After #MeToo, will this year's Golden Globe nominations send a message to Hollywood?
Monday's announcement comes amid the ongoing sexual harassment scandal, which could impact selections
They always set the stage for the rest of awards season but this year the Golden Globe nominations are about much more than just the screen itself.
With the sexual harassment scandal unfolding daily — and the ongoing #MeToo movement — the climate in Hollywood might not only affect who shines through, but also who's left out.
Call Me By Your Name, a romantic coming-of-age film based on a book by the same name, and Guillermo del Toro's fantasy drama The Shape of Water are predicted to capture the most nominations, according to the awards analysis site goldderby.com.
The site is also calling for the Christopher Nolan-directed WW2 film Dunkirk to not only score a nod for best drama, but to eventually take the category.
"Dunkirk looks good because it's the kind of big epic spectacle that voters often rally behind," said Gold Derby editor Tom O'Neil, who says the site achieves accuracy rates above 75 per cent when predicting nominees and winners. "Its hopes are bolstered by the fact that its director is outrageously overdue."
Dunkirk, Call Me By Your Name, and The Shape of Water are among the American Film Institute's (AFI) Top 10 official selections for 2017.
Diverse slate and female empowerment
Also on the prestigious AFI list released earlier this week are The Big Sick, Kumail Nanjiani's heartfelt, award-winning rom-com based on his own life and Get Out, a horror flick with profound commentary about race relations.
Both films are poised to receive nominations and there's plenty of room.
Don't forget, the Golden Globes divide best film into two categories (drama and comedy/musical), so critical favourites (which also made the AFI list) such as the dark gem Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, the star-studded political thriller The Post and Greta Gerwig's poignant mother-daugther comedy-drama Lady Bird are also strong contenders.
"In the wake of the sexual harassment scandal rocking Hollywood, movies about female empowerment are fast becoming front-runners like Lady Bird, Shape of Water, Three Billboards and The Post," said O'Neil. "Here in Hollywood, it's clear that Oscar voters are eager to send a message with the movies they pick."
Sending a message
A last-ditch attempt by the acclaimed thriller Wind River to detach itself during campaign season from its original distributor, the Weinstein Company, shows there are desperate hopes for the film to survive on its own merits.
While the movie delves into the important and timely subject matter of murdered Indigenous women and sexual assault, it could still be difficult for people to reward a film that has any ties to disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein.
"I think we will hear many speeches by awards winners denouncing sexual harassment in Hollywood and in the United States in general," said Steve Ross, a history professor specializing in Hollywood and politics at the University of Southern California.
Similarly, House of Cards, which has been nominated for best drama series multiple times and even scored a 2015 best actor Globe for Kevin Spacey, is likely to be excluded following sexual harassment accusations against Spacey and his subsequent removal from the show's next season.
Manipulating the odds
Because the Globes offer a ton of categories, the door can be open for a little manipulation.
If the crop of dramas in one year looks particularly competitive, why not attempt to weasel into another category? We saw that in 2016 with The Martian, a Matt Damon-led sci-fi film, which was far from funny but somehow managed to take best comedy and best comedic actor thanks to some skilful stick-handling.
The rules have changed because of that controversial win, but there are still loopholes. The Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman-produced Big Little Lies officially (and perhaps conveniently) announced a Season 2 one day after the Globes' nomination balloting had closed. Since it was initially considered a limited series, it will vie for that less-competitive category rather than where it should now rightfully compete: best drama series.
Watch for these Canucks
A win for Big Little Lies is also a win for Canadians, since Quebec filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallée was behind the first season.
With Stranger Things likely to compete for best drama series, Montreal-born executive producer Shawn Levy would be among the nominees.
While The Handmaid's Tale, which swept the Emmys and will no doubt get a Globe nod, is an American series, it still has Canadian ties. Not only is it based on Margaret Atwood's classic dystopian novel, but it was shot in and around Toronto.
Also keep a lookout for the Angelina Jolie-produced animated feature The Breadwinner. The film, about a young girl forced to conceal her identity under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, is a Canadian co-production based on a book by Ontario native Deborah Ellis.
Nominations for the 75th Golden Globe Awards will be announced Monday at 8:15 a.m. ET by Alfre Woodard, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Bell and Sharon Stone. CBC News will livestream the event.
The Golden Globes will be broadcast live on Jan. 7, 2018, from Los Angeles and will be hosted by Seth Meyers.