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Six things we’re expecting based on the 2017 Golden Globe nominations

A showdown between ‘La La Land’ and ‘Moonlight,’ plus love for several newcomers

The annual Golden Globes announcements are here, marking the start of awards season for People Who Check In But Aren’t Weird And Obsessive About Such Matters. It’s December, which means the National Board of Review and the Critics’ Choice Awards and the Gotham Awards and a number of critics’ circle awards have already been doled out. It’s totally fine if you didn’t know that because other, perhaps rather scary things have been happening in the world and occupying your time and mental energy. Yes, 2016 still feels like some sort of alternate reality Nostradamus himself couldn’t have dreamed up, and we still have 18 more days of it, but the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has seen to it to reinstate some amount of normalcy by continuing to reward most things quirky and musical with Golden Globe nominations. That said, let’s take a look at what the Golden Globes, aka the fun awards show featuring visibly intoxicated celebrities, has in store for us this year.

Black Girl Magic

Naomie Harris stars in the coming of age movie, Moonlight

Naomie Harris stars in the coming of age movie, Moonlight

André Chung for The Undefeated

First off, we’ve got three black women clumped in the motion picture supporting actress category: Naomie Harris for Moonlight, Octavia Spencer for Hidden Figures, and Viola Davis for Fences. There’s an argument to be made that both Taraji P. Henson (Hidden Figures) and Janelle Monaé (Moonlight, Hidden Figures) were overlooked here. Nicole Kidman (Lion) and Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea) rounded out the other two nominations. There’s been some discussion about whether Davis should be campaigning for lead actress versus supporting. Strategically, the decision for her to campaign in the supporting actress category makes sense. The lead actress race this year is a tough one. I would not be surprised to see Natalie Portman win for drama and Emma Stone win for comedy/musical, and how that’s going to be reconciled come Oscar time, when they’re competing directly against each other, is anyone’s guess. Meanwhile, Davis, who just captured a Critics Choice Award for best supporting actress, seems to be sitting pretty.

Whatever happens, here’s hoping for a deliciously charming awards speech a la Henson in 2016 when she won for playing Cookie Lyon on Empire.


A preview of the ‘Moonlight’ vs. ‘La La Land’ Oscar showdown

As we mentioned earlier, we’re already pretty deep into critical awards, and we’re basically staring at a contest between Moonlight and La La Land, with Manchester by the Sea bringing up the rear. La La Land won best picture at the Critics’ Choice awards besides seven other prizes, and took the big prize from the New York Film Critics Circle. Moonlight took the top prize from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the Gotham Awards. This year, La La Land is dominating the Golden Globes headlines, as it leads with seven nominations, but don’t forget that Moonlight is right on its tail with six, followed by Manchester with five. I’m wondering if Barry Jenkins and Damien Chazelle will end up splitting prizes between best director and best film, which has already happened with the National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle.

Uncomfortable jokes at Mel Gibson’s expense

Any conversation about Hacksaw Ridge, which is nominated for best motion picture drama, is likely going to lead back to its director’s past racist, misogynistic, anti-Semitic ramblings and woman-bashing. He had some not-so-terrific moments promoting Hacksaw Ridge, namely this interview with Stephen Colbert in which he appeared to have little in the way of remorse for his previous actions.

More discussion of Casey Affleck vs. Nate Parker

Casey Affleck is nominated for a Golden Globe for best performance in a motion picture drama for Manchester by the Sea. The film is nominated for best drama and best screenplay, and director Kenneth Lonergan is nominated for best director. Producer Matt Damon and Casey’s older brother Ben Affleck have thrown their support behind it, and Casey is basically the front-runner for best actor. What does any of that have to do with Nate Parker? Casey Affleck’s on the receiving end of some pretty terrible sexual harassment allegations (The Daily Beast has a thorough run-down) which haven’t become nearly as ubiquitous as the story of Parker and his former roommate and writing partner, Jean Celestin, being accused of rape. So, of course the big question is should Affleck’s prior alleged behavior be a factor, and how much? Once again, we’re facing an issue of a racial double standard, not unlike the question Stephanie Merry posed last year about Woody Allen and Bill Cosby.

New faces in the TV comedy category

Issa Rae, Tracee Ellis Ross and Donald Glover are making first-time appearances for their respective comedies. Atlanta has been nominated for best comedy or musical series and Glover netted a best actor nod for the same category, while Rae and Ross are up for best actress in a comedy or musical series. The last two years have been great for offbeat quirkiness, with awards going to Gina Rodriguez of Jane the Virgin and Rachel Bloom for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. They’ve both been nominated again.

Respect for This is Us

All of you who have found yourselves boohooing through This is Us are not alone. The show picked up three nominations in its first season, one for best drama and two more for supporting actresses Chrissy Metz and Mandy Moore. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association tends to set itself apart from the Emmys with more eclectic choices that can breathe new appreciation for a show that may be on the bubble. See: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. But This is Us has been the breakout network success of the fall season. It’s not raking in meteoric first-season Empire ratings, but it’s doing respectably well. A few nods from the association are certainly welcome recognition given that the television drama category tends to be overrun with cable offerings.

