Nominations for the 2024 Golden Globe Awards were announced on Monday morning. And beneath the headlines hyping Barbie and Succession’s dominance among the competing works in film and TV, respectively, there’s a bit more to unpack about this year — one that marks a new era for a most unusual awards show.
The Golden Globes have always been weird. Before a Los Angeles Times exposé on its very white, very small and allegedly morally questionable voting body briefly had it fall out of favor, the Golden Globe Awards and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association were the quirky kudos best known for their starry, intimate and incredibly well-timed party. Its place on the awards calendar, particularly in relation to the Oscar race, made it relevant simply for the attention it received. A Golden Globe nomination meant and still means at least a little momentum for many hopefuls by its sheer proximity to other voting windows, even if the sanctity of the award itself has never been held in the highest regard.
Over the last nine months, the show has endured an unprecedented makeover. The group of international journalists who vote for the Golden Globes grew to 300 individuals in October. The embattled HFPA no longer oversees the ceremony, as the show is now owned by producers Dick Clark Productions, which is owned by Penske Media Eldridge, the joint venture between Penske Media Corporation and Eldridge that also owns The Hollywood Reporter. Come Jan. 7, the show won’t air on its longtime home of NBC but on CBS — per a new broadcast contract. The Golden Globes, as we knew them, are dead. So, it’s natural to wonder how this new iteration departs from the tastes of Golden Globes voters past — and, as it seems to be the case, the many more ways in which the two eras appear to be in step.
For Starters, Star Power Still Matters
The old HFPA was well known and occasionally mocked for favoring the more famous performers in the awards race. Remember all the love for Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp in the universally panned 2010 thriller, The Tourist? There may not be any outright egregious examples of such voting behaviors among this year’s choices, but there are a few that feel a tad reminiscent. Timothée Chalamet and Joaquin Phoenix were nominated for the otherwise ignored Wonka and Beau Is Afraid, respectively, while Jennifer Lawrence, a generational talent with an Oscar and three Golden Globes to her name, is up for her work in raunch comedy No Hard Feelings — a film that hardly no one felt like they’d be seeing at this or any awards show. The new voters also made their play to lure Taylor Swift to the live telecast. Her concert film, The Eras Tour, is up for Cinematic and Box Office Achievement. And on that matter…
“Cinematic And Box Office Achievement” Is as Much of a Head-Scratcher as Expected
The Golden Globes announced the addition of two new categories this past September: Best Performance in Stand-up Comedy on Television, a rather straightforward means of injecting a variety award into the night, and the slightly more confusing Cinematic and Box Office Achievement Award. Contenders for the latter had to earn $150 million globally, at least $100 million of it being generated in the U.S., and, in theory, be good. The first year of nominees gives us the strangest bedfellows of perhaps any category at any show in awards history, ignoring, perhaps, “Best Kiss” at the VMAs or anything at the Kids’ Choice Awards. Dominant film nominees Barbie and Oppenheimer are up against not just Taylor Swift but two animated films (the widely lauded Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse and the financially fruitful The Super Mario Bros. Movie) and three franchise installments: the latest Guardians of the Galaxy, Mission Impossible and John Wick movies. Ignoring an outlier like The Ears Tour, this is just a slightly curated laundry list of the top-grossing films of the year. The most important metric, money or acclaim, is still not immediately clear — though it would at least seem that the $1.4 million-grossing Barbie is the frontrunner either way.
Musicals Lack Momentum
One arena in which the Golden Globes has historically excelled over its contemporaries is in its division of film categories — splitting the film races not just by drama and comedy but by adding the word “musical”” to those comedy races. That’s often meant more love for musicals than at other shows, but there is little evidence of such love this year. The Color Purple, the adaptation of the Broadway show based on Alice Walker’s book, was left out of the main race despite widely perceived Oscar momentum and performance nominations for Fantasia Barrino and Danielle Brooks. Wonka was similarly ignored in the main race. If musicals can’t move the dial with Globes voters, it really makes you wonder if they’ll have any luck elsewhere.
Timing Remains Everything
Just to be perfectly clear: no iteration of the Golden Globes voting body, past nor present, has ever had any overlap or tangible connection to the much larger groups who vote for the guild shows, the Oscars, the Emmys or anything else. That said, there’s always been power to the Globes’ early January roost. A Golden Globe nomination can cement momentum narratives (see the widespread love for Barbie, Oppenheimer and Killers of the Flower Moon), bolster projects with smaller awards budgets — five nominations for A24’s Past Lives, including directing and screenwriting mentions for filmmaker Celine Song, is a coup — or, in some instances, insert a previously overlooked performer into the broader awards conversation. This year, that honor goes to Finnish actress Alma Pöysti who scored a very unexpected nomination for Fallen Leaves.
TV Noms Mostly Stick to the Script
Historically, the HFPA loved to get ahead of the Emmys by being the first to coronate some new series or breakout performance — or by nominating something utterly bizarre, perhaps a show that treated voters to a destination junket. But the 2024 TV nominations are largely business as usual. The final season of Succession came out on top of the tally, as it did with the yet-to-be-aired 2023 Emmy Awards (taking place Jan. 15). The main comedy race is a duplicative (if abbreviated) rundown of the recent Emmy nominations, while drama offers some variety. Taylor Sherdian’s Yellowstone-verse entry 1923 is in the mix, as is Netflix’s The Diplomat. The third season of The Morning Show, which was not eligible for the recent Emmys race, also joins the pack.
The Morning Show May Be Having a Moment
One might argue that it still takes three before you can cry “trend,” but there is officially renewed awards momentum for Apple TV+’s The Morning Show. After surpassing Succession, six-to-five, in the nominations tally for the forthcoming Critics Choice Awards, the show landed a best drama nomination and an acting mention for Billy Crudup. What is surprising, given the show’s enduring affection for nominating A-listers, is the absence of Jennifer Aniston or Reese Witherspoon from their category. The Morning Show has always been critically divisive, but it’s hard to argue with the attention this third season has generated — both at the proverbial watercooler and, it seems, on ballots.
Early Miniseries Contenders Potentially Emerge
Aside from The Morning Show, where the 2024 Golden Globes could get to establish some early TV awards trends is in the limited series races. Due to the calendar, half of the projects in the Emmy race — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, Fleishman Is in Trouble, Obi-Wan Kenobi — were either already nominated (Monster) or ignored (Fleishman, Obi-Wan) by the Globes in 2023. So what has this new group deemed worthy of being in consideration for the future TV races? Netflix’s All the Light We Cannot See, the fifth cycle of FX’s Fargo, Showtime’s Fellow Travelers and Apple TV+’s Lessons in Chemistry are all making their first major awards entries. It’s not as good of a boost as the ones film nominees are getting, but it certainly helps.
All told, these nominations say a lot about what the Golden Globes voters feel about American film and television, though who they ultimately chose to honor on Jan. 7 will say a lot more.