#Showbiz: 'Barbenheimer' tops Golden Globes nominations

LOS ANGELES: "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer" -- the unlikely pair of films that dominated the box office and spawned countless internet memes this summer -- topped the newly revamped Golden Globes film nominations Monday.

"Barbie" -- a vivid feminist satire about the all-conquering line of plastic dolls -- claimed nine nods, including best drama as well as acting nominations for stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling.

This year's top-grossing movie, earning more than US$1.4 billion globally, "Barbie" also scooped a whopping three best song nominations, and recognition for its writer-director Greta Gerwig.

"Oppenheimer," Christopher Nolan's critically adored drama about the inventor of the nuclear bomb, earned eight nominations, including best drama and best director.

Cast members including Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt and Robert Downey Jr all received nods.

The two films -- collectively dubbed "Barbenheimer" after their theatrical releases happened to fall on the same date -- dominated the box office, and now have a strong start to Hollywood's film awards season, which ends with the Oscars in March.

Other movies that proved popular with Globes voters were "Killers of the Flower Moon" and "Poor Things," both earning seven nominations, and "Past Lives" with five.

Globes organisers will hope the "Barbenheimer" success can shift the focus away from the gala's recent notoriety.

The Golden Globes have endured a rough few years, after a Los Angeles Times expose in 2021 showed that the awards' voting body -- the Hollywood Foreign Press Association -- had no Black members.

That revelation triggered the airing of a wide range of other long-simmering criticisms about the HFPA, including allegations of amateurism and corruption.

Earlier this year, the awards' assets and trademarks were purchased and overhauled by a group of private investors including US billionaire Todd Boehly, and the HFPA was disbanded.

Hollywood-based former HFPA members have been banned from accepting gifts, and are now paid a salary to vote for their favorite films and shows, while more than 200 non-member (and unpaid) voters from around the world have been added to the Globes mix.

"This has been a year of exciting change for the Golden Globes," said the group's president Helen Hoehne, at Monday's nominations announcement.

"Our voting body has grown to 300 members from 75 countries, making the Golden Globes the most culturally diverse major awards body."

Cedric The Entertainer and Wilmer Valderrama announced the Globes nominees on "CBS Mornings" in the pre-dawn hours in Los Angeles.

"I'm taking coffee orders, guys," Cedric joked to the room of bleary-eyed journalists and Globes members.

One of the United States' biggest national television networks, CBS has stepped in to become the new home of the Globes, after long-standing host NBC ended its deal to broadcast the event.

CBS bosses will be hoping for vastly improved ratings, after the 2023 Globes slumped to a new low of just 6.3 million viewers, even as other shows such as the Oscars recovered from pandemic viewership nadirs.

A new category for "best cinematic or box office achievement" was added, paving the way for nominations for popular films that would not usually earn critical recognition.

Among the nominees were Universal's US$1.3 billion-grossing "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" and Marvel superhero film "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3."

In another seeming bid to honour more household names, the number of nominees in each category has been increased.

A-listers such as Leonardo DiCaprio -- the star of Martin Scorsese's crime epic "Killers of the Flower Moon" -- and Emma Stone for her turn in female Frankenstein-esque drama "Poor Things" scored nominations.

So did Paul Giamatti ("The Holdovers"), Timothee Chalamet ("Wonka"), Natalie Portman ("May December") and Bradley Cooper -- as both actor and director of "Maestro."

The Globes also honour the best in television.

Azman Ghani (OC), [11/12/2023 10:21 PM]

"Succession" topped the drama section with nine nominations, while comedies "The Bear" and "Only Murders in the Building" led their section with five each.

The 81st Golden Globes ceremony will take place in Beverly Hills on January 7. -- AFP

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