Golden Globes Nominations: ‘Shape of Water,’ ‘Big Little Lies’ Score Big

Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water,” Steven Spielberg’s “The Post,” and Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” were among the big winners as nominations for the 75th Golden Globe Awards were unveiled in the wee hours on Monday morning.

“Three Billboards,” a revenge drama, “The Post,” a dramatic re-telling of the Pentagon Papers saga, and “The Shape of Water,” an offbeat story about the romance between a mute cleaning lady and a fish-like creature, earned best film and director nods, in addition to picking up nominations for the performances of several of its actors. “The Shape of Water” nabbed a leading seven nominations, while “Three Billboards” and “The Post” picked up six apiece. The other best drama nominees were Christopher Nolan’s World War II epic “Dunkirk” and Luca Guadagnino’s lyrical romance “Call Me by Your Name.”

Unlike other awards shows, the Globes separates its film honors into best drama and best musical or comedy categories. The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. also hands out hardware to television shows. That’s not the only distinction. The Globes are a looser, boozier affair than the more staid Oscars, with A-list stars downing flutes of Moet between victory speeches, and occasionally taking the stage in a visibly intoxicated state. Beyond slurred words, the organization has attracted attention for some head-turning choices over the years, nominating films such as “The Tourist” or “Burlesque,” and back in 1982, the honoring the likes of Pia Zadora, a performer better known for satirizing awards shows than appearing at them.

They are also the subject of some controversy for their insular voting body of roughly 90 members of the HFPA, which in the past has shown an appetite for accepting lavish junkets and meals from contending films and studios. The group is comprised of international journalists working in Hollywood, and has made efforts to clean up its ethical guidelines in recent years.

“The Disaster Artist,” a celebration of the making-of “The Room,” a famously awful exercise in moviemaking, was celebrated for its artistry. The behind-the-scenes film is one of the best comedy or musical nominees, joining “The Greatest Showman” and “I, Tonya” — biopics about P.T. Barnum and Tonya Harding — as well as “Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig’s semi-autobiographical look at growing up in Sacramento. “Get Out,” a horror hit, somewhat improbably rounds out the category — it was more notable for its scares than its laughs, but Universal, the studio behind the film opted to run it in the comedy category, raising some eyebrows.

On the television front, HBO’s “Big Little Lies,” a water-cooler hit about a death in tony Monterey, Calif., was also dominant, picking up six nominations. It finds itself facing off against FX’s “Fargo” and “Feud: Bette and Joan,” as well as USA’s “The Sinner” and IFC’s “Top of the Lake: China Girl” in the best TV limited series or movie category.

Netflix’s “The Crown” and “Stranger Things” will duke it out with Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” HBO”s “Game of Thrones,” and NBC’s “This is Us” for the best TV drama Golden Globe. In the best comedy category, ABC’s “Black-ish,” Showtime’s “SMILF,” and NBC’s “Will & Grace” will square off against two buzzy streaming series — Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and Netflix’s “Master of None.”

This year’s awards are being unveiled at a tumultuous time in Hollywood history. Bombshell reports about Harvey Weinstein’s decades of alleged sexual harassment and abuse have widened to ensnare other industry figures. Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner, Dustin Hoffman, and Matt Lauer are just a few of the major media and entertainment personalities who are now facing accusations of misconduct. The results of the fallout were evident on Monday. The Weinstein Company, which used to dominate awards shows with its stable of tony dramas and comedies, was completely shut out of the Globes, with “Wind River,” its well-received crime drama, failing to pick up any nominations. Jeffrey Tambor, who previously was honored for his work as a transgender professor in “Transparent,” also failed to pick up a nomination after he was accused of harassment. Tambor’s future with the series is unclear.

Globes voters didn’t entirely shut out industry figures who have become embroiled in the ever-widening scandal. Despite facing allegations of inappropriate behavior towards a female co-star in an Australian stage production on the set of “King Lear” two years ago, Rush picked up a nomination for best actor in a TV limited series for “Genius.” He has denied the claims and sued an Australian tabloid for defamation.

Christopher Plummer wasn’t accused of any misdeeds, but the celebrated thespian owes his nod to the harassment scandal. Plummer was a last-minute stand-in for Kevin Spacey, re-shooting his scenes as J. Paul Getty in “All the Money in the World.” He earned a best supporting actor nod.

