Golden Globes 2023: Dissecting the Major TV and Film Categories

The 80th Golden Globe Awards are set to return to the airwaves after taking last year off — though a ceremony was held, it wasn’t televised or attended by any of the nominated talent. The show will move from its usual Sunday night spot to 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT to Jan. 10 on NBC and Peacock. Jerrod Carmichael will host and honors will be presented to Eddie Murphy and Ryan Murphy. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess as to what will happen but with nominations out, we took a look at the film and TV categories.

Film Nominations

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Best Picture Doubles Down

With the Globes awarding a best picture winner in two categories — drama and musical or comedy, it means more films can be nominated and there can be two winners. But with only five per category, those 10 total might not necessarily translate to the best picture nominees at the Academy Awards. Many times, the Globes were criticized for not nominating true comedies — insert any reference to “The Tourist” here. But this year, the HFPA really did nominate films that could technically be called comedies, although most of the films are either dark comedies (“The Banshees of Inisherin”), satires (“Babylon” and “Triangle of Sadness”) or a film that defies any easy categorization (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”). Even “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” while definitely funny, is also a mystery at heart.

On the drama side, the nominees are a good mix of critical faves, audience hits, or both. Both “Tár” and “The Fabelmans” were big hits with critics. While receiving strong reviews, “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Avatar: The Way of Water” also broke box office records. And then there’s “Elvis,” which did well all-around and is proving itself one to be taken seriously despite premiering in the U.S. in June.

Page to Screen

After two consecutive years of female filmmakers taking home the director trophy, women were shut out of the category this year, including Sarah Polley for “Women Talking” and Gina Prince-Bythewood for “The Woman King.” As all of the 10 best picture nominees were directed by men, it isn’t a total surprise but disappointing after watching Chloé Zhao and Jane Campion take home back-to-back wins. The directors who did make the cut include three films from the drama side — Steven Spielberg for “The Fabelmans,” Baz Luhrmann for “Elvis” and James Cameron for “Avatar: The Way of Water.” Coming over from the comedy side are Martin McDonagh for “The Banshees of Inisherin” and the duo of Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan for “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

Unlike the Academy Awards, the Globes don’t split the screenplay category into adapted and original so this is a rare case where there are fewer nominees. And here two of the comedies scored in both directing and writing — “Banshees” and “Everything” both landed script noms. Spielberg is also nominated here for writing “The Fabelmans” with Tony Kushner. The two other nominees were from filmmakers who weren’t recognized in the director category — Todd Field for “Tár” and Polley for “Women Talking.”

The Whale Movie
The Whale Movie

An Actor Prepares

Once again, with drama and comedy/musical split in the lead acting categories, most of the presumed front-runners were covered. From the drama side, it was no surprise to see Austin Butler (“Elvis”), Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”), Bill Nighy (“Living”). Two actors busy on Broadway — Hugh Jackman (“The Son”) and Jeremy Pope (“The Inspection”) — also were heralded for their work.

Coming over from the comedy side is Colin Farrell, a perceived sure thing for his first Oscar nomination for “Banshees.” He’s joined by Diego Calva (“Babylon”), Daniel Craig (“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”), Adam Driver (“White Noise”) and Ralph Fiennes (“The Menu”).

On the comedy side, Michelle Yeoh is expected to land her first Oscar nomination for “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” She’s joined by Lesley Manville (“Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris”), Margot Robbie (“Babylon”), Emma Thompson (“Good Luck to You, Leo Grande”) and Anya Taylor-Joy (“The Menu”). With both leads of “The Menu” showing up, it seems odd the film itself didn’t land a best picture nom.

With perceived front-runner Yeoh safely on the comedy side, the drama actresses come down to three Oscar winners: “Cate Blanchett (“Tár”), Olivia Colman (“Empire of Light”) and Viola Davis (“The Woman King”). They are joined by Michelle Williams (“The Fabelmans”) and Ana de Armas (“Blonde”).

A Show of Support

There were no big shockers in the supporting actor and actress category, though with only so many slots there were bound to be some great names left out. That includes Claire Foy and Jessie Buckley for “Women Talking” and Hong Chau and Sadie Sink for “The Whale.” There was a strong showing for “Banshees” scoring two nominations in supporting actor for Brendan Gleeson and Barry Keoghan and one for supporting actress Kerry Condon. “Everything Everywhere All at Once” supporting players Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis also landed nominations, though it seems puzzling to leave off Stephanie Hsu from the same film. Also included on the supporting actor side were Oscar winners Brad Pitt for “Babylon” and Eddie Redmayne for “The Good Nurse.” Supporting actress was rounded out by three actors who rep the only acting nominations for their films: Angela Bassett for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Dolly De Leon for “Triangle of Sadness” and Carey Mulligan for “She Said.”

TV Nominations

Real People Shine Again 

Much like the Emmys, this year’s limited series nominations are filled with actors portraying real people. Colin Firth portrays Michael Peterson in “The Staircase,” Evan Peters haunts as Jeffrey Dahmer in “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” Sebastian Stan and Lily James play Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson in “Pam & Tommy,” Julia Roberts disappears into Martha Mitchell in “Gaslit,” Jessica Chastain plays Tammy Wynette in “George and Tammy,” Julia Garner stuns as Anna Sorokin/Delvey in “Inventing Anna” and Amanda Seyfried wows as Elizabeth Holmes in “The Dropout.”

