American moviegoers may not have been too impressed with them. But Banshees of Inisherin and The Fabelmans are doing much better with the award selectors. Two films, both noteworthy bombs in the US, where everything but franchises continue to falter, rose to prominence in the Oscar race last night after winning multiple categories at the Golden Globes.
Martin McDonagh’s dark humor story The Banshees of Inisherin, about a friendship broken in civil war Ireland, won Colin Farrell for Best Picture – Comedy or Musical, Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, and McDonagh’s Screenplay for Best Screenplay. took. And Steven Spielberg’s sensitive semi-autobiographical period piece The Fabelmans won Best Picture – Drama and Best Director for Spielberg.
While there is no overlap between the close to one hundred members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the Globes’ main body, and the nearly 10,000 Academy members from the film industry who have voted for the Oscars, the tastes of the former group herald more of the latter. most of the time. In the past decade, the Academy Award for Best Picture has gone into one of the Globes’ top two picks just half the time, while in acting categories the correlation has risen to nearly two-thirds. So while nothing is certain yet, the leading ones are starting to emerge.
Perhaps it was inevitable that the HFPA would rally behind The Fabelmans, a memoir about the early life of a seven-time Golden Globe winner. (Nine times as of last night.) But McDonagh’s film seems at first glance to be the more surprising choice. A dark and disturbing allegorical thread where unhappy middle-aged Irishmen brood over their Guinness and cut their fingers off, it’s hardly an obvious choice for the glamor-crazed Globes, despite the now-twice-winner Farrell’s presence. Nor can its success be attributed to America’s longstanding proximity to the “Old Country”, as HFPA members are an international group by nature of the organization.
Instead, its success seems to depend on two main factors. One is a savvy campaign that positions the movie as a possibility that is perhaps more entertaining than it actually is. For example, in Variety’s otherwise sullen Director-On-Director video interviews series, the charming and sociable McDonagh was paired with Taylor Swift – if you’re curious – on YouTube for her 14-minute short, All Too Well. to keep up – apparently made him fit for work.
The second is more obvious: Since the film premiered in Venice last September, almost no one, from critics to industry type, has said a bad word about the film. Accessible but with as much subtext as you want, it’s stark, bleakly beautiful, and flamboyantly built around four memorable characters, each beautifully written and animated, it clicks all the awards-movie boxes without feeling like a particularly prized movie. (Some of us point out that this is the most credible Best Picture winner, despite the appearances for a while.)
The only persistent criticism is that his portrayal of the Irish countryside is clichéd and his characters are stereotypical. But considering the film is on some level of tension between the two highly stereotypical sides of the Irish male national character, I’m not convinced the complaint is very valid – and anyway, last night’s results suggest that the film has yet to find much of a buyer. . It is a pity that the film itself did not receive much attention in the USA, which is still the industry’s largest market by far.
Does this mean that Globes, among award institutions, is at odds with the tendency to reward things that are vague and sublime, you know, what people actually see? Not a little. For one thing, The Banshees of Inisherin was pretty successful here: it was one of the busiest films in British independent cinemas until it hit Disney+ in the last few months of 2022, just before Christmas. (As for The Fabelmans, it’s still a few weeks away from its UK release.)
For another, commercial heavy hitters were well represented further down the ticket. Austin Butler won Best Actor in a Drama for his role as Elvis Presley in Baz Luhrmann’s hit rock biopic, Supporting Actress for Angela Bassett in the Black Panther sequel, Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan for Everything Everywhere All at Once.
That’s right, Top Gun: Maverick ($1.5 billion worldwide) and Avatar: The Way of Water ($1.7 billion and rising) were left empty-handed. But these titles are more likely to do well at the Oscars and BAFTAs, which include numerous blockbuster technical categories (Best Screenplay is just as technical as the Globes.)
In a year that the scandal-ridden Hollywood Foreign Press Association has struggled to regain – that is, credibility is a bit of a challenge but the industry afloat – the list of winners has been meticulously balanced.
So what’s next? As the post-Covid calendar continues to sit this year, things are getting a little messy. The first round of Oscar voting begins tomorrow and the nominations are announced in less than two weeks. But while the Bafta ceremony will take place on Sunday, February 19 – back to pre-pandemic schedule – the Academy Awards will take place on Sunday, March 12, three weeks from now.
This means that the industry has yet to fully recover from the nasty Long Oscar case, which was brought about by expanding eligibility windows during the 2020 restrictions. But can this extra space for thinking and watching be healthy? If the final round of Oscar voting doesn’t open until 11 days after the Bafta, will the members be less prone to cues from other groups and choose a less predictable set of names?
Three weeks may be an age in Hollywood: Last year’s Best Picture winner, CODA, didn’t emerge as a convincing contender until the past two weeks. Alternatively, it could mean that the current season is much more grueling than the extended 2021 and 2022 releases. Have a good rest, soldiers: we have a long march ahead of us.
Golden Globes 2023: winners
Best Picture – Drama
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Best Actor Performance in a Motion Picture – Drama
Best Picture – Musical or Comedy
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere at the Same Time
Best Actor Performance in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Colin Farrell, Inisherin’s Banshees
Best Director – Motion Picture
Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans
Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
Martin McDonagh, Inisherin’s Banshees
Best Picture – Animation
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
Best Film – Non-English
Argentina, 1985 (Argentina)