Ridley Scott, who made the decision to scrub Spacey from the film after allegations accusing the actor of unwanted groping of several men surfaced, was honored with a best director nomination. It was unclear if the film, which is still undergoing final editing, would be able to be screened for Globes voters. Scott’s competition includes Spielberg, Del Toro, Nolan, and McDonagh. Guadagnino was snubbed for his work on “Call Me By Your Name.” It was also a bad morning for female directors with Gerwig and Dee Rees (“Mudbound”) failing to make the cut despite earning sterling reviews for their latest films.

Other notable omissions include Amazon’s “The Big Sick,” a surprise indie hit, and HBO’s “Veep,” the scathing political satire. Both were shut out by Globes voters.

Daniel Day-Lewis made headlines last summer by announcing his retirement from acting. Globes voters were able to honor the mercurial performer for possibly his last star turn, handing him a best actor in a drama nomination for his work as a brooding designer in “The Phantom Thread.” Day-Lewis’ competition includes veterans Tom Hanks (“The Post”), Gary Oldman (“Darkest Hour”), and Denzel Washington (“Roman J. Israel, Esq.”), as well as Timothée Chalamet, a 21-year old newcomer who earned raves as a lovesick teen in “Call Me by Your Name.”

Meryl Streep picked up her 31st nomination playing Katharine Graham, the Washington Post publisher who risked the future of her company by publishing classified documents about the history of the Vietnam War. Last year, Streep was honored with a lifetime achievement statue by the Globes, and used her speech to issue a blistering condemnation of President Trump and a call to arms for a free press. This year, she is nominated alongside Jessica Chastain (“Molly’s Game”), Sally Hawkins, (“The Shape of Water”), Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), and Michelle Williams (“All the Money in the World”).

Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, who starred in “Big Little Lies,” picked up best actress in a TV limited series or movie nominations, along with Jessica Biel (“The Sinner”), Jessica Lange, (“Feud: Bette and Joan”), and Susan Sarandon (“Feud: Bette and Joan”). It’s a sign of the blurring of boundaries between the big and small screen. All five actresses are best known for the work in movies, but television has been offering meatier parts of late.

The same kind of prestige was evident in the best actor in a TV limited series or movie category. Two time Oscar winner Robert De Niro scored a nod for playing disgraced financier Bernie Madoff in HBO’s “The Wizard of Lies,” Academy Award winner Rush was recognized for playing Albert Einstein in the National Geographic Channel’s “Genius,” and two-time Oscar nominee Jude Law picked up a nomination for playing a radical pontiff in HBO’s “The Young Pope.” Kyle MacLachlan (“Twin Peaks”) and Ewan McGregor (“Fargo”) were also nominated.

Hugh Jackman scored a best actor in a musical or comedy nod for his singing and dancing work as circus impresario P.T. Barnum in “The Greatest Showman.” He faces off against teen heartthrob Ansel Elgort as a getaway driver in “Baby Driver,” Steve Carell’s turn as sexist tennis champ Bobby Riggs in “Battle of the Sexes,” James Franco’s work as a delusional director in “The Disaster Artist” and Daniel Kaluuya’s performance as a houseguest in for a world of hurt in “Get Out.”

The actress in a movie comedy awards will be a battle between Judi Dench (“Victoria & Abdul”), Margot Robbie (“I, Tonya”), Saoirse Ronan (“Lady Bird”), Emma Stone (“Battle of the Sexes”), and Helen Mirren (“The Leisure Seeker”).

Family film hits “The Boss Baby” and “Coco” scored best animated film Golden Globes nominations. They will face off against “Ferdinand,” a yet-to-be released animated film, and two adult skewing films, “The Breadwinner” and “Loving Vincent.” “The LEGO Batman Movie” and “Despicable Me 3,” two of the year’s biggest animated hits, were shut out.

Plummer will face off in the supporting actor category against Willem Dafoe (“The Florida Project”), Armie Hammer (“Call Me by Your Name”), Richard Jenkins (“The Shape of Water”), and Sam Rockwell (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”). The supporting actress category consists of Mary J. Blige (“Mudbound”), Hong Chau (“Downsizing”), Allison Janney (“I, Tonya”), Laurie Metcalf (“Lady Bird”), and Octavia Spencer (“The Shape of Water”).

With Tambor sitting out this edition, the best TV comedy acting contenders consists of Aziz Ansari (“Master of None”), Anthony Anderson (“Blackish”), Eric McCormack (“Will & Grace”), Kevin Bacon (“I Love Dick”), and William H. Macy (“Shameless”). The actress in a best TV comedy category leaned in on newcomers. Alison Brie (“Glow”), Rachel Brosnahan (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), and Frankie Shaw (“SMILF”) were all recognized for their work in their shows’ inaugural seasons. Issa Rae (“Insecure”) and Pamela Adlon (“Better Things”) are the relative veterans with two seasons of their programs under their belts.

