Could Taylor Swift defy the odds and win a Golden Globe for her song from “Cats”? It’s a toss-up.
Predicting Globes winners in music is always a tricky affair, if for no other reason than the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s unpredictable voters — eccentric to some, pushovers when it comes to celebrity courtship to others.
Over the past 20 years, only nine Globes winners for song correctly predicted the eventual Oscar winner. And seven of those 20 weren’t even among Oscar’s final five original song nominees.
“Beautiful Ghosts,” which Swift sings and co-wrote with original “Cats” composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, is a Globes nominee but will not be an Oscar nominee because the Academy’s music branch did not list it among its 15 preliminary shortlist choices in the category in December. Globes voters were shown an incomplete version of “Cats” in mid-November, a month before reviews savaged the film.
This is Swift’s third Globes nomination. Previously she was cited for “Safe and Sound,” from 2012’s “The Hunger Games,” and “Sweeter Than Fiction,” from 2013’s “One Chance.” So far, an Oscar nomination has eluded the music superstar. But Jan. 5 may be the HFPA’s chance to reward the 10-time Grammy winner, if the critical drubbing “Cats” has taken doesn’t kill its chances.
The competition this year is exceptionally fierce… and full of Swift’s fellow superstars. Elton John is nominated (with lyricist Bernie Taupin) for “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from the popular “Rocketman.” This is John’s fifth Globes nomination; he won for “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from “The Lion King” in 1994.
Beyoncé (along with co-writers Ilya and Labrinth) is also in the category for “Spirit” from the 2019 remake of “The Lion King.” This is her third time at the Globes, so far without a win. She was nominated in 2006 for “Listen” from “Dreamgirls” and as co-writer of “Once in a Lifetime” from 2008’s “Cadillac Records.”
Globes voters’ other choices are “Into the Unknown,” the big Idina Menzel number from “Frozen II,” and “Stand Up” from the period drama “Harriet,” sung and co-written by that film’s lead, Cynthia Erivo.
Here we return to the maverick stance of Globes voters, because “Into the Unknown” writers Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez have been twice nominated for Globes (for “Let It Go” from “Frozen” and “Remember Me” from “Coco”) — and lost both times, before going on to win the Oscar in both instances. Could this be the year the Lopezes finally nab the elusive Globe? We’ll know Sunday night if the Disney song swayed the HFPA.