Other Takeaways

Yes, networks, we’re well aware that you like to use awards shows as commercials for your respective late-night hosts, and since the Golden Globes are on NBC, that means an evening with Jimmy Fallon, but maybe just hear us out. It’s time to tap Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson to host this shindig. We are long past the days of pining for more Tina and Amy (they gave us three good years; leave them be) but in the future, the Globes would do well to take a look at Ross and Anderson, who are goofy, energetic and absolutely up for making complete fools of themselves for a laugh. Judging from her duties hosting Black Girls Rock!, Ross especially has a charm and versatility not unlike Billy Crystal that lends itself to hosting, and we have no doubt she could handle the gig on her own if she wanted to.

2017 Golden Globe nominations

Best Motion Picture – Drama:

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water


Manchester By The Sea


Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy:

20th Century Women


La La Land

Florence Foster Jenkins

Sing Street

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama:

Casey Affleck Manchester By The Sea

Joel Edgerton – Loving

Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge

Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic

Denzel Washington – Fences

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama:

Amy Adams – Arrival

Jessica Chastain – Miss Sloane

Isabelle Huppert – Elle

Ruth Negga – Loving

Natalie Portman – Jackie

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy:

Colin Farrell – The Lobster

Ryan Gosling – La La Land

Hugh Grant – Florence Foster Jenkins

Jonah Hill – War Dogs

Ryan Reynolds – Deadpool

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy:

Annette Bening – 20th Century Women

Lily Collins – Rules Don’t Apply

Hailee Steinfeld – The Edge of Seventeen

Emma Stone – La La Land

Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture:

Mahershala Ali – Moonlight

Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water

Simon Helberg – Florence Foster Jenkins

Dev Patel – Lion

Aaron Taylor-Johnson – Nocturnal Animals

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture:

Viola Davis – Fences

Naomie Harris – Moonlight

Nicole Kidman – Lion

Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures

Michelle Williams – Manchester by the Sea

Best Director – Motion Picture:

Damien Chazelle – La La Land

Tom Ford – Nocturnal Animals

Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge

Barry Jenkins – Moonlight

Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea

Best Screenplay:

La La Land

Nocturnal Animals


Manchester By The Sea

Hell or High Water

Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language:

Divines – France

Elle – France

Neruda – Chile

The Salesman – Iran, France

Toni Erdmann – Germany

Best Motion Picture – Animated:

Kubo and the Two Strings


My Life As A Zucchini



Best Original Song – Motion Picture:

Can’t Stop The Feeling – Trolls

City of Stars – La La Land

Faith – Sing

Gold – Gold

How Far I’ll Go – Moana

Best Original Score – Motion Picture:

Nicholas Britell – Moonlight

Justin Hurwitz – La La Land

Johann Johannsson – Arrival

Dustin O’Halloran, Hauschka – Lion

Hans Zimmer, Pharrell Williams, Benjamin Wallfisch – Hidden Figures

Best Television Series – Drama:

The Crown

Game of Thrones

Stranger Things

This Is Us


Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy:



Mozart In The Jungle



Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama:

Rami Malek – Mr. Robot

Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul

Matthew Rhys – The Americans

Liev Schreiber – Ray Donovan

Billy Bob Thornton – Goliath

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama:

Caitriona Balfe – Outlander

Claire Foy – The Crown

Keri Russell – The Americans

Winona Ryder – Stranger Things

Evan Rachel Wood – Westworld

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy:

Anthony Anderson – black-ish

Gael García Bernal – Mozart in the Jungle

Donald Glover – Atlanta

Nick Nolte – Graves

Jeffrey Tambor – Transparent

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy:

Rachel Bloom – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Veep

Sarah Jessica Parker – Divorce

Issa Rae – Insecure

Gina Rodriguez – Jane the Virgin

Tracee Ellis-Ross – black-ish

Best Limited Series:

American Crime

The Dresser

The Night Manager

The Night Of

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television:

Riz Ahmed – The Night Of

Bryan Cranston – All The Way

Tom Hiddleston – The Night Manager

John Turturro – The Night Of

Courtney B. Vance – The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television:

Felicity Huffman – American Crime

Riley Keough – The Girlfriend Experience

Sarah Paulson – The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Charlotte Rampling – London Spy

Kerry Washington – Confirmation

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television:

Olivia Colman – The Night Manager

Lena Headey – Game of Thrones

Chrissy Metz – This Is Us

Mandy Moore – This Is Us

Thandie Newton – Westworld

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television:

Sterling K. Brown – The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Hugh Laurie – The Night Manager

John Lithgow – The Crown

Christian Slater – Mr. Robot

John Travolta – The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

The 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards, hosted by Jimmy Fallon, will air on Jan. 8 on NBC at 8 p.m. EST.

Soraya Nadia McDonald is the senior culture critic for Andscape. She writes about pop culture, fashion, the arts and literature. She is the 2020 winner of the George Jean Nathan prize for dramatic criticism, a 2020 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism and the runner-up for the 2019 Vernon Jarrett Medal for outstanding reporting on Black life.