Where one awards show ends, another begins. It’s the never ending cycle known as awards season. Some awards are more exciting than others, and sometimes you’re just never too sure what to think. The track record of a given organization, which hands out the awards, is so spotty it’s really anyone’s guess as to what the members will be focusing on. On the bright side, if you like surprises, this will no doubt do the trick.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) trotted out its nominees for television and film and as always, it WAS a little surprising. Helping to announce the 2017 nominees were Anna Kendrick (“Trolls”), Laura Dern (upcoming “The Founder”), and Don Cheadle (“House of Lies”) and like with most nomination announcements, it was fun! Kendrick with her little giggles and general excitement over some of the nominees, not to mention the actual lack of any forced banter, certainly made it easier for me to enjoy.
With so many deserving nominees and a lot of snubs, it’s going to be a wild ride in deciding which ones to support. So many talented people and amazing films and TV shows (I’m guessing largely), how do you choose just one?
Well, whatever nominees you choose, we’ll all find out the winner on Jan. 8, 2017 on the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) at 5 p.m. PT, as well as whether or not host Jimmy Fallon (“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”) was a good choice!
Here are the nominees with the expected commentary, not necessarily with snark.
Best Picture – Drama
“Hell or High Water”
“Manchester by the Sea”
And here begins what will largely be the predictable set of nominees! Yes, the HFPA has two film categories, for comedy and drama, but really these film’s will all pop up time and again. In this case, I’m not surprised, but loving that “Moonlight” and “Hell or High Water” have come out on top! Two small films breaking through so many others, and that could spell great things when it comes to the remaining awards. At least I can say I’ve seen one of the film’s and fully understand why it was nominated. Now to work on the remaining film’s.
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”
And our first (sort of) surprise! Chastain!! This is where many will argue the HFPA and the Golden Globes themselves don’t mean that much. Or just general debate over the nominees. Chastain sure looks like she’s got a great role in Elizabeth Sloane, but will many others like it? Did it come out too late and just have to battle against so many other films? I don’t know. I know I want to see it so bad, and that it’s great to see a woman of her caliber be recognized. The other women were expected, but really, could still go either way when it comes to future nominations. I love seeing Huppert in this list, one it’s showcasing a different type of diversity, and it’s bringing her a lot of recognition, especially as she’s been in the business for some time.
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”
In some ways, the HFPA is like other critics groups. They can pick relatively obscure film’s and Television to recognize. That seems to be the case here. Mortensen isn’t a bad nominee, but a slight surprise. Obscure independent films are fun, but many get overlooked completely. So, while I don’t think Mortensen or his film will pop up too many more times, I love seeing him recognized. It’s been some time since he had a really good role. The other nominees, while deserving, were absolutely expected.
Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
“20th Century Women”
“Florence Foster Jenkins”
“”La La Land”
WOW! The only reason I enjoy the film nominees being split like this! More obscure films can come in. “Sing Street” being the prime example and “Deadpool” just being an exciting addition. I truly can’t think of the last time a comic book film getting nominated like this. Perhaps that’s because it’s never happened. I really don’t know. Still, as “Deadpool” was a comedy as much as an action film, it doesn’t surprise me it got through.
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”
Hooray for representation by older women! Bening and Streep! I’m sure they’re both truly deserving, but time will tell. Steinfeld! I want to say I’m surprised, but I’m not. I think this might’ve been the best role she’s had in years and as I really want to see her film, plus I genuinely liked what I saw in clips and trailers, I’m not surprised she’s nominated. I’m thrilled! Perhaps she can get even more and better roles now. Collins, well, I’m not actually sure. I’ll have to watch the film and then decide.
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”
Farrell and “The Lobster”!! Once more bringing independent films to the forefront! Mind you, I still need to see it. Reynolds, when you think about it, isn’t surprising. Hill on the other hand, meh.
