Does the bright pink satire “Barbie” win the most shiny gold trophies? Can German actress Sandra Hülser turn her first Golden Globe nomination into a win? Will superstar Taylor Swift walk the red carpet when the first big gala of the film awards season takes place in Beverly Hills on Sunday evening (local time)?
This much is certain: After the months-long strike standstill in Hollywood last year, the Globe distributors are now relying on a night "with glitz and glamor" and a large line-up of stars. Celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Florence Pugh, America Ferrera, Michelle Yeoh, Daniel Kaluuya and Will Ferrell were announced as presenters who would hand out trophies on stage.
Among the nominees expected at the 81st Globe Gala are stars such as Margot Robbie, Emma Stone, Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bradley Cooper, Robert Downey Jr. and Nicolas Cage.
Two years ago the picture was completely different. The 79th Globe Awards were an unspectacular affair, without a red carpet, without a prominent audience, and there were no nominees at all. The names of the winners were announced via social media accounts. The reason: The small association of foreign press, which has been awarding the prizes since 1944, had come under massive criticism, among other things, because of allegations of bribery and a lack of diversity in the ranks of the awarding companies.
Reforms and a new business model were introduced; instead of just under 100 journalists, more than 300 jurors now vote on the winners. Almost half of those entitled to vote are women; according to the association, the committee represents 76 countries.
Sandra Hülser vs. Globe Veterans
In the "Best Actress in a Drama Film" category, Hülser faces Globe veterans like Annette Bening ("Nyad") and Carey Mulligan ("Maestro"), but also newcomers like Lily Gladstone ("Killers of the Flower Moon"), Greta Lee (“Past Lives”) and Cailee Spaeny (“Priscilla”). In Hollywood, Hülser has long been considered an Oscar candidate.
The 45-year-old also stars in British director Jonathan Glazer's three-Globe-nominated drama "The Zone of Interest." In it she can be seen in the role of the wife of Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höß (Christian Friedel).
These are the top favorites
The top favorites, however, are “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer”. The neologism "Barbenheimer" made headlines in July when the completely opposite films were released on the same day. The lurid satire "Barbie" by US director Greta Gerwig enters the race with nine nominations, while the drama "Oppenheimer" by Christopher Nolan about the co-inventor of the atomic bomb has eight chances of winning. Martin Scorsese's historical thriller "Killers of the Flower Moon" and director Giorgos Lanthimos's bizarre fairy tale "Poor Things" follow with seven nominations each.
In the men's ranks, actors such as Bradley Cooper ("Maestro"), Cillian Murphy ("Oppenheimer"), Leonardo DiCaprio ("Killers of the Flower Moon") and Timothée Chalamet ("Wonka") can hope for a Globe.
New to this year's Globes is the film division "Cinematic and Box Office Achievement" with eight blockbuster candidates, including "Barbie" and "Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part 1". The prerequisite is global box office receipts of at least $150 million.
Is Taylor Swift coming with partner Travis Kelce?
Pop star Taylor Swift (34) is also involved in the hit concert film about her “Eras Tour”. Since 2013, Swift has been nominated in the Best Song category four times, but has always come away empty-handed. Now celebrity newspapers are wondering whether the singer will appear at the Globes, and if so, with her partner, US football star Travis Kelce, at her side?
Greta Gerwig should have an acceptance speech ready after her first Globe nomination for directing. In the directing category, which is usually dominated by men, in addition to the "Barbie" director, the South Korean-born Celine Song is also nominated for her acclaimed debut "Past Lives". They face off against Bradley Cooper, Giorgos Lanthimos, Christopher Nolan and Martin Scorsese.
Television productions also nominated
In contrast to the Oscars, the Globes also honor television productions. The opulent family drama “Succession” is the big favorite for the TV and streaming categories with nine nominations. The restaurant series "The Bear" and "Only Murders in the Building" each have five chances to win.
The Globes are sometimes seen as an Oscar barometer at the start of the trophy season, but this calculation doesn't always work out. With over 10,000 Academy members, significantly more jurors vote on the Oscar contenders. The nominations for Hollywood's highest honor will be announced on January 23rd, and the 96th trophy show will take place on March 10th.
Golden Globes website Golden Globes announcement