The Golden Globes really never mattered more than they do this year. Everyone is waiting for them to come to the rescue of a dozen or more quality films that are struggling at the box office.
When the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announces their nominees this coming Thursday, the studios will be in high gear waiting to push ads trumpeting the group’s choices.
It’s ironic when you think that the Globes used to be an inside joke in Hollywood. But with Christmas coming, and many movies failing to launch, the banner ads with Globes nominations may be the last way to build enthusiasm. After all, Oscar nominations are far off in late January. And by that time, many of these films may be distant memories.
Right now the film that can most use assistance from the Globes is “Green Book.” In past years, “Green Book” would have soared. It has a heart warming story, two knockout lead performances, great music, and rave reviews. But “Green Book” — starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali– has bumped along in limited release, taking in just $11 million. Multiple Globe nominations are needed ASAP.
Among the others waiting for some hype to help: “First Man,” Damien Chazelle’s movie about Neil Armstrong with Ryan Gosling, also should have rocketed to the top of the box office. But six weeks have produced only $44.6 million. “First Man” deserves better than that. If the HFPA comes through, then Gosling, Chazelle, Claire Foy and the movie itself will get some propulsion.
The Globes will also throw some help to movies like “Widows,” “The Favourite,” “Boy Erased,” “Beautiful Boy,” “At Eternity’s Gate,” and “Private War.”
One film that kind of stands outside of all this is “Roma.” Alfonso Cuaron’s excellent memoir of growing up in Mexico is like a ghost of a movie. It may be the most talked about film of the year that’s not showing anywhere.
Right now “Roma” is playing in very limited release in odd places. In Manhattan, you can only find “Roma” at the IFC Center on Sixth Avenue in the Village, and The Landmark, on West 57th St. near the West Side Highway. Why, in my day, “Roma” would have been at the Ziegfeld, a major showcase. But because it hits Netflix on December 14th, its theatrical run is just for eligibility.
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