Best Motion Picture – Animated
“Kubo and the Two Strings”
“My Life As a Zucchini”
So many to choose from. And Disney is going up against itself, so there’s that fun. I’m certain we’ll see at least two of these films popping up again later on.
Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language
“Divines” – (France)
“Elle” – (France)
“Neruda” – (Chile)
“The Salesman” – (Iran/France)
“Tonni Erdmann – (Germany)
YES! Three expected films and I’m excited for each! I really need those films available to watch.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture
Viola Davis – “Fences”
Naomie Harris – “Moonlight”
Nicole Kidman – “Lion”
Octavia Spencer – “Hidden Figures”
Michelle Williams – “Manchester by the Sea”
A list that’s not likely to change. While that notion is good and bad, again predictability, I’m still okay with it. There are so many deserving female performances, that not only am I excited for pretty every single one, I can’t single out whom I would rather get behind. It’s been that way for a few years, which in so many ways, is huge. Yes there’s a lot of work to do with getting really good female roles to the screen, but I feel these awards shows are highlighting how many there truly are to consider. It’s a huge step in the right direction.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture
Mahershala Ali – “Moonlight”
Jeff Bridges – “Hell or High Water”
Simon Helberg – “Florence Foster Jenkins”
Dev Patel – “Lion”
Aaron Taylor-Johnson – “Nocturnal Animals”
And another list that’s a mix of expected and unexpected. I love seeing Bridges name, as it still goes to the credit of older actors, and his role was pretty damn amazing! Hell, the whole film was. Helberg (who?) and Taylor-Johnson are surprises. I certainly never expected this, but then again, who’s Helberg? And Patel. This is exciting and expected. I must say though, out of all the film nominations for acting, he’s the only other person who can bring about something different where racial diversity is concerned. While I’m thrilled for Ali and every other actor of color (and the other acting nominees in general) it’s a little sad. We’re still not making any headway with inclusivity or diversity (or whatever word you want to use) as far as other racial minorities are concerned. I feel that that itself speaks to a larger issue, that typically just gets wrapped up in larger diversity conversations. I want to believe that we’ll see something more next year, but that’s practically a fool’s errand.
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”
I’m a little surprised there’s no nominations for Denis Villeneuve and “Arrival”. I was really hoping it could make more of an impression. Who knows? Sometimes those who aren’t nominated here pop up elsewhere.
Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
Damien Chazelle – “La La Land”
Tom Ford – “Nocturnal Animals”
Barry Jenkins – “Moonlight”
Kenneth Lonergan – “Manchester by the Sea”
Taylor Sheridan – “Hell or High Water”
What?! Four writer/directors?! How often does that happen?! I don’t think it happens a lot. I love this! It says even more than just one nomination. After having seen Sheridan’s work, I’m thrilled it’s included here. It’s an indie film, and it’s going up against a lot of others, many that at least, right now, look absolutely worth seeing.
Best Original Score- Motion Picture
Nicholas Brittell – “Moonlight”
Justin Hurwitz – “La La Land”
Johann Johannsson – “Arrival”
Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka – “Lion”
Hans Zimmer, Pharrell Williams, and Benjamin Wallfisch – “Hidden Figures”
At least Hurwitz and Johannsson made it. That’s all I cared about. I’m sure I’ll change my mind when I see the other films, but for now, I’ll stick with these. Yes!
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”
Eh. I can’t really say much about any of these. I’ve heard “City of Stars”, and it’s less obnoxious than “Can’t Stop the Feeling!”, so I’ll go with the former.
Best Television Series – Drama
“Game of Thrones”
“This Is Us”
And now for the area where I get to talk about how much I’ve not seen. I like this list of nominees, and have seen all but two. Mind your, I do want to see “The Crown” and “Stranger Things”, plus I’ve heard good things about both, so I’m definitely okay with this crop of nominees!
