January 6, 2020
Depending on how you look at it, Old Hollywood was either the biggest winner or the biggest loser of the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards.
Sure, Netflix's The Irishman's quartet of septuagenarian screen icons went home empty-handed after assuming early frontrunner status late last year.
But the more traditional studios from earlier in De Niro, Pacino, Pesci, and Scorsese's careers returned to their pre-streaming halcyon days, holding Netflix to just two victories despite its industry-leading 17 nominations.
Despite boasting its strongest awards season slate yet, Netflix mostly got shut out as The Irishman, The Two Popes, Dolemite Is My Name, and Marriage Story lost again and again, with Laura Dern's Best Supporting Actress win as the lone exception in the film categories. Audiences continue to abandon movie theaters in record numbers, but don't tell that to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. The voting body gave its most prestigious awards to a duo of theatrical releases in 1917 and Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood;" the former winning Best Motion Picture - Drama and Best Director, with the latter crowned Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy, Best Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor for Brad Pitt.
Now, those two films enter the season's home stretch in pole position with the Academy Awards just one month away.
The HFPA and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences do not overlap in their voting membership, so Sunday's results are by no means a death knell in Netflix's quest for its coveted first Best Picture trophy at the Oscars.
But wins for The Irishman or Marriage Story would have made the march to the Oscars seem inevitable. Instead, the race remains as wide open as ever, meaning Hollywood has another four weeks of hand-wringing, parlor games, and speculation ahead — with the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Critics' Choice Awards, and Independent Spirit Awards still looming.
But the clock is ticking. Oscar voting ends tomorrow, meaning the endless (and expensive) For Your Consideration campaigning is about to end, leaving the rest in the hands of PricewaterhouseCoopers and the presenters.
As The Irishman's genteel mob boss Russell Buffalino would say: "It's what it is."