Looking across the Golden Globe film and TV nominations, it’s a banner year for movies driven by some of the most unlikely female characters to get the big-screen treatment.

In The Shape Of Water, Sally Hawkins plays a mute cleaning woman in 1962 Baltimore who has a supernatural encounter. In The Post, Meryl Streep plays a woman in her mid-50s who is thrust by circumstance into a leadership role.

Margot Robbie and Allison Janney deliver tour de force performances in I, Tonya, a movie that on paper sounds like B-grade cable material. And the great Laurie Metcalf is the hero of Lady Bird and its touching look at mother-daughter and familial dynamics, for which Saorise Ronan received a Best Actress, comedy nomination.

None of these are projects tailored to the conventional notions of the audiences who drive movie-going or indie film success.

The shutout of female directors from the Globes race is particularly striking this year given the volume of femme-focused projects. The options – from Wonder Woman’s Patty Jenkins to Lady Bird’s Greta Gerwig to Mudbound’s Dee Rees – were numerous.

Female auteurs, showrunners, and producers, meanwhile, are all over the Globes television nominations. Hollywood Foreign Press Association voters solidified Frankie Shaw’s status as a major comer to watch, landing a comedy series nomination and lead comedy actress bid for SMILF, the Showtime series that she created, directs and stars in.

Sally Hawkins, left, and Octavia Spencer in a scene from the film The Shape Of Water. Hawkins is nominated for a Golden Globe for best actress in a motion picture drama for her role in the film. Photo: Fox Searchlight

Two of Shaw’s fellow contenders in the comedy actress race – Pamela Adlon (FX’s Better Things) and Issa Rae (HBO’s Insecure) – are also creator/stars of their own vehicles.“It certainly does give rise to the idea that this is the year of the woman in popular media,” Leonard Maltin, film critic and historian, told Variety.

From Lady Bird to I, Tonya to The Post, the portrayals of women tackling existential crises largely on their own steam, with grace and grit, made for a strong crop that bucked convention.

The Post is essentially a coming of age story – but a coming of age story for a mature woman, which is most unusual,” Maltin said. At the other end of the scale, Lady Bird adds up to “a modest movie that is exceptionally well done” particularly for a directorial debut, Maltin said.

“Greta Gerwig has obviously had her eyes and ears wide open as she’s been making films. To create a film that is so empathetic and believable, relatable and poignant is no small achievement.”

Actress, Saoirse Ronan, of the film Lady Bird, scores a nomination for best actress in a motion picture comedy or musical. However the film’s director Greta Gerwig is overlooked. Photo: A24

The comedy series race features two female showrunners – Amy Sherman-Palladino at the helm of Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel with Dan Palladino – and Shaw of SMILF.

Among drama series, only This Is Us has a female showrunner, Elizabeth Berger who steers the NBC hit with Isaac Aptaker. Drama series nominees The Crown and The Handmaid’s Tale revolve squarely around themes of women, power, privilege, and sexism.

The top TV nominee in the Globes race this year is HBO’s Big Little Lies, the extraordinary assemblage of talent pulled together by Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman out of frustration at the lack of meaty film roles.

Feud: Bette And Joan starring Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis (left) and Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford, is nominated for a Golden Globe award for best television limited series. Photo: FX

The wealth of work for seasoned stars in TV is on display with the six nominations for Big Little Lies as well as the four bestowed on FX’s Feud: Bette and Joan. Feud’s Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange will once again face off against Witherspoon and Kidman for golden hardware in the lead limited series actress field.