While supporting actors are grouped together in drama and comedy categories, limited series gets their own, once again filled with real portrayals, this time in two shows nominated for their leads as well: Niecy Nash-Betts and Richard Jenkins as Glenda Cleveland and Lionel Dahmer, respectively, in “Dahmer” and Seth Rogen as Rand Gauthier in “Pam & Tommy.” The main question? Will any of the true stories be able to rise against “The White Lotus”?

Dahmer. Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. (L to R) Evan Peters as Jeffrey Dahmer, Richard Jenkins as Lionel Dahmer in episode 108 of Dahmer. Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. Cr. Courtesy Of Netflix © 2022
Dahmer. Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. (L to R) Evan Peters as Jeffrey Dahmer, Richard Jenkins as Lionel Dahmer in episode 108 of Dahmer. Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. Cr. Courtesy Of Netflix © 2022

Will ‘House of the Dragon’ Roar? 

It was a bit of a shock to see that “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” was shut out by the HFPA, especially since it was the most expensive TV series ever made. However, with its absence, there’s a large opening in the genre that could be filled by “House of the Dragon.” Its predecessor, “Game of Thrones,” landed eight Globe nominations through the years, but it was only supporting actor Peter Dinklage who took home a trophy. This year, “House of the Dragon” snagged two nominations — one for drama series and the other for Emma D’Arcy for lead actress in a drama. The competition is especially tough with so many returning series in the drama category. Not many want to face off against “Better Call Saul,” “Ozark,” “Severance” and “The Crown.”

Zendaya Gets Her Due 

It was a bummer to see that “Euphoria” was missing from the drama nominations but a pleasant surprise that Zendaya was included after being absent for her work in Season 1. But now, she’s a two-time Emmy winner. This year, she’s up against D’Arcy, Laura Linney from “Ozark,” “The Crown” star Imelda Staunton and Hilary Swank from “Alaska Daily,” a series that airs on ABC. Which brings us to our next point.

The Power of A-List 

It’s no secret that the HFPA loves to be the first to nominate a big show — but more than that, the voters love an A-list star. Swank has earned two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, two Critics’ Choice Movie Awards and a Screen Actors Guild Award. In 2005, Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world. So, it’s no surprise that she landed a spot on the ballot.

However, it’d be interesting to poll just how many voters have watched (or heard of) ABC’s “Alaska Daily,” which follows Eileen Fitzgerald, a disgraced reporter who takes a job at a local newspaper in Anchorage, Alaska, and begins digging into a case involving missing Indigenous women. The show didn’t tank in ratings in comparison to others on broadcast, but for multiple years now, it’s been nearly impossible for a broadcast drama to break into the awards race.

On the comedy side, “Abbott Elementary” has proven it’s possible, but it’s been more of a struggle when it comes to drama. In 2016, Taraji P. Henson won the trophy for “Empire” and two years later, Sterling K. Brown took home the Globe for “This Is Us.” Since then, cable and streaming services have dominated the category.

The A-list love didn’t stop at Swank. While many thought that Julia Roberts would receive some love for her rom-com comeback with George Clooney, “Ticket to Paradise,” she didn’t land a film nomination; instead, voters honored her for her portrayal of Martha Mitchell in Starz’s Watergate limited series “Gaslit.” Starring opposite Sean Penn, Roberts was impeccable — there’s no argument to be made there. However, with the tight race in the limited categories and the very little attention the show has received (it was completely ignored by the TV Academy during the Emmy nominations), it’s hard not to wonder if she’s being nominated simply with hopes to draw her to the Beverly Hilton.

‘The White Lotus’ Gets Unlimited Love 

Arguably one of the strongest shows of the season is Season 2 of HBO’s “The White Lotus” — and most definitely one of the most talked about. So, it’s no surprise that in the supporting categories, Jennifer Coolidge, Aubrey Plaza and F. Murray Abraham were recognized. If the rest of the cast were (no sign of Meghann Fahy anywhere) nominated too, it wouldn’t be too soon.

However, it begs to ask about the limited, anthology or TV movie category. Coolidge, who played Tanya in the series, already performed that role in the first season — and was nominated in the category last year, which was then titled Series, Miniseries or Television Film. It’s since been tweaked to Limited, Anthology Series or Television Film. The confusion continues.

Another question surrounding the Sicily-based season is why Coolidge and Plaza are submitted as supporting and who would have been submitted as leading actors.

Does the ‘Hacks’ Craze Continue? 

Jean Smart and “Hacks” have earned love by the HFPA — and much deserved — once again but with new comedies in the mix this year, will they still dominate? In the comedy category, “Abbott Elementary,” “The Bear” and “Wednesday” have entered the race for the first time, alongside returning hit “Only Murders in the Building.” On the actress front, Smart is up against Kaley Cuoco (“The Flight Attendant”), Jenna Ortega (“Wednesday”), Quinta Brunson (“Abbott Elementary”) and Selena Gomez (“Only Murders in the Building”). Talk about a stacked category.

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