Prestige television has largely migrated to streaming platforms and cable, but broadcast did score some important awards real estate. Sterling K. Brown was nominated for best actor in a TV drama for “This Is Us,” the sudsy NBC hit, and Freddie Highmore earned a nod for his work as a medical genius in “The Good Doctor,” the ABC ratings breakout. They were recognized alongside Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”) and Liev Schreiber (“Ray Donovan”), as well as Jason Bateman who shook up his comedic image as a money launderer in “Ozark.”

Best actress in a TV series, drama, contenders include Claire Foy for her turn as Queen Elizabeth in “The Crown,” Elizabeth Moss for her work as a member of a dystopian society in “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Caitriona Balfe for her performance as a time traveler in “Outlander,” and Maggie Gyllenhaal for headlining “The Deuce” as a prostitute with bigger ambitions. Katherine Langford, star of the controversial teen suicide drama “13 Reasons Why,” rounded out the category.

Globe winners aren’t always predictive of future Oscars glory. Last year, the organization gave its top musical/comedy prize to “La La Land” and its best drama statue to “Moonlight,” which went on to pick up the Academy Award for Best Picture. However, it failed to recognize the two previous Best Picture Oscar winners, “Spotlight” and “Birdman.”

The Globes will be televised by NBC on Sunday, January 7, 2018. Seth Meyers will host the broadcast, taking the reins from his fellow late night TV staple Jimmy Fallon, who emceed last year.

More Film

  • 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Teases Spider-Ham

    'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Teases Spider-Ham, Other Webspinners

    Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water,” Steven Spielberg’s “The Post,” and Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” were among the big winners as nominations for the 75th Golden Globe Awards were unveiled in the wee hours on Monday morning. “Three Billboards,” a revenge drama, “The Post,” a dramatic re-telling of the Pentagon Papers […]

  • Venom Comic-Con

    'Venom' Creators Promise 'Huge World,' Tease Spider-Man Fight

    Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water,” Steven Spielberg’s “The Post,” and Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” were among the big winners as nominations for the 75th Golden Globe Awards were unveiled in the wee hours on Monday morning. “Three Billboards,” a revenge drama, “The Post,” a dramatic re-telling of the Pentagon Papers […]

  • Bully

    Film News Roundup: Danny Trejo's Dark Comedy 'Bully' Scores Distribution

    Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water,” Steven Spielberg’s “The Post,” and Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” were among the big winners as nominations for the 75th Golden Globe Awards were unveiled in the wee hours on Monday morning. “Three Billboards,” a revenge drama, “The Post,” a dramatic re-telling of the Pentagon Papers […]

  • Jamie Lee Curtis Hugs Fan Who

    Jamie Lee Curtis Embraces Sobbing Fan, Who Says 'Halloween' Saved His Life

    Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water,” Steven Spielberg’s “The Post,” and Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” were among the big winners as nominations for the 75th Golden Globe Awards were unveiled in the wee hours on Monday morning. “Three Billboards,” a revenge drama, “The Post,” a dramatic re-telling of the Pentagon Papers […]

  • Teen Titans Go to the Movies

    Film Review: 'Teen Titans GO! to the Movies'

    Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water,” Steven Spielberg’s “The Post,” and Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” were among the big winners as nominations for the 75th Golden Globe Awards were unveiled in the wee hours on Monday morning. “Three Billboards,” a revenge drama, “The Post,” a dramatic re-telling of the Pentagon Papers […]

  • Glass trailer

    M. Night Shyamalan's 'Glass' Trailer Debuts at Comic-Con

    Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water,” Steven Spielberg’s “The Post,” and Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” were among the big winners as nominations for the 75th Golden Globe Awards were unveiled in the wee hours on Monday morning. “Three Billboards,” a revenge drama, “The Post,” a dramatic re-telling of the Pentagon Papers […]

  • Los Angeles Philharmonic Association - John

    Symphonic Sharks and Stormtroopers: Hollywood Bowl's Movie Nights Pull Curtain Back on Film Scores

    Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water,” Steven Spielberg’s “The Post,” and Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” were among the big winners as nominations for the 75th Golden Globe Awards were unveiled in the wee hours on Monday morning. “Three Billboards,” a revenge drama, “The Post,” a dramatic re-telling of the Pentagon Papers […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content