NEW YORK — Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic “Vice” staged an awards-season coup Thursday, landing a leading six nominations from the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards to narrowly edge more expected favorites like Bradley Cooper’s tear-jerking revival “A Star Is Born,” the interracial road-trip drama “Green Book” and the period romp “The Favourite.”
“Vice” topped all contenders in the nominations that were announced at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, including best picture, comedy and best actor nominations for Christian Bale’s nearly unrecognizable performance as the former vice president. It also earned nominations for Amy Adams’ Lynne Cheney, Sam Rockwell’s George W. Bush and for the screenplay and direction by McKay, the veteran comedy filmmaker who once skewered politicians as a “Saturday Night Live” writer.
For even the often-quirky selections of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a collection of 88 mostly lesser-known freelance film journalists, the strong support for “Vice” (which arrives in theaters on Dec. 25) was a surprise. Even its categorization of the film — a highly critical portrait of Cheney as a power-hungry, behind-the-scenes tyrant — as a comedy raised some eyebrows, as did Globes recent comedy selections “Get Out” and “The Martian.”
“It’s a movie that’s a lot like the times we live in. There’s part of it that’s absurdist and comedic and then there’s another part of it that’s darkly tragic and dramatic,” McKay said Thursday by phone from London. “But I do know I’m glad we’re in that category because we will take ‘Mary Poppins’ out. I’m not competitive with the other movies but I am competitive with ‘Mary Poppins.’ Dick Cheney is going for her.”
But it was far from a runaway win for “Vice” since the press association typically spreads its awards around. Oscar front-runners “A Star Is Born,” ‘’Green Book” and “The Favourite” trailed close behind with five nominations each.
On the television side, awards were even more widely dispersed among the likes of the spy thriller “The Americans,” Bill Hader’s hit-man comedy “Barry,” the Julia Roberts-led conspiracy thriller “Homecoming,” Chuck Lorre’s acting coach series “The Kominsky Method” and last year’s champ, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Leading all small-screen nominees with four nods was “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” the FX anthology series about the Italian fashion designer’s murder.
For the first time, FX bested heavyweights like HBO, Netflix and Amazon with a network-best 10 nods, even though the exalted second season of its “Atlanta” received only a single nod for Donald Glover’s acting.
Curiously, the Hollywood Foreign Press doesn’t consider foreign-language films for best film, so Alfonso Cuaron’s acclaimed family drama “Roma” was left out of the Globes’ top category. “Roma,” which is expected to earn Netflix its first best picture nomination at the Oscars, was still nominated for best screenplay, best director and best foreign language film.
For the first time, the Globes nominated three films directed by African-American filmmakers for best picture, drama: Ryan Coogler’s superhero sensation “Black Panther,” Spike Lee’s urgent white nationalist drama “BlacKkKlansman” and Barry Jenkins’ lyrical James Baldwin adaption “If Beale Street Could Talk.” The other nominees are “A Star Is Born” and “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the Freddie Mercury biopic.
All earned nods in other categories, too, including Rami Malek’s prosthetic tooth-aided performance as Mercury and the leading turn by John David Washington in “BlacKkKlansman,” who said his father, Denzel, woke him up for the nominations announcement.
“I had flashbacks when I was watching the (NFL) draft when they never called my name,” said Washington, a former football player. “When I heard them say my name, it happened in slow motion.”
While Sam Elliott’s supporting performance in “A Star Is Born” was unexpectedly overlooked , the Warner Bros. hit (which elected to compete on the more hefty drama side of the Globes despite its many songs) earned the expected nods for Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper (as both actor and director) and the song “Shallow.”
Up for best picture comedy alongside “Vice” are Yorgos Lanthimos’ wild palace power struggle “The Favourite,” Peter Farrelly’s divisive crowd-pleaser “Green Book,” the upcoming Disney sequel “Mary Poppins Returns” and the rom-com hit “Crazy Rich Asians.”
The Oscar path for both “Green Book” and “The Favourite” appeared to be solidified, with nods for all of their leads, some of whom are running in supporting categories: Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali for “Green Book” and Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone for “The Favourite.”
The ratings for last January’s broadcast, hosted by Seth Meyers and graced with an impassioned speech by Oprah Winfrey, dipped 5 percent with approximately 19 million viewers. As the first major awards show following the Harvey Weinstein revelations, the usually more frivolous ceremony had an atypical edge of seriousness. In a demonstration organized by the then-just-founded Time’s Up, women wore black on the red carpet .
Whether this year will return the Globes to their more lighthearted celebrations will rest partly with its unexpected pairing of Andy Samberg and “Killing Eve” star Sandra Oh, who’s also a nominee for best actress in a TV series drama. They were announced Wednesday as hosts of the Jan. 6 ceremony, to be broadcast live on NBC.
On Dec. 7, 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as part of its plan to conquer Southeast Asian territories; the raid, which claimed some 2,400 American lives, prompted the United States to declare war against Japan the next day.
On this date:
In 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
In 1842, the New York Philharmonic performed its first concert.
In 1911, China abolished the requirement that men wear their hair in a queue, or ponytail.
In 1917, during World War I, the United States declared war on Austria-Hungary.
In 1946, fire broke out at the Winecoff Hotel in Atlanta; the blaze killed 119 people, including hotel founder W. Frank Winecoff.
In 1972, America’s last moon mission to date was launched as Apollo 17 blasted off from Cape Canaveral. Imelda Marcos, wife of Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos, was stabbed and seriously wounded by an assailant who was shot dead by her bodyguards.
In 1987, 43 people were killed after a gunman aboard a Pacific Southwest Airlines jetliner in California apparently opened fire on a fellow passenger, the pilots and himself, causing the plane to crash. Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev set foot on American soil for the first time, arriving for a Washington summit with President Ronald Reagan.
In 1988, a major earthquake in the Soviet Union devastated northern Armenia; official estimates put the death toll at 25-thousand.
In 1993, a gunman opened fire on a Long Island Rail Road commuter train, killing six people and wounding 19. (The shooter was later sentenced to a minimum of 200 years in prison.)
In 2001, Taliban forces abandoned their last bastion in Afghanistan, fleeing the southern city of Kandahar.
In 2004, Hamid Karzai was sworn in as Afghanistan’s first popularly elected president.
Thought for Today: “Any frontal attack on ignorance is bound to fail because the masses are always ready to defend their most precious possession — their ignorance.” — Hendrik Willem van Loon, Dutch-American journalist and lecturer (1882-1944).
Actress Ellen Burstyn is 86.Baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench is 71. Actor-director-producer James Keach is 71. Country singer Gary Morris is 70. Singer-songwriter Tom Waits is 69. Basketball Hall of Famer Larry Bird is 62. Actress Priscilla Barnes is 61. Actor Jeffrey Wright is 53. Actor C. Thomas Howell is 52. Producer-director Jason Winer is 46. Rapper-producer Kon Artis is 44. Pop singer Nicole Appleton (All Saints) is 43. Latin singer Frankie J is 42. Country singer Sunny Sweeney is 42. Pop-rock singer/celebrity judge Sara Bareilles is 39. Actress Jennifer Carpenter is 39. Actor Jack Huston is 36. Singer Aaron Carter is 31.