Jessica Biel is also a contender in this starry crowd for her career re-defining role as a murderer in USA Network’s The Sinner. And if all the great female roles in the first season of Big Little Lies weren’t heartening enough, season two will be directed by Andrea Arnold, for an even stronger all-women team. – Reuters/Cynthia Littleton


Here’s the list of 2018 Golden Globe nominations:

Best Picture – Drama

Call Me By Your Name
Dunkirk
The Post
The Shape Of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Picture – Comedy or Musical

The Disaster Artist
Get Out
The Greatest Showman
I, Tonya
Lady Bird

Best Performance By An Actor In A Motion Picture – Drama

Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
Tom Hanks, The Post
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Best Performance By An Actress In A Motion Picture – Drama

Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game
Sally Hawkins, The Shape Of Water
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Meryl Streep, The Post
Michelle Williams, All The Money In The World

Best Performance By An Actor In A Motion Picture – Musical Or Comedy

Steve Carell, Battle Of The Sexes
Ansel Elgort, Baby Driver
James Franco, The Disaster Artist
Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out

Best Performance By An Actress In A Motion Picture – Musical Or Comedy

Judi Dench, Victoria & Abdul
Helen Mirren, The Leisure Seeker
Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Emma Stone, Battle Of The Sexes

Best Performance By An Actor In A Supporting Role In A Motion Picture

Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Armie Hammer, Call Me By Your Name
Richard Jenkins, The Shape Of Water
Christopher Plummer, All The Money In The World
Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Performance By An Actress In A Supporting Role In A Motion Picture

Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
Hong Chau, Downsizing
Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer, The Shape Of Water

Best Animated Film

The Boss Baby
The Breadwinner
Coco
Ferdinand
Loving Vincent

Best Director – Motion Picture

Guillermo del Toro, The Shape Of Water
Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Ridley Scott, All The Money In The World
Steven Spielberg, The Post

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

Guillermo Del Toro, Vanessa Taylor, The Shape Of Water
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Liz Hannah, Josh Singer, The Post
Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Aaron Sorkin, Molly’s Game

Best Original Score – Motion Picture

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Shape Of Water
Phantom Thread
The Post
Dunkirk

Best Original Song – Motion Picture

Home, Ferdinand
Mighty River, Mudbound
Remember Me, Coco
The Star, The Star
This Is Me, The Greatest Showman

Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language

A Fantastic Woman
First They Killed My Father
In The Fade
Loveless
The Square

Best Television Series – Drama

The Crown
Game Of Thrones
The Handmaid’s Tale
Stranger Things
This Is Us

Best Television Series – Comedy

Black-ish
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Master Of None
SMILF
Will & Grace

Best Performance By An Actor In A Television Series – Drama

Jason Bateman, Ozark
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Freddie Highmore, The Good Doctor
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan

Best Performance By An Actress In A Television Series – Drama

Caitriona Balfe, Outlander
Claire Foy, The Crown
Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Deuce
Katherine Langford, 13 Reasons Why
Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy

Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Aziz Ansari, Master Of None
Kevin Bacon, I Love Dick
William H. Macy, Shameless
Eric McCormack, Will And Grace

Best Performance By An Actress In A Television Series – Musical Or Comedy:

Pamela Adlon, Better Things
Alison Brie, Glow
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Issa Rae, Insecure
Frankie Shaw, SMILF

Best Television Limited Series Or Motion Picture Made For Television

Big Little Lies
Fargo”
Feud: Bette And Joan
The Sinner
Top of the Lake: China Girl

Best Performance By An Actor In A Limited Series Or Motion Picture Made For Television

Robert De Niro, The Wizard Of Lies
Jude Law, The Young Pope
Kyle MacLachlan, Twin Peaks
Ewan McGregor, Fargo
Geoffrey Rush, Genius

Best Performance By An Actress In A Limited Series Or Motion Picture Made For Television

Jessica Biel, The Sinner
Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies
Jessica Lange, Feud: Bette And Joan
Susan Sarandon, Feud: Bette And Joan
Reese Witherspoon, Big Little Lies

Best Performance By An Actor In A Supporting Role In A Series, Limited Series Or Motion Picture Made For Television

David Harbour, Stranger Things
Alfred Molina, Feud
Christian Slater, Mr. Robot
Alexander Skarsgard, Big Little Lies
David Thewlis, Fargo

Best Performance By An Actress In A Supporting Role In A Series, Limited Series Or Motion Picture Made For Television

Laura Dern, Big Little Lies
Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale
Chrissy Metz, This Is Us
Michelle Pfeiffer, The Wizard Of Lies
Shailene Woodley, Big Little Lies