretch, with less potential for the usual awards fatigue.

(See IndieWire’s Best Picture predictions here.)

West Side Story
“West Side Story”20th Century Studios

Golden Globe Film Winners

Best Motion Picture — Drama: “The Power of the Dog”

Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy: “West Side Story”

Best Motion Picture — Animated: “Encanto”

Best Motion Picture — Non-English Language: “Drive My Car”

Best Director: Jane Campion, “The Power of the Dog”

Best Actress in a Drama: Nicole Kidman, “Being the Ricardos”

Best Actor in a Drama: Will Smith, “King Richard”

Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy: Rachel Zegler, “West Side Story”

Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy: Andrew Garfield, “Tick Tick Boom”

Best Supporting Actress: Ariana DeBose, “West Side Story”

Best Supporting Actor: Kodi Smit-McPhee, “The Power of the Dog”

Best Screenplay: Kenneth Branagh, “Belfast”

Best Original Score: Hans Zimmer, “Dune”

Best Song: “No Time to Die”

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