Normally, I would open an article on the Golden Globes nominations by proclaiming ‘it’s that time of the year again’, but these past twelve months have hardly been normal. Like much else in the film industry, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen awards shows, and the announcement of their nominations, pushed back.
While there is comfort in the fact that film and television productions, and the awards shows that recognise them, have found ways to move forward, it has not been the most illustrious year for Canadians at said awards shows, which the Golden Globes nominations, announced today, serve only to highlight.
The one glorious exception to this all season has been Schitt’s Creek, which set records at the Emmy Awards last September, and continues its dominant march through the awards season with five nominations (behind only The Crown, which has six nominations), one for each of its four leading stars, and a further nomination for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy.
Unfortunately, the only other Canadian nominated at the Golden Globes is bona fide legend Donald Sutherland, receiving a nod for his supporting role in the miniseries The Undoing. There were hopes that Deepa Mehta, best known for her masterful work on 2005’s Academy Award-nominated Water, would land a nomination for her latest feature Funny Boy in the Foreign Language category. Sadly, this was not the case, which only adds to the sting of its recent rejection as Canada’s nominee for the same category at the Academy Awards, deemed ineligible due to more than fifty percent of the film’s dialogue being in English.
This certainly does not bode well for Canadian nominations in the most prestigious awards ceremony of the year, as the Golden Globes is considered a strong indicator for the nominations at the Academy Awards.
Despite a lack of awards recognition this season, Canada produced some notable works in 2020. Brandon Cronenberg’s Possessor is one of the standouts, with the son of David Cronenberg proving that there could very well be a new Canadian cinematic dynasty. In fact, Possessor could be in with a chance to land nominations at the Academy Awards for cinematography (a long shot), or perhaps sound (you’d never know!). It was certainly accomplished enough in those areas to at least warrant consideration.
Nonetheless, this year’s nominations marked a notable milestone, with three out of the five nominees for Best Director – Motion Picture being women: Regina King for One Night in Miami, Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman, and dark horse Chloe Zhao for the universally acclaimed Nomadland. That, in and of itself, is worth celebrating, as female filmmakers are gaining more attention than ever at awards ceremonies, which feels long overdue, so let us not dwell to much on the complete lack of Canadians in the film categories.