It is officially March today, and the big news over the weekend was the Golden Globes, given out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) each year to all sorts of pomp and circumstance and maybe a little more controversy than usual.
The Golden Globes were handed out on Sunday night, February 28, and it was a night full of surprises, one not completely devoid of controversy, but generally a good time for the nominees who were all watching from their homes across the globe. You can read a full list of the winners here.
It was somewhat expected that Chloé Zhao would win for Best Director, but her film, Nomadland, also won for Motion Picture Drama, while Sacha Baron Cohen and his Borat Subsequent Film won in the Motion Picture Comedy-Musical category, also as somewhat expected. The real surprises came in the form of the three actresses who won Golden Globes in the film categories, since all three of them were not considered awards frontrunners — in fact, none of the three were even nominated by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). The surprises began when Rosamund Pike won in Actress-Comedy/Musical for her movie I Care A Lot, which was just released on Netflix less than two weeks ago. That was followed by Jodie Foster in Supporting Actress for The Mauritanian, and then as the night almost came to a close, pop-singer-turned-actor Andra Day won for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in The United States vs. Billie Holiday. Again, none of the three were nominated for SAG Awards, although Day was also nominated in the extended list of candidates for the Critics Choice Awards (airing on the CW this coming Sunday).
The television winners were much more straightforward — The Crown, Schitt’s Creek and The Queen’s Gambit dominated, the first and third of those big wins for Netflix, but all those wins previewed by the Emmy Awards last September.
Many were still left scratching their heads about some of the film wins, though, and I’ve come to the conclusion that many of the film winners were for movies that were only released in the last month AND were mostly available via streaming. Think about it: Nomadland was available to watch on Hulu, Judas and the Black Messiah (starring winner Daniel Kaluuya) was on HBO Max, and both The Mauratanian and United States vs. Billie Holiday were released in February, so all were clearly on voters’ minds when they filled out their ballots. Some of the movies that were streaming on Netflix last year — other than Aaron Sorkin‘s The Trial of the Chicago 7, which won for screenplay — were mostly forgotten.
It wasn’t a horrible night though, and there were many memorable moments like Chadwick Boseman‘s relatively new wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, tearfully accepting his Golden Globe for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Three members of the HFPA came out to say that they would do better as controversy surrounding the group tried to spoil its big weekend on the advent of one of the bigger awards shows.
My pal Scott Feinberg over at The Hollywood Reporter wrote a fairly in-depth overview of all the controversies surrounding the group, and though not everyone accepted the issues with the group — like the lack of any black members — the winners proved to be fairly diverse enough with Zhao being the first woman of color to win Best Director and multiple acting wins by black actors that some if not all of the critics were relatively sated.
On Friday, there were a couple big announcements about projects in development, the first being the news that Producer and Director J.J. Abrams was developing a new Superman reboot with author and activist Ta-Nehesi Coates (Between the World and Me), which presumably will be the long-anticipated black Superman, which actor Michael B. Jordan had hinted he would want to play back when he had a first look deal with Warner Bros.
Coates has actually been writing the Black Panther comics for Marvel Comics over the past few years, as well as Captain America, so this will be his first foray into the DC Universe.
Also late last week, it was reported that filmmaker Neil Blomkamp and his frequent collaborator, actor/filmmaker Sharlto Copley, having been developing and writing a screenplay for District 10, which would be a sequel to their 2009 Oscar-nominated sci-fi thriller, District 9.
A few other projects that were announced after End of Week Production Notes went “to press” on Friday, including a new romantic comedy starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts called Ticket to Paradise, which will be released by Universal Pictures. In the movie directed by Ol Parker (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again), Clooney and Roberts — reuniting from the Jodie Foster-directed Money Monster and Steven Soderbergh‘s Ocean’s 11 and its sequels — would play a divorced couple that travel to Bail to stop their daughter from making the same mistake they made 25 years earlier. Presumably, getting married?
Night School director John Hamburg is also reteaming with his star, Kevin Hart, for the Netflix comedy Me Time, the movie having been written by Hamburg, who also wrote the Meet the Parents comedies and directed I Love You, Man with Paul Rudd and Jason Segel.
Also, rapper Common is producing a biopic about civil and voting rights activist Fannie Lou Hammer, called God’s Long Summer.
Check out our Production Listings for all updates on the above projects as they get closer to filming.
The U.S. box office seems to be returning with movie theaters in New York City finally reopening on Friday, March 5, but this past weekend, Warner Bros. Pictures saw another pyrrhic victory as its animated Tom & Jerry, directed by Tim Story, had one of the best openings of the year with an estimated $13.7 million in 2,475 theaters, the widest release in months. The comedy starring Chloë Grace Moretz and Michael Peña averaged $5,500 per theater, the best showing since Thanksgiving when Universal and DreamWorks Animation opened The Croods: A New Age, which remained in second place with just under $2 million. What’s amazing about the showing for Tom & Jerry, which barely screened for critics and got notably bad reviews, is that it also debuted on HBO Max on Friday, but having that streaming option available did not stop families from going to theaters to watch the comic antics of the lovable cartoon duo.
No new trailers to share today, but we’re beginning a week where a lot of the artisan guilds and societies and unions will begin announcing the nominations for their annual film and television awards, so stay tuned to Below the Line for all of them when announced.