Will ‘Close’ win a Globe? And above all: are the Golden Globes gaining respect again?

The Golden Globes will be awarded tonight. Belgian movie Close has a chance as best foreign film. The main question is whether the Globes will succeed in cleaning up their image.

Will Lukas Dhont win a Golden Globe tonight with Close? The Belgian film is one of the five contenders in the best foreign film category, in a show that starts at 2 am Belgian time. For Dhont it is a rematch five years after the nomination of his directorial debut Girlwhich had to give thumbs up Roma by Alfonso Cuaron. The fact that Dhont makes it to the Globes twice in a row is already very impressive.

Since then, the Globes have been going through an existential crisis that has threatened the survival of the prize circus and the organization behind it. The Globes have long had the image of being the drunk cousins ​​of the stiffer Oscars: the show was rudely presented by a cantankerous Ricky Gervais, who made an art of hurling as many insults as possible at the stars present, who had meanwhile filled with champagne.

But there was also a dark side. The Film and TV awards were presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group of non-US correspondents who follow the world of film and TV from Los Angeles. The HFPA carried an image of amateurism and even bribery: they were lavished with gifts and treats by the film and TV industry.

This had been known in the sector for years, but was tolerated for a long time. Until the bombshell exploded just days before the 2021 show, when an investigation of The L.A. Times exposed financial and deontological abuses. The lack of diversity within the members of the HFPA was also denounced: there was not a single black member among the 87 members. A Norwegian journalist, Kjersti Flaa, filed a lawsuit because she was not allowed to join the club.

Quentin Tarantino

The scandals led to the Globes being banned by virtually the entire industry. Major media companies such as Netflix, Amazon and Warner refused to cooperate until a change came. Actress Scarlett Johansson complained of “sexist questions and comments from certain HFPA members that bordered on sexual harassment.” Tom Cruise returned his three Golden Globes to sender. TV channel NBC no longer wanted to broadcast the 2022 awards show.

For a moment, the survival of the Globes seemed to hang by a thread. The organization went through the dust and reformed. Meanwhile, among the 96 members, there are six black members. For more credibility, a group of 103 people from the sector was added: they are not members of the HFPA but are allowed to vote. The financial structure of the organization is also being reformed.

Is that enough to build credibility again? In advance Lukas Dhont showed himself ‘about the moon, super content’ about his nomination. NBC was also once again willing to broadcast the show in the US: both on linear TV and on its streaming platform Peacock. The Globes will be working with a whole roster of presenters this time, including big names such as Quentin Tarantino, Ana de Armas and Jamie Lee Curtis. The last two are nominated for their performances in Blonde and Everything everywhere all at oncea film that garnered six nominations.

It is not yet known how many stars will boycott the show. At least one person is Brendan Fraser, who has been nominated for his performance in The whale. He previously argued that a former head of the HFPA, Philip Berk, engaged in inappropriate behavior at a luncheon in 2003. Berk denies the allegation and is no longer a member of the organization, but Fraser believes he received too little support of the HFPA.

Steven Spielberg vs. James Cameron

Top favourite The banshees of Inisherin from Martin McDonagh, with eight nominations. The film has to make it Everything everywhere all at once in the category ‘best film (comedy or musical)’, which also includes Golden Palm winner Triangle of Sadness was picked up. The best film (drama) category includes blockbusters such as avatar: the way of water,Top gun: Maverick and the biopic Elvisbut also Tar with Cate Blanchett. Top favourite The Fablemans, an ode to films by none other than everyone’s favorite Steven Spielberg. Had to Top Gun win anyway, it would be interesting how Tom Cruise reacts.

Remarkably, this is the leading film magazine variety Dhonts Close as a missed contender in this top category. variety also writes that Dhont should have been nominated in the category ‘best director’. There it goes between Steven Spielberg and James Cameron (avatar) who have both already won this award twice.

Yet it is Close not a favorite in the category where the film was nominated, but the German war film All quiet on the western front. The biggest name in this category is Park Chan-wook: the Korean director has been nominated withDecision to leave. After the Oscar for the Korean Parasite his victory cannot be ruled out either. The South Korean has been a big name for decades, since his breakthrough with Oldboy.

Given the limited membership of the Golden Globes, they are not immediately an indicator for the Oscars. Close is on the shortlist of the Oscar for best international film and is a strong contender to make it to the nominations on January 24.

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