Golden Globes – Belfast and The Power of the Dog lead field for troubled awards – NEWS WORLD UPDATE

Sir Kenneth Branagh’s autobiographical film Belfast and The Power of the Dog, a Benedict Cumberbatch-starring Western, lead the nominations for the controversy-hit Golden Globe Awards.

The two movies are up for seven prizes each, including best drama film.

The Globes are usually the highest-profile awards except the Oscars, but January’s ceremony won’t be televised.

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TV network NBC dropped it after a series of revelations including a lack of diversity among voters.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that none of the 87 members of the secretive organisation behind the awards – the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) – were black.

A coalition of 100 Hollywood PR firms accused the organisation of “discriminatory behaviour, unprofessionalism, ethical impropriety and alleged financial corruption”, saying they would advise the stars they represent not to work with the HFPA.

The HFPA membership and rules have been overhauled, but it remains to be seen whether any of this year’s nominees will withdraw as a result of the controversy.

Who is nominated this year?

Sir Kenneth has two nominations for Belfast, his black-and-white retelling of his childhood in Northern Ireland – for best director and best screenplay – while its stars including Caitriona Balfe and Jamie Dornan are also recognised.

Cumberbatch and co-star Kirsten Dunst are nominated for acting prizes for Netflix’s The Power of the Dog, while Jane Campion will go up against Sir Kenneth for writing and directing.

Other big names to be nominated for acting awards include Will Smith for playing Venus and Serena Williams’ father in King Richard; Kristen Stewart for playing Princess Diana in Spencer; and Lady Gaga for House of Gucci.

Olivia Colman, Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, Leonardo DiCaprio, Andrew Garfield, Denzel Washington and Nicole Kidman are also in the running.

The Golden Globes also include TV shows – with Succession leading the TV nominations with five, followed by The Morning Show and Ted Lasso with four each.

It is not known whether any others might have been nominated but asked the HFPA not to be considered because of the controversy.

The organisation said it “accommodated filmmakers/studios who requested their content to be considered only for specific categories”.

Some studios also reportedly refused to provide links for voters to watch their contenders in advance. However there were no glaring omissions from the nominations list, which was revealed by rapper Snoop Dogg.

But nor were the usual celebratory posts and quotes from the nominees, who are apparently trying to keep some distance from the awards without withdrawing completely.

The leading film nominees

Belfast – 7
The Power of the Dog – 7
Don’t Look Up – 4
King Richard – 4
Licorice Pizza – 4
West Side Story – 4
The leading TV nominees
Succession – 5
The Morning Show – 4
Ted Lasso – 4
Dopesick – 3
The Great – 3
Hacks – 3
Maid – 3
Only Murders in the Building – 3
Pose – 3
Squid Game – 3
What was the controversy?

Last February, the Los Angeles Times revealed that there were no black members, and suggested voters can be swayed by promotions and freebies from production companies.

The paper said HFPA members were flown to Paris by Netflix in support of its comedy series Emily in Paris, which went on to receive two nominations for last year’s Globes.

Many observers expressed surprise because the show had lukewarm reviews, whereas the critically acclaimed I May Destroy You was left out of the nominations.

The revelations led Tom Cruise to hand back his three Golden Globes in protest and Scarlett Johansson to call for “fundamental reform”.

In response, the HFPA has taken steps including recruiting 21 new and “predominantly diverse” members, appointing a chief diversity officer and making its members take diversity, equality and inclusion training.

There is also a new oversight committee and a five-year partnership with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

What will the ceremony be like?
The Golden Globes show is traditionally the first major ceremony of the awards season and is seen as a good precursor for what to expect at the Oscars.

It’s always star-studded and often more laid back and unpredictable than the Academy Awards.

The winners will still be announced on January 9, but the event will not be televised and the big names nominees and winners will likely stay away.

“It doesn’t look like this is going to be a celebrity-driven event,” new HFPA president Helen Hoehne recently told Variety.

The Critics’ Choice Awards, which will reveal their nominations for films later on Monday, filled the Globes slot in the TV show on that date.

The Globes are hoping to be welcomed back into the Hollywood fold and TV shows next year if the organizers can persuade the film industry that they’ve put their home in order.

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