Golden Globes Nominations: 10 Things to Watch Out for, From ‘Little Women’ to ‘Cats’

Marc Malkin

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The Golden Globe nominations are just around the corner.

Names we’ll likely hear when the nominees are revealed include Renée Zellweger (“Judy”), Leonardo DiCaprio (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”), Charlize Theron (“Bombshell”), Jennifer Lopez (“Hustlers”) and Eddie Murphy (“Dolemite Is My Name”). Films on track for multiple noms include “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and “The Irishman.”

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But there’s a lot more to the Globes nominations than the obvious shoo-ins. The 85 or so members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. have an affinity for mixing things up and spreading the love across as many studios as possible.

Here are 10 things to look out for when the HFPA announces its nominees on Dec. 9.

1. Netflix has three films — “The Irishman,” “Marriage Story” and “The Two Popes” — vying for a nod in the best motion picture/drama category. The streamer could dominate the ballot, but the HFPA will likely consider a wider swath of studios. Could Sony score with “Little Women”? How about Lionsgate’s “Bombshell” and Warner Bros.’ two offerings, “Joker” and “Just Mercy”?

2. I’m told “Little Women” is a hit with the HFPA. It’s possible Greta Gerwig will nab a directing nom, which would be refreshing, considering the front-runners are primarily straight white men. Lulu Wang (“The Farewell”), Lorene Scafaria (“Hustlers”) and Marielle Heller (“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”) are three other women directors who aren’t completely out of the conversation. Whether or not Gerwig snags that nom, “Little Women” is a contender for multiple nods, including lead actress for Saoirse Ronan and supporting for Florence Pugh. Gerwig could also land on the screenplay ballot.

3. Bong Joon Ho could be on his way to pulling an Alfonso Cuarón. There’s a lot of support among the HFPA membership for “Parasite,” with some speculating that he will win director and foreign language film, as Cuarón did last year with “Roma.”

4. The lead actor/drama race is tight, and it just got tighter with the HFPA impressed by Paul Walter Hauser’s performance in Clint Eastwood’s “Richard Jewell.” That same race is also super white and, sadly, likely to stay that way. The good news is, I’m told Eddie Murphy in “Dolemite Is My Name” is the favorite to take home the best actor in a musical or comedy trophy. He’s a Globes alum who has been nominated five times and won once for supporting actor in a motion picture for his turn in 2006’s “Dreamgirls.”

5. The actress categories have a better chance for greater diversity. Jennifer Lopez (“Hustlers”); Awkwafina (“The Farewell”) and Chinese television star Zhao Shuzhen, who plays her on-screen grandmother; Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet”); and Ana de Armas (“Knives Out”) are said to be frequent mentions among the membership.

6. Speaking of “Knives Out,” a sizable number of members apparently can’t get enough of the whodunit comedy written and directed by Rian Johnson. In addition to De Armas, the film is a favorite for a best picture nom in the musical or comedy category. Daniel Craig could also pick up his first Globe nom for his work in the ensemble.

7. One of the most exciting aspects of the Globes is how many megastars the HFPA will potentially pack into the Beverly Hilton’s International Ballroom. And the group is keen on making sure Shia LaBeouf is in the room. If he doesn’t make it into the acting category for “Honey Boy,” the autobiographical indie about his troubled childhood, he might get noticed for screenplay.

8. “Booksmart” could be a surprise disruptor. While Olivia Wilde may have a hard time being recognized for directing, co-stars Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever might head into the night as a nominees. It certainly didn’t hurt that Feldstein began campaigning earlier in the year with a performance at the HFPA’s Grants Banquet.

9. “Black Panther” earned Marvel Studios its first Golden Globe nod last year when it was nominated for best picture/drama. This year, the studio has submitted “Avengers: Endgame” in the same race. From what I’m hearing, it doesn’t sound like the MCU title has left an impression on the HFPA, especially since the drama category is bursting at the seams.

10. “Cats.” What can I say about Universal’s big-screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s iconic musical? As Variety first reported, the Tom Hooper-directed movie will likely screen for the HFPA in time to be eligible for the Globes. But until anyone sees it, the only thing we can bet on is Ricky Gervais taking a swipe or two at the feline film.

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