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”
Damn it! I can only support two of the nominees. There really is too much tv on the air. However, the fact that there are four new faces is surprising all on its own.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama
Rami Malek – “Mr. Robot”
Bob Odenkirk – “Better Call Saul”
Matthew Rhys – “The Americans”
Live Schreiber – “Ray Donovan”
Billy Bob Thornton – “Goliath”
Not as new as above, but seeing Rhys nominated is a dream come true! Never thought it would happen. And I still need to finish “Goliath”, but can say it’s just as exciting to see Thornton nominated.
Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy
“Mozart in the Jungle”
Here it is. My first big, “I’ve not seen any of these shows.” I’ve seen none of these shows! I either meant to or just couldn’t keep up and now they’re several seasons in and I don’t expect that to change.
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 Rodrigez – “Jane the Virgin”
Traces Ellis Ross – “Black-ish”
BLOOM!! So thrilled she’s once again recognized! Such a good show, so at least someone’s recognizing it. Hopefully the Emmy’s will be next! Rodriguez, well, I’m not surprised as she’s been nominated twice before and one her first time out. Louis-Dreyfus is the same way. Parker and Rae are a different story. I’ve enjoyed their respective performances, but not the show’s they’re in. I just can’t see them as comedies and that’s always bothered me. Perhaps even, theyr’e just not good shows. I’m not sure. Ross, well, I’ve never watched her show.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
Anthony Anderson – “Black-ish”
Gael Garcia Bernal – “Mozart in the Jungle”
Donald Glover – “Atlanta”
Nick Nolte – “Graves”
Jeffrey Tambor – “Transparent”
And once more, I’ve not seen any of these shows and performances. I’ve been wanting to see “Transparent”, but again, haven’t had the time and now it’s so many seasons in. I won’t give up hope, but I won’t raise my expectations too high either. “Graves”? What the hell? I’ve barely heard of this and I can’t believe the HFPA would consider it at all. But, then again, it is the HFPA, where anything goes.
Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
“The Night Manager”
“The Night Of”
“The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
So many good ones! It really is a tough call, but my money’s on “The People v O.J. Simpson” or “The Night Manager” wining. I’ve loved the three I’ve seen and still need to see the other two, but it does appear that all are the right choices.
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”
Huffman! She was great in the previous season, as was everyone. Paulson, as expected, is also the clear front runner and Washington, Rampling, and Keough will probably come nowhere close. It’s such a fascinating crop of women, so let’s keep that in mind too.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Televison
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”
Okay. I get this. I’m not surprised by any of these. Well, Turturro surprises me a tiny bit. He was brilliant, so I’m pleased he made the cut. Ahmed also is deserving and refreshing, plus he, like Rodriguez and some others, bring in a different type of racial diversity not seen in the film categories, so there’s that.
Best Performance by An Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Olivia Coleman – “The Night Manager”
Lena Headey – “Game of Thrones”
Chrissy Metz – “This Is Us”
Mandy Moore – “This Is Us”
Thandie Newton – “Westworld”
WHAT?! Look at those first time nominees! Two for “This Is Us”!! That’s incredible! Newton being recognized is making my day! She certainly had a lot to work with on the show, and helped to create one of the few memorable character’s on the show. And Coleman’s role is one I still need to see.
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”
I expected nothing less. With Lithgow getting this nomination, and his win at the Critics’ Choice Awards, I’m definitely going to have to make time for “The Crown”. I love historical films and TV shows, so this one should be well worth it! The other nominees, well, they’re just the other nominees. I’m not against any of them, but torn as to whom I want to win more. Typical feeling it seems.
And there are the exciting and somewhat surprising nominees for this year’s Golden Globe Awards! So many stellar nominees that I’m still not sure who to be excited for. I’m a fan of a lot of these and expect many great things from the film’s and TV shows I have yet to watch. We’ll see if I end up with just one I want to see win, but I doubt that’ll happen. Until then, happy watching!
Photo: Getty Images