I’m not a hundred percent sure why, but the Golden Globes appear to still be a thing. I know this because the nominations came out on Monday, with a list that, as usual, had me both nodding in agreement and shaking my head in confusion. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has long been a mysterious group, many of whose members are not actually members of the press at all and are, instead, gladhanders and partygoers, who like being treated as royalty so that they will include a movie, actor, director, or writer in their televised party.
If you haven’t been paying attention, a scandal involving the group’s membership and a not-so slight case of institutional racism cost the Globes its television deal with NBC, which means that, come Sunday, January 9, 2022, there will be some kind of event that won’t be on television, and so the question must be asked, What happens when you have an awards ceremony and nobody comes?
I have never been a fan of the Golden Globes, repeatedly saying and writing that I think they are absurd and ridiculous and ultimately meaningless, which I will continue to believe unless and until I actually win one, at which point I will belt out my hypocrisy to the back row. I’ve always found this to be funny — more often than not, others agree — but the central premise is sound. The Golden Globes are stupid. Always have been.
The reason I bring this up is because the announcement of Golden Globe nominations tends to be the unofficial start of the awards season, and if you’re like me — and I really hope to heck you’re not, because as my wife will tell you, one of me out there is enough — you have a list of movies you still need to see, to get a proper handle on what is out there, what is worthy of awards, what is not, and, if you’re in a guild or a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, how you should vote.
But here’s where having someone like me, rather than being someone like me, comes in handy: Since there are still a fair number of movies that I haven’t seen, I am putting together a plan to catch up with everything while I can. This, even though I am not actually in the United States until after the first of the year.
Luckily, where I am has cinemas, so I can catch West Side Story this week. Also, because I have HBO Max, I could watch King Richard before it temporarily leaves the service on Saturday. I won’t do that, because I watched it on the service the opening weekend, but it’s there for another few days if you want. This, also, would have been a good way to watch Dune before it left the service last month, but alas, now you’re sort of forced to take the VOD route. Unless, of course, you want to wait a few months, probably after the awards season is over, in which case you’ll be able to catch it there again. I would suggest heading to the theaters, where it’s still playing. But, if you’re looking for another contender on HBO Max, that’s where you can find In The Heights, which premiered there back in the spring, and has now returned after the same type of hiatus that Dune is currently taking, and which King Richard is about to.
Since we’re talking about theatrical opportunities, it’s also important to mention Belfast, Licorice Pizza, House of Gucci, Spencer, C’Mon C’Mon, The French Dispatch, and in a limited fashion, Red Rocket.
Starting Friday, you can see Guillermo Del Toro’s highly anticipated followup to The Shape of Water, the noir remake Nightmare Alley, with Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett. Maggie Gyllenhaal’s acclaimed directorial debut, The Lost Daughter, also hits theaters this Friday in a limited fashion, as does Joe Wright’s Cyrano, though that last one is only in Los Angeles. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until January 21. You’ll also have to wait one more week to see Pedro Almodóvar’s latest, Parallel Mothers, which is in theaters Christmas Eve. That’s a day before the best movie I’ve seen this year, Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth, hits the big screen.
Incidentally, this list I’m providing has nothing to do with what I think are the best movies of the year. If that were the case, several of the films I’ve already mentioned wouldn’t have been. This is just a referencing of the movies that prognosticators and “Those Who Know These Types of Things” consider to be frontrunners for awards. My personal choices for the year’s best is a column for another time.
Rounding out the remaining films on this list, you can catch both No Time to Die and The Last Duel on VOD for a premium, and Respect for a much more reasonable price. CODA is available exclusively on Apple TV+, Being the Ricardos and the Iranian A Hero are both Amazon films (the former available next Tuesday, the 21st, the latter on January 7), and Netflix has four such films on its service: The Power of the Dog, Tick, Tick … Boom!, Passing, and as of the 24th, Don’t Look Up.
And, of course, for certain below-the-line possibilities, we get to see Spider-Man: No Way Home starting tomorrow night, and The Matrix: Resurrections one week hence.
Now, this is the list of pretty much all potential awards contenders, but it doesn’t necessarily address whether or not you actually want to see them. I know some people wait until certain nominations come out — like, say, the bogus Golden Globes — before they start narrowing down their viewing choices, but that’s tougher when you might want to have a say in which of your fellow artisans might be recognized for their work.
Personally, I never put a lot of faith in awards handed out by the various critics’ circles, because their cinematic viewpoint tends to be unnaturally lofty. Many of them choose more esoteric fare to recognize because they are fairly certain the Academy won’t. That, or they all line up together and hand out the same awards to the same people for the same movies. And since the other guild nominations don’t come out until later, and I’ve already dismissed the Globes, how do I discern what movies to see?
Simple, really. I go to see the ones that look good. The others, well, I watch them too, because I sort of have to. Whether or not your viewing list is completed? That’s up to you.
Neil Turitz is a journalist, essayist, author, and filmmaker who has worked in and written about Hollywood for nearly 25 years, though he has never lived there. These days, he splits his time between New York City and the Berkshires. He’s not on Twitter, but you can find him on Instagram @6wordreviews.
You can read a new installation of The Accidental Turitz every Wednesday, and all previous columns can be found here.
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