Today’s Golden Globes nominations for the Best Foreign Language Film include some of the leading favorites with potential to be in the mix for the similar category at the Oscars like Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters and Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s Never Look Away. But there is one glaring omission. Pawel Pawlikowski’s black-and-white Polish drama Cold War did not make the cut despite plaudits from Cannes and critics bodies.
There’s been a lot of heat on Cold War which was the Best Director laureate in Cannes and has frontrunner status at the upcoming European Film Awards. Star Joanna Kulig is currently spending several weeks in LA to talk up the film (and croon), and the 1950s-set romantic drama from Amazon has also scored a Best Foreign Language Film win from the National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle.
Pawlikowski won a Foreign Language Oscar with 2014’s Ida, which was nominated at the Globes, but it was Russia’s Leviathan that the HFPA crowned winner. As with Leviathan and Ida, the Globes and Oscars do not always match up in this category. See 2016 when France’s Elle went all the way to the gold with the HFPA, but failed to be recognized by AMPAS, not even making the shortlist. This year’s Oscar shortlist will be unveiled on December 17.
Looking at those that did advance to Globes competition today, Shoplifters (Magnolia) is another hot title, also out of Cannes where it won the Palme d’Or. It marks Kore-eda’s first Globe mention and has been a box office hit at home and in China. The director’s 2013 Like Father, Like Son was notably overlooked by home country Japan for the Oscars, not even becoming the official submission that year.
A third Cannes pic, Lebanon’s Capernaum from Nadine Labaki, the sole woman in this race, is in the running. The Jury Prize winner on the Riviera, it focuses on a 12-year-old boy who sues his parents for bringing him into a world of such suffering. Sony Pictures Classics is releasing on December 14 domestically.
The Globes today further nominated Sony Classics’ Never Look Away. A sprawling and lauded Venice entry from the Lives Of Others Oscar winner von Donnersmarck, it’s inspired by the life of artist Gerhard Richter. The Lives Of Others also received a Globes nomination in 2006 while von Donnersmarck’s 2010 English-language The Tourist was nominated three times by the HFPA.
Belgian filmmaker Lukas Dhont’s debut Girl picked up a nomination today. The film previously took Cannes’ Camera d’Or for best first feature, and also scored the Best Performance nod in the Un Certain Regard section for lead actor Victor Polster. A Netflix pick-up, it’s about a 15-year-old committed to becoming a professional ballerina, although she was born a boy.
Venice’s Golden Lion winner Roma (Netflix) is looking to many as the one to beat this year — even for the myriad foreign language directors with whom I’ve spoken over the past several weeks. The black-and-white personal film was not eligible for a Best Picture nod because of HFPA regulations, although it is recognized in the Best Director and Screenplay categories with many expecting it will repeat multiple nominations when AMPAS reveals in January.