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Will Hollywood stars return after controversy?

Online Desk

10 Jan 2023 09:37 AM

Blonde star Ana de Armas is one of the few nominees whose attendance has been confirmed

The Golden Globe Awards take place in Los Angeles later, but it is uncertain how many nominees will attend.

The organisation behind the ceremony hopes to restore the status of the Globes, as well as its own reputation, after a controversial two years, reports BBC.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) was accused of ethical lapses and a lack of diversity in 2021.

As a result, some stars denounced the film and TV awards, but others are aware of the publicity a win can bring.

The HFPA announced a series of reforms in an effort to restore faith following a string of damaging allegations. While the 2022 Globes ceremony was pared down and not televised, this year they are attempting a comeback.

The Banshees of Inisherin and Everything Everywhere All At Once lead the 2023 nominations, followed by Babylon and The Fabelmans.

Hollywood backlash

There was significant Hollywood fallout to a scathing exposé of the HFPA published in the LA Times in February 2021, which found there were no black members in the 87-strong voting body, and that relatively few members worked full-time for notable foreign publications.

The newspaper's investigation also alleged the group often accepted "freebies" from studios and PR agencies who were campaigning for nominations, along with other ethical failings.

The expose led NBC to cancel its broadcast of the 2022 ceremony, which ended up taking place behind closed doors with few stars in attendance.

Meanwhile, the HFPA announced a series of reforms, such as expanding and diversifying the membership, and a ban on accepting promotional items from film and TV studios.

All eyes will now be on Tuesday's ceremony at the Beverly Hilton hotel to see whether the Globes have been let out of Hollywood's dog house.

There have been a string of television adverts trailing ahead to the Globes, while billboards around Los Angeles proclaim "Hollywood's biggest party is back". But that will only be the case if Hollywood actually shows up.

We know four stars who will definitely be there - director Quentin Tarantino and actors Billy Porter, Jamie Lee Curtis and Ana de Armas.

The latter two are also nominees - Curtis for best supporting actress for her performance in Everything Everywhere All At Once, and de Armas for best leading drama actress for her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in Blonde.

The HFPA will hope that announcing such big names in advance will encourage others to show up.

But some will be notable by their absence. Brendan Fraser, who is nominated for best actor for The Whale, has said he will not attend the ceremony after accusing former HFPA president Philip Berk of groping him in 2003.

The HFPA found that Mr Berk "inappropriately touched" Fraser, but that it "was intended to be taken as a joke and not as a sexual advance".

Another big star almost certain to skip the ceremony is Tom Cruise. In 2021 he handed back his three Golden Globes in light of the controversy engulfing the HFPA.

He is not nominated for best actor, but his film Top Gun: Maverick was one of the biggest movies of last year and is nominated for best drama picture.

Elsewhere, Scarlett Johansson previously encouraged others in the film industry to "step back" from the organisation, while her Avengers co-star Mark Ruffalo wrote last year that the HFPA's reforms were "discouraging".

Prior to the controversy, the Golden Globes were one of the more popular awards ceremonies with viewers. One reason for the ceremony's high entertainment value was the often shrewd choice of presenter.

Normally, an acerbic host such as Ricky Gervais, Seth Myers or the pairing of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler would make fun of the A-listers in the audience and Hollywood in general, in a way that would not happen at the more formal Oscars.

This year, US comedian Jerrod Carmichael will take on hosting duties. While not a household name in the UK, Carmichael is a well-known figure on the US comedy circuit.

In 2022, he won an Emmy for writing his stand-up special Rothaniel and was nominated for guest hosting Saturday Night Live that same year.

Taking place in early January, most celebrities are usually on good form at the Globes, thanks to the Christmas break they've just enjoyed, coupled with plenty of complimentary drinks.

"Traditionally, it was always considered the most fun [of the awards] to be at," Gervais told the Telegraph earlier this week. "Tables heaped with free booze, [when] other awards are theatre seating and totally dry.

"Of course, what's better for the audience isn't always great for the performer. As audiences get drunker, you have to work harder to get their attention. I quickly found that the threat of hearing something awful about themselves made them listen."

The Banshees of Inisherin, a dark comedy starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, leads the pack at the Globes with eight nominations.

Inventive multiverse comedy-drama Everything Everywhere All at Once, starring Michelle Yeoh, follows with six.

Babylon, Damien Chazelle's reflection on 1920s Hollywood, has five nominations, as does Steven Spielberg's autobiographical The Fabelmans.

Baz Luhrmann's Elvis Presley biopic, Guillermo del Toro's stop-motion animation Pinocchio, and Todd Field's excellent drama Tár, starring Cate Blanchett as a disgraced orchestra conductor, all have three.

On the television side, school-based comedy Abbott Elementary leads with five nominations, while their are four apiece for The Crown, Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, Only Murders in the Building, Pam & Tommy and The White Lotus.

While a win at the Globes is not a guarantee of Oscars success, it can often be helpful in raising the profile of a film or actor and give them a momentum boost.

This is largely down to the crucial fact that the Globes ceremony is televised. A well-received speech can put them on the radar of the large number of Academy voters who watch the Globes.

The Golden Globes are also particularly good at recognising new talent. Rachel Zegler, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Ariana DeBose, Emma Corrin, Richard Madden, Awkwafina and Taron Egerton have all won trophies when their stars were on the ascent.

Austin Butler, Diego Calva and Barry Keoghan are among the younger nominees this year. But there are also titans of the big screen in contention for major prizes - such as Cate Blanchett, Olivia Colman and Daniel Craig.

Samakal English

Editor : Muzzammil Husain

Publisher : Abul Kalam Azad

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