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Scandal-ridden Golden Globes carry on

January 9, 2022

Olivia Colman, Lady Gaga and Benedict Cumberbatch are among the stars nominated for best actor at Hollywood's first major awards show of the year. Films "Belfast" and "The Power of the Dog" are among the top contenders.

Helen Hoehne, president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, speaking at the Golden Globes nominations.
German-American journalist Helene Hoehne, head of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, has promised changeImage: ROBYN BECK/AFP

Following a year of controversy that led to the Golden Globes scrapping its glitzy televised awards ceremony for 2022, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) is pressing ahead on Sunday night.

Members of the HFPA and some recipients of the group's philanthropic grants will gather in Los Angeles, without a high-profile host or celebrities in attendance. The names of the film and television winners will be revealed live on the organization's social media feeds and website.

"Belfast," Kenneth Branagh's coming-of-age film set in 1960s Northern Ireland, and director Jane Campion's western "The Power of the Dog," are up for seven nominations each on Sunday.

The global-warming satire "Don't Look Up"; a biopic about the father and coach of Venus and Serena Williams, "King Richard"; director Steven Spielberg's remake of the musical "West Side Story"; and Paul Thomas Anderson's 1970s-set comedy-drama "Licorice Pizza" have all scooped four nods each.

Netflix dominated the awards in 2021, and it was the case again with the nominations this year.

Jane Campion holds up a trophy.
New Zealand director Jane Campion has already won the Silver Lion for best director for 'The Power of the Dog'Image: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Newcomers and veterans in contention 

Along with "Belfast," "The Power of the Dog" and "King Richard," best picture drama nominees also include "Coda," the story of a child of deaf adults and a remake of the sci-fi classic, "Dune."

Will Smith picked up a best actor nod for his starring role in "King Richard" as the Williams sisters' tennis coach and father, while Benedict Cumberbatch is also in line for a best actor gong for his role in "The Power of the Dog."

Veteran screen stars Javier Bardem ("Being The Ricardos") and Denzel Washington ("The Tragedy Of Macbeth") round out the category.

In addition to Olivia Colman ("The Lost Daughter") and Lady Gaga ("House Of Gucci"), best actress nods went to Jessica Chastain for "The Eyes Of Tammy Faye" and Nicole Kidman for "Being The Ricardos".

Rachel Zegler, the 20-year-old star of Steven Spielberg's "West Side Story," has been nominated for best actress in a comedy alongside Emma Stone ("Cruella"), Jennifer Lawrence ("Don't Look Up"), Alana Haim ("Licorice Pizza") and Marion Cotillard ("Annette").

A man wearing whote and woman in a fluffy hat stand amid snowy mountains
Lady Gaga is up for her role in the 'House of Gucci,' in which she plays the wife of Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver, left)Image: picture alliance/dpa/Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures/Universal Pictures

Globes promise change

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), the organization behind the Golden Globes, came under fire in February 2021 after an article published by the Los Angeles Times blasted the association for not having a single Black member on the 87-person body that hands out the awards.

Tom Cruise has since handed back his three awards, while broadcaster NBC has canceled its commitment to broadcast the gala.  has Netflix also ended its association with the event.

In May, the HFPA voted for sweeping reforms pledging more diversity and transparency, including adding six Black members to the group of over 100 journalists who decide the second-most important film awards ceremony after the Academy Awards.

"This been a year of change and reflection," said Helene Hoehne, HFPA president, during the presentation of the nominations in LA last month.

"For eight months we worked tirelessly as an organization to be better," she added. But she iss still confident that the awards have an integral place in showcasing film and TV content. "We lift the veil for audiences," she said.

Edited by: Martin Kuebler

Stuart Braun | DW Reporter
Stuart Braun Berlin-based journalist with a focus on climate and culture.