LOS ANGELES: Hollywood disruptor Netflix dominated the Golden Globe nominations Monday as its heart-wrenching divorce saga “Marriage Story” grabbed six nods including best drama, kicking off the race for the Oscars. The streaming giant, which has spent billions to lure the industry’s top filmmaking talent and fund lavish awards season campaigns, trounced the traditional Tinseltown studios with a whopping 17 film nominations.
“I’m not surprised by the dominance - I’m surprised by how massive the dominance is,” Lorenzo Soria, president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, told AFP at the Beverly Hills ceremony.
“The announcements this morning are sort of like a coming-of-age of the streaming services.”
“The Irishman,” Martin Scorsese’s three-and-a-half-hour gangster epic also from Netflix, secured five nominations, ending tied for second with “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Quentin Tarantino’s nostalgic love letter to 1960s Tinseltown.
The nominations traditionally see the stars and movies destined for awards success start to break away from the competition - the Globes are seen as a major bellwether for February’s Academy Awards.
“Marriage Story” earned nominations for its stars Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver, and for its screenplay, but Noah Baumbach missed out as director.
The film portrays how a seemingly stable love can be ripped apart after Johansson’s actress moves from New York to Los Angeles, calling in the lawyers as she separates from a self-absorbed theater director played by Driver.
Scorsese was nominated for best director for “Irishman” but there was no best actor nod for his leading man Robert De Niro. Instead, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci were selected for supporting roles.
For “Once Upon a Time ... ” stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt made the acting shortlists, along with Tarantino for directing. The film helped Sony to reach eight nominations and finish second overall.
Netflix’s “The Two Popes,” which imagines a series of debates between the strict, conservative Pope Benedict and his charismatic successor Francis, also performed well for the streamer, picking up acting nominations for Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins.
And Eddie Murphy’s comeback vehicle “Dolemite Is My Name” added a further two nominations for Netflix on the comedy side.
The streamer managed three film nods last year, for Mexican black-and-white drama “Roma.”
The Golden Globes, which feature separate awards for dramas and musicals/comedies, are known for favoring star-studded movies that perform well at the box office, quite often with scant regard for critics’ reviews.
Dark comic book tale “Joker,” which has grossed over $1 billion worldwide despite polarizing critics, was nominated for best drama, best actor (Joaquin Phoenix) and best director (Todd Phillips).
However, the HFPA’s 90-odd members once again did not select any female directors, with “Little Women” helmer Greta Gerwig notably absent.
“These are not our people and they do not represent us,” tweeted Alma Har’el, director of the snubbed childhood drama “Honey Boy.”
“Do not look for justice in the awards system. We are building a new world.”
Underlining its supremacy, Netflix also secured the most television nominations, with 17.
The latest series of royal family drama “The Crown,” which features an all-new cast led by Olivia Colman, secured a joint-top four nominations.
Rival HBO managed 15, although the much-maligned final season of “Game of Thrones” earned just a single nod, for lead actor Kit Harington.
New streaming platform Apple TV+, which launched last month, secured its first nominations, for flagship launch program “The Morning Show.”
Lead actresses Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, who also executive-produced the series about a morning news program struck by a #MeToo scandal, were both nominated.
And Meryl Streep broke her own record to bag a 34th Globe nomination for HBO’s “Big Little Lies.”
Monday’s nominations were announced at an early morning ceremony by actor Tim Allen (“Toy Story”) and actresses Dakota Fanning (“I Am Sam”) and Susan Kelechi Watson (“This Is Us”).
The 77th Golden Globes will take place in Los Angeles on January 5, two days before voting for Oscars nominees ends.
Nods for Beyonce, Taylor Swift and Jennifer Lopez across best original song (“The Lion King, “Cats”) and best supporting actress (“Hustlers”) categories will lend further star power to the gala.
The show will be hosted by British comedian Ricky Gervais, returning for a